6 Essential College Study Skills

Developing and implementing successful college study skills can be a hassle.

The study skills that you developed in high school have to be enhanced in college, where the workload is heavier and more time consuming.  For me, high school was a time where I could study for 20 to 30 minutes for multiple tests and pass each of them with ease.

However, upon entering college I realized that those study habits could not be used due to the different academic atmosphere. Studying for 20 to 30 minutes will get me nothing but a failing grade.  It is essential to balance studying for all of your classes in order to obtain the information you need to succeed.

Here are a few tips that can help you develop great college study skills or boost the skills you already have.

Set Study Hours

Setting study hours is a great way to develop or improve your college study skills. This requires you to set aside a time everyday that is devoted only to studying. Maybe you could designate 30 minutes to an hour of study time each day. Or you could study for about an hour after each class you take in order to make sure you fully grasp the information.

However much time you think you need to study, take that time and transform it into your study hours. Talk to your roommates and come up with a time that you all can agree on for study hours. That way, the room will be nice and quiet since everyone is studying. Always make time for your academics.

Peace and Quiet

College can often be a noisy place and for many students, too much noise can be disruptive to their study process. Finding a quiet place to study is a great way to develop and enhance your college tudy skills. If you pick a quiet place to study, chances are you will be more able to focus on the material you’re studying.

The library is a great place to study, whether it is on campus or in the surrounding neighborhood. Many dormitories have quiet study spaces and lounges for students to use as well. Find a quiet spot for yourself and get to studying. Or if you simply cannot find a quiet space for yourself, setting study hours with your roommates is a great idea, as stated above.

Find a Different Location

I don’t know about anyone else but studying in my dorm was difficult for me my freshmen year. Even though my room was quiet since my roommate and I set study hours, I always found something to be distracted by. Whether it was the television (that wasn’t even on) or the pictures on my desk of family and friends, I could not seem to focus in my room. I finally concluded that I had to change my scenery in order to really study.

This is a conclusion that many students come to when they need to study. Finding a different place can improve your focus. Try the school library or maybe even a campus dining hall, if you don’t mind a little noise. Depending on the weather, you could go outside and sit on a nice spot in the grass while you study. Sometimes a change of scenery helps.

Join a Study Group

Study groups can be the best thing since chocolate ice cream (and, let’s face it, nothing can really compete with chocolate ice cream). Classes are filled with students trying to develop their college study skills, just like you.

Remember, you are not alone. So being a part of a study group can be very helpful. That way, if there is any information you are struggling to understand, someone in your study group may be able to explain it to you. If none of you understand, you can all figure it out together. Whether you join an existing study group or start your own, having the support of your classmates can really help.

Make a Study Guide

There is a lot of material to cover in college classes. Studying it all can be overwhelming. There are times when you don’t know where to start and where to finish. Creating a study guide for yourself can give make studying easier on yourself since you’ll know what to study first and what you need to know. A study guide is like a map of all the information you have received in class that you need to study.

Don’t be afraid to ask your professor to help create your study guide. Professors are more than happy to help students understand the material. They want to see you succeed. Sometimes professors will create their own study guides and hand them out to students. That can be helpful but if they don’t, make your own. Study guides can help relieve some of that overwhelming feeling that can accompany studying.

Study Breaks

College students can get so wrapped up in studying that they forget to do the necessary things to be healthy and stay focused, like eat or even sleep. This is not the best idea. While studying is important, your health is even more important. Make sure you take study breaks when you are studying. If you don’t, it will be even harder to focus. Looking at class material for too long can turned even the most focused individual into a ball of mush.

Take some time for you to relax and breathe. Study for a while, and then give yourself no less than 30 minutes to relax and refocus.  Have a snack or a meal. Get up and stretch. Take a nap. If it is night time, get a good night’s rest. A study break will help you feel rejuvenated so that you can actually retain the information you are learning. There is such a thing as studying too much. Make sure you stay healthy and well rested.

College study skills develop and grow as your college career progresses. The above tips are just a few that can help you thrive in studying. It may be difficult at first but trust me, studying gets easier. Make sure to stay healthy and well rested. It will all be worth it!

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Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter is a senior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in theater as well as a minor in sociology. A self-declared cinephile, Ashlyn enjoys watching and studying film in hopes of one day being involved in various aspects of the film industry. Her passions also include in writing, reading, baking and performing Shakespeare for her dog.
Ashlyn Porter

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