“Studying” in College 101

Hi friends! I am back with another “How To” post, one that I think is going to be useful. I always struggled with studying for tests in high school, and have tried every studying trick there is out there. (Don’t even get me started on note cards…) Since then, I have found what works for me when it comes to preparing for a big exam. This post is written by me, a college student, on how to study in college, but studying is universal am I right? Everyone in school should know how to study. Let me just preview this post with a disclaimer by saying this: *These tips may not work for everyone. We each have our own way of studying that works for us, but not for others.* You can also alter some of these tips based on the class, type of exam, etc. So, without wasting anymore time, let’s get started!

1. Find Your Study Space

Finding a quiet space where you can focus and concentrate is essential to making use of your studying time. I recommend finding a place other than your dorm room! You have your food, bed, and TV right there for you to get distracted. Or you could get to talking to your roommate for what seems like 10 minutes, but really turns into 2 hours (I am guilty of that, I’ll admit it). Instead, scope out other places on campus that would be a better fit, like Van Wylen or the Science Center. Hope may look small, but trust me, you will find your favorite study spot sooner or later. Hope students all have their own secret study space (mine? Lubbers third floor!), so go out and find yours!

2. Come prepared with your studying materials

So, you finally found your study space, wherever that may be, and you are ready to start studying I hope! But, when you rummage around your backpack you realize you forgot some essential studying materials like, let’s say, your notebook and your textbook. Big mistake. Now you have to trudge your way over to your dorm hall, walk up a few flights of stairs, and walk back to where you were. Chances are this tiring trip will deter you from even wanting to study at all. Why walk back when you can relax in your pi’s watching Netflix? To this I say, come prepared! Make sure you have ALL of your study materials BEFORE you leave your room. Depending on the class, you may need your bio or psych book with your binder full of powerpoint slides, or you may just need the novel you are reading for your Lit class and a notebook. Follow this important rule and save yourself a trip across campus.

3. Set up a Studying Schedule

Okay, so this may seem like a little too much, but trust me on this! Setting up a studying schedule will keep you on track to studying well before your exam. I am not talking a month in advance here, but at least 2 or 3 weeks before is going to help you get that A (and we all want that A am I right?) Again, depending on what class you are studying for, this schedule can be altered. Based on experience, for science and math classes it is best to ALWAYS study in advance. Usually, professors will put the dates for each exam on the syllabus, so you will know how long you have to study. A few weeks before the exam, set aside an hour a day to study. As the exam gets closer, increase that hour to 2, 3, 4 and so on. Doing this ahead of time will save you the stress of cramming at the last minute!

4.  Put your phone down…No Seriously…

College students love their phones.I get it, I really do, but I absolutely hate when my friends pull out their phones in the middle of an intense study session (yes, I said intense). Usually, their phones will NOT be on mute and a funny video of a baby laughing will go off (Why? I still have no idea)…Don’t be that person who looks prepared, with your color coded notecards and notes only to be on your phone for the entire time. You are only wasting valuable studying time! Tell your friends you will be studying for an hour in the library so they will know not to bother you. I promise you will live without your phone 🙂 I also advise against bringing your computer, unless you need a term or definition clarified or you are taking a language course and need to use Word Reference. Getting rid of these distractions is essential to making use of your studying time.

5. Take Breaks

I can admit, I often forget this important piece of advice because I get too into my studying, especially when I am stressed out about an exam. But, this is too important not to do! I know so many people, myself included, who think that taking breaks is only going to distract you from what you are studying. Wrong. Chances are, if you are studying for 2, 3 , or 4 hours straight without a break in between your mind is going to be completely drained. Instead, set little goals for yourself when you are studying. Let’s say you want to study French for 2 hours. Great! Then, set up a goal that you will read two chapters in your textbook and will take notes on what you learned. Once that 2 hours is up and you were able to read those chapters and take notes, you can reward yourself for all of your hard work! Invite a friend to get fro-yo at Peachwave, watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, or go for a run. Whatever it is you like to do, make that your motivator to keep on studying. Setting little goals and taking breaks will keep you focused and determined.


I hope these tips work for you during your next studying session! Tweet me @HopeMarisela16 or email me at marisela.meraz@hope.edu if you have any questions! Happy Studying!

Posted inAcademics

Published by Marisela Meraz

Hello! My name is Marisela, but everyone knows me by Mari. I am a senior at Hope majoring in English with an emphasis on writing and minoring in French. I am also part of the Theta Gamma Pi Sorority on campus. In my free time, I enjoy baking, taking photos, watching Netflix, and making music playlists for my friends. I am so excited to share my Hope experiences with you all!

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