College Study Tips

If there’s one thing in high school that I didn’t learn, that was how to study. I never had the need to study in high school. School just seemed to come easy to me. Once I got to college, all of that changed. I knew that my study habits that I had acquired in high school just weren’t going to cut it in college. Not studying and procrastination just does not work in college. Here are my study tips for doing well in college!

College study tips for freshman

Start Early.

When I say start early, I don’t mean start your assignment the day before or even two days before it’s due. I mean start your assignment at least a week in advance if you can. In high school, I would always leave things until the last-minute. That left me with countless nights with little sleep and a not very good end product. A major goal for me in college has been to not procrastinate. I’ve been doing really well! I start my papers a good two weeks before they’re due.

Be Organized.

Organization is key. Being organized is all up to you. For me, I like to write everything in my planner, have my binders divided into sections, and have a notebook full of nothing but notes. These notes can be taken in class or they can be rough drafts for papers, etc. They’re all in one central place. I can never lose them! Staying organized will help keep your mind organized and you’ll almost never miss an assignment. (We’re all human. Forgetting an assignment can sometimes happen.)

Learn How YOU Study.

We’re all different. For me, I have to write everything down. I make flashcards, rewrite my notes from class, and take detailed notes from the PowerPoints. Even if I take notes in class on my computer, I always come back to my dorm and rewrite them! Writing helps me remember. Do you do better if your notes are typed or handwritten? Do you like flashcards or the online equivalent, like Quizlet? Once you learn how you study best, studying won’t seem like a daunting task anymore.

Know Your Limits.

This sounds like something from an AlcoholEdu class or something. No, we’re not talking about alcohol here. Know your limits about going out the night before a test or how much you need to study. You have to know yourself and what you can handle. Sometimes you have to turn down that fun night out to stay in and study.

Take Breaks.

Breaks are key. But, sometimes I take way too many breaks. After an hour or so of studying, I typically take a 10-15 minute break, whether it be getting up to make coffee and get a snack or checking Twitter and Instagram. Don’t take too many breaks. Or let a break turn into an entire day. And then an entire day turn into an entire week.

Limit Distractions.

I feel like this one is a given. Distractions like the Internet and your phone can be detrimental to your studying. I either turn my phone on silent, not vibrate, or I put it on Do Not Disturb mode. It keeps it from buzzing and me getting distracted. Plus, when you’re studying, checking Twitter every 30 seconds always seems like a good idea. Even if there are no new tweets…

Your Study Habits Aren’t The Same As Someone Else’s.Β 

This is key. You may need twice as long to study for a test. Or your friend may need that extra day. Some people don’t need to study at all. Some people need to study for weeks to just pass the test. Do not base your study habits off of someone else. It’s better to be over-prepared with material than not prepared enough. Some people can go out the night before a major test, walk in the next day, and ace the test. I am so jealous of those people.

Studying is key in college. It’s a lot different from high school and requires a lot more effort. I hope these study tips helped! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me, tweet me, or leave a comment below! What are your best study tips? I’d love to hear them!

-Abigail T.

  • Love these tips, Abigail!! πŸ™‚ I actually laughed when I read the “Don’t take too many breaks. Or let a break turn into an entire day. And then an entire day turn into an entire week.” Because that miiiiiight describe me a little too well at times.. πŸ™‚

    You’re so right, though, especially about finding your specific studying style! I vary mine depending on what class I’m taking, because I know that I can understand theory-based classes a lot better than memorization-based ones. And Quizlet is my LIFE. It’s the best!

    Rebecca Lindenbach

    • Thank you! I think finding my studying style has been a very valuable thing I’ve leaned since being in college!

  • Hi Abigail! This is such a great post. I love how you mentioned that not everyone has the same study habits. Sometimes, what works for our friends may not work for us, and that’s totally fine! πŸ™‚