The following study tips are provided by The Baldridge Reading & Study Strategy Program. This is a two week program at the beginning of fall term directed towards First-Year students, but open to upper-division students, as well.
- Plan enough preparation time for each class. Most college classes require at least 1-2 hours outside of class every hour in class, so plan accordingly. After your first few weeks with your new schedule, you will know how long you really need.
- Avoid generalization in your schedule such as "study." Commit to a definite "study biology pages 86-105."
- Utilize odd hours during the day for studying. The scattered one-hour to two-hour free periods between classes are easily wasted. Planning and establishing habits of using them for studying will result in free time for recreation or activities at other times in the week. Between classes, go to the library or an empty classroom and study for a 1/2 hour to an hour before going home or back to your room. These study breaks add up over the semester.
- Set goals and be realistic. Even getting a little accomplished is a good start. You become even closer to getting everything done! Remember not to push your limits. It is much better to have extra time instead of forcing things into a small time slot. If your concentration level is 50 minutes, then schedule study time in 50-minute blocks of time, take a 10-minute break then study another 50 minutes.
- Use time in the evening or late at night for review.
- Have a definite time to study during the day and do not allow anyone to interfere with your program. Budge your time so that this study period is the same every day.
- Take breaks! The average attention span is 50-90 minutes. You will learn more studying in small portions and you will not get "burned out" as easily. This also reduces the changes of daydreaming.
- Study the most difficult material first, when your concentration and energy is higher.
- When you start to study, study! Avoid procrastinating! Get down to work quickly!
- Concentrate on one subject at a time.
- You should come to the end of your study time with several questions. Put them on paper. Nothing pleases most instructors like an intelligent question, based not on ignorance of the assignment but on knowledge of it. Questions are very likely to contribute to your own further interest and understanding.
- Have a definite place where you may study without being bothered by distractions or people. Organize your materials and have everything that you will need within your reach. This way you will not be distracted by having to get up to find something.
- It is better to be one day's work ahead, than one day behind.
- Reward yourself for accomplishing a goal. This is great positive reinforcement!
For more study tips contact Baldridge Reading and Study Skills Program through the Office of Student Affairs.