By: Elana Goodwin, Uloop
Many people tend to make goals for a new semester related to getting healthy, losing weight, spending more time with loved ones, saving more money, etc. However, some of the most important goals for college students to make concern studying.
Tests tend to make up a big part of students' grades in college, so having good study habits is a necessity. Here are seven studying goals college students should make for this semester.
1. Don’t procrastinate
When you put off studying until the last minute, you force yourself to cram for a test, and you are less likely to retain the information this way. Start scheduling study time further in advance before an exam so you don’t have to spend hours and hours the few days before or the night before trying to review all the material.
This may be a tough goal to have, but the more time you’re able to spend with the information, the more likely you are to remember it and remember it correctly.
2. Go to class
Going to class, taking notes, and starting to absorb and become familiar with the material there is a key step that will help facilitate better studying. If you skip classes a lot, you'll be forced to teach yourself the information and learn on your own, which means when you could be reviewing your notes and studying, you'll only be learning the material for the first time.
Make it your goal to actually go to class this semester (and only let yourself skip now and again) — you'll have more and better information to study from if you attend class, and rereading what you wrote during class is a great and simple way to start your test review early.
3. Do the reading
Along with attending classes, actually doing the assigned reading for your class is an important studying goal to have for this semester. When you do the assigned readings — when they're supposed to be read — you allow yourself time to adequately read the textbook and other materials and you'll be more prepared for your classes, which means more of the information lectured about and discussed in class will make sense.
When you skim the readings or blow them off, you force yourself to cram doing all the assigned readings into a day or two before the exam when your time would be better spent simply reviewing your materials and notes, rather than completing assignments you should've already done.
4. Review your notes
Don’t just start reviewing and studying for a test a few days or the day before your exam. Instead, try to set aside time each day to review your notes — when you do go to study for a test, your retention rate will be much higher since you’ll have already gone over the material multiple times and will remember the information better.
Resolve to review your notes for even just 10 minutes each night so you become increasingly familiar with the material and are that much less stressed before the exam about just starting to study.
5. Find a good study spot
A good study spot is a crucial studying tool - so make it your goal to explore what locale will help you study productively. Many students find successful studying occurs in a campus library, but if you're more comfortable sticking to your dorm, apartment, or house, those places can work too.
Figure out what environment will allow you to concentrate the best and try to schedule in some time to go there and study starting a few days before an exam.
6. Switch up study spots
Once you've found a good study spot, you may want to stick to it for all your studying. However, studies have actually shown that rotating your study space is a more effective way to remember information since memory is influenced by location. That means alternating your study spots actually increases your retention rate.
So rather than just sticking to one study spot that you like, resolve to try to find a few places on campus or in your home that allow you to study effectively and vary your study spots over the course of your test review.
7. Get plenty of sleep
Rather than staying up super late cramming for an exam, make a goal to plan your studying schedule ahead so you can still get 6-8 hours of sleep the night before your test. Being well-rested and getting enough sleep allows the information you studied to sink in, which will enable you to perform better on your exam.
By making these seven goals for studying, your studying will be more effective and your test scores will be that much better. However, these goals only work if you make them and actually carry them out. Good luck!
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