Home > Resources > Study Skills > Study Smart

Study Smart

Most college students pull all-nighters to complete major assignments or study for major exams. Cramming is not an effective way to prepare for classes and write papers. Students who cram for exams end up ill prepared, over tired, and over caffeinated. There is a huge difference between studying hard and studying smart. Studying hard is time consuming and stressful, whereas studying smart reduces stress, is efficient, and produces optimal results.

Give Yourself Time

Successful studying is completed increments of 45 minutes or less. After 45 minutes, students lose the ability to retain information. Therefore, avoiding procrastination is the key to stress free academic success. To avoid cramming, spread your studying over the course of the term. Review your notes after each lecture or reading assignment, periodically refreshing your memory when new material is being introduced. Make a conscious effort to dedicate 45 minutes a day to studying.

Remove Distractions

Effective studying is best done in a quiet and well-lit setting with ample space and few distractions. Unfortunately, the college lifestyle is not conducive to quiet spaces. You will have to learn how to study effectively in crowded libraries, student centers, or campus coffee shops. Always jump on the opportunity to study alone, or in a limited group setting. If not, implement a few rules to prevent yourself from being distracted.

Turn off your TV and turn your phone on silent in your 45 minute study increments to minimize outside distractions. Take a few minutes to write down distracting thoughts, and set them aside for later. Set up a rewards system for every portion of homework successfully completed within those 45 minutes. If necessary, block distracting websites on your computer until you have accomplished your work for the evening. Remember to take study breaks to collect your thoughts, check your phone, talk to friends, and grab a healthy snack before returning to work.

Take Care of Yourself

Skipping meals and losing sleep will reduce your comprehension level, and ability to produce solid work. It is important to put your health first, so you are in good condition to learn effectively. Using caffeine to stay awake will make your body exhausted and mind sluggish. Avoid excessive alcohol use. Be sure to work health foods into your grocery budget. Eating right helps your mind as much as your body. If you pair a good set of study skills with a healthy lifestyle, you will always be successful in the classroom.

Learn How You Learn

There are a number of different studying tricks to apply to different learning styles. For example, some students prefer flash cards, others like to make outlines, some use mnemonic devices, and others find it helpful to make connect themes between topics. Understand that learning styles are unique to every student, and what works for your peers may not work for you. Learn about different studying strategies online, from your peers, and your professors to find which method works best for you.

Last Edited: November 2015

Latest College & Financial Aid News

POTUS' Daughter to Attend Harvard University after Gap Year

May 3, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Malia Obama won't be the first child of a president to be accepted into Harvard University, but her decision to take a gap year sets her apart from the traditional college-bound student. As the gap year trend gains popularity in the US, there is still some reluctance in putting pause on a college education. Could it pose some trouble for those who aren’t socialites? Despite [...]

Balling on a Tight Budget with Limited DI Basketball Scholarships

April 29, 2016

by Susan Dutca

117 underclassmen recently took advantage of the new NCAA rule which allows them to test the NBA waters without losing NCAA eligibility as long as they don't hire an agent. However, talented athletes are stuck between choosing to play on scholarships or play professionally. Division I schools are balling on a tight budget, with only 13 scholarships available per team. With the constant [...]

Street Corner Scholarships? Student Panhandles in Attempt to Pay for College

April 26, 2016

by Susan Dutca

The class of 2015 had the largest student loan debt in history and while some students may side hustle to cover their tuition bill, one student has opted to skip the grind and instead, hustle the streets to help pay for her college education. Star student Emily Stutz wasn't offered the necessary financial aid to attend college, even after she appealed to all of the eight [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed