Sometimes, as college students, it feels like we put endless hours into studying only to receive a low grade on an exam.
This vicious cycle can lead to burnout and may actually be the point that someone decides studying just isn’t worth the time and effort.
If you feel ready to throw in the towel, then it might be a good time to reevaluate your study habits and see if the methods you’re using are effective.
Here are some tips to help adjust your study methods and put yourself back on track to finish out the second half of the semester strong.
First, let’s get something out of the way: cramming is not the way to go. Okay so maybe some people are lucky enough to have a photographic memory that allows them to cram the night before and come out of the exam with an A, but for the other 99 percent of us, it just doesn’t cut it.
Cramming especially won’t help if the class has a comprehensive final. You want to focus on studying to understand — not just regurgitate — the information.
It is important that you don’t always study the same way. If you are trying to learn a set of information, don’t limit yourself to just one method. Use flashcards, diagrams, practice exams and any other method that will help you retain the information.
Take time at the beginning of the week to block out time for studying. If it isn’t planned, then it is less likely to happen. Trust me on this one.
Be realistic about how much time you have to study. For example, if you have a four-hour chunk of time to study, be sure to factor in the bathroom breaks, cell phone breaks (you’ll definitely pick up that phone) and food breaks.
This isn’t to say that the four hours aren’t enough, but don’t think that you’ll be able to stand four hours straight of studying.
As mentioned before, you will take breaks, and that is okay. In fact, it is more than okay — it is necessary.
Find a system that works for you and stick with it. For example, for every two hours I study, I take 20 minutes to do something else, like listen to music and go for a short walk around my apartment complex.
During your actual study time, be sure to write down any questions you come across and either ask them in class or email your professor. I promise you will not be bothering them, and they will be happy to answer your question.
The worst thing a student can do is a hit a roadblock while studying and not ask for help.
Last, and in my opinion most important, get to know people from your class and form study groups. However, there are a few problems to watch out for when forming a study group.
You will want to find people who are focused on doing well in the class, not the individuals who have the mantra of “C’s get degrees” as they study.
It is also important to make sure that the people you are studying with are positive and not negative. If you find that all they can do is complain about the class, then it is best to distance yourself.
Of course in a study group there will be times where you can vent or share your frustrations, but negativity breeds negativity and will not help you pass the class.
If you find that a particular study group is not working for you, don’t be afraid to branch out and work with other people in the class. You shouldn’t feel obligated to stick with the same group if you aren’t feeling benefitted.
Overall finding a study groove will take time but will be worth it when those final grades post. Hang in there, Wildcats, as we push forward into week nine.