How do I Cultivate Good College Study Habits?

K. Gierok

Developing good college study habits is essential to ensure good academic results. Some of the most important college study habits include avoiding procrastination, cramming for tests, and studying in noisy environments. In addition, students should learn when and how to take a break from studying in order to have the best results.

Limiting off campus activities during periods of increased homework is an important study habit.
Limiting off campus activities during periods of increased homework is an important study habit.

When it comes to developing good college study habits, students should start by avoiding procrastination. While procrastination may seem like a good choice at the time, it can lead to the development of high amounts of stress and pressure when due dates begin to roll around and pile up. Those who are interested in developing good college study habits may want to consider the purchase of a date book, which will allow them to keep track of due dates, tests, and other important dates. Having a written reminder of these events may encourage students to get an early start on these assignments.

Some courses will offer practice exams so students will know what to study.
Some courses will offer practice exams so students will know what to study.

Individuals who are interested in developing good college study habits should also be sure to avoid cramming for tests. While "pulling an all-nighter" may seem like a requirement for new college students, studies have found that the knowledge retained through this method is very low indeed. Students may remember enough to get through a particular test, but they typically will not remember the information when it comes time for its practical use. Students should avoid cramming by devoting adequate amounts of time each night for studying for a period of several days before the test date. Reading the text, reviewing notes, and studying with fellow students will prevent the need to cram the night before the test.

Trying to pull an all-nighter doesn't always mean everything will get done.
Trying to pull an all-nighter doesn't always mean everything will get done.

Studying in quiet environments is also important for those hoping to develop good college study habits. While music, television, and cell phones may not seem distracting at the time, studies have found that they significantly decrease the amount of information that is absorbed during study periods. Though a small minority of students may claim that they need "noise" to study, these individuals have been found to have just as much success in environments which are noise-free.

Taking a practice exam can help students know what to expect on the final.
Taking a practice exam can help students know what to expect on the final.

Learning when and how to take a break is also important in the development of good college study habits. Any adult who has successfully completed a college degree will testify to the importance of taking regular breaks during study periods. Failure to do this can significantly decrease the rate of information absorption. Students who begin to notice a decrease in their attention should get up, go for a walk, talk to a friend, or perform another activity for a few minutes in order to get their mind off the topic, and then return to their homework.

Some people find it easier to study outdoors when the weather is nice.
Some people find it easier to study outdoors when the weather is nice.
Good study habits include studying some every night and avoiding cramming for tests.
Good study habits include studying some every night and avoiding cramming for tests.
Taking notes may help make learning more efficient.
Taking notes may help make learning more efficient.
Good study habits can keep students from feeling overwhelmed.
Good study habits can keep students from feeling overwhelmed.
It's important to find a good place to study for exams.
It's important to find a good place to study for exams.
Audio recordings of lectures are useful when studying for an exam.
Audio recordings of lectures are useful when studying for an exam.
College students who develop critical thinking and time management skills may be better positioned to excel in college.
College students who develop critical thinking and time management skills may be better positioned to excel in college.
Students should expect a rigorous academic curriculum in college.
Students should expect a rigorous academic curriculum in college.
Good study habits may include marking important passages in texts.
Good study habits may include marking important passages in texts.
Using noise canceling headphones can minimize distractions when studying.
Using noise canceling headphones can minimize distractions when studying.

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