It can be a painful lesson for a student to learn in the first few months of college that the study habits they used in high school may not work for them at an institution of higher learning. The fact is, what is expected of a student is far different. Worksheets designed to improve memorization of facts are replaced by midterms and exams that require knowledge of concepts. Adapting one’s study habits to these new criteria can mean the difference between success and failure. Learning them in high school will give an advantage to the college-bound student
Tips for better study concentration
There are a variety of techniques that can be employed to increase concentration while studying and achieve better results.
Chunks of time
Create a list, preferably at the beginning of the week, of everything that needs to be accomplished and when exams will be held or projects due. Prioritize items and schedule time around them. Use an appointment book if necessary. Don’t skip a class when an exam is coming up because there could be a review session. Make sure to build in study breaks periodically.
Don’t get overwhelmed all at once by everything that needs to be known. Preview the material, note what is emphasized the most and what is still not understood. This should help focus on what is truly important. This is not a replacement for reading but should enhance it.
Study like a test
Some students will try to study while laying in bed or watching TV then are surprised when they feel stressed while trying to take a test in the formal environment of the classroom and can’t recall some of the information. When studying, try to recreate as much as possible a similar environment as the one where the test will be taken. The greater the similarity between settings the better the likelihood the material will be recalled during test time.
Rather than wait until the night before a big test and trying to study all at once, review the material for an hour or two a day beginning about a week before the exam. Extend the amount of time studying as the test draws nearer. Information is more easily recalled if the learning is spread out over time. Trying to stay up late the night before a test will only leave the brain tired which actually inhibits the ability to concentrate.
Study with a group
Form or join a study group made of students from the same class. Helping others learn will reinforce the information and others from the group may present original ideas that would not have occurred to other students.
While any of these tips will help students concentrate better on studying, they should be modified to fit each individual’s circumstances. Nevertheless, improving study habits and increasing concentration will help take some of the dread out of exam time and lead to more success.
Author Bio: Christina Lloyd writes for a website about financial aid for students, including high school student grants and grants for graduate students. She believes it’s important for students to develop good study habits as early as possible in their education.