Study habits – what? When I graduated high school and went to college I had NO clue what study habits were. I FOR SURE did not know how to study on my own.
I hard core flunked out of my first attempt at college at a large university. There were a lot of factors but one of them was not knowing how to study. In high school I did not have to study, listening in class and looking over the teachers detailed review sheets were enough for me to succeed. It felt as though I did not have to put much work in at all (except for stupid math). Having said that I was a lost little puppy when I got to college and there were 300 people in my Chemistry 101 class. The professor covered everything I knew about Chemistry in the first class! I made a 30 on the first test and I felt so defeated. I had never failed anything before. I had some serious self doubt and ultimately left the university.
I recently returned to college and graduated from nursing school. It was SOO hard and there were many times I thought I was going to fail, but these habits helped me succeed. My hope is they can help you as well.
- Find a friend or study group – I can not stress this enough. It can be difficult to put yourself out there, but this tip alone got me through then entirety of nursing school. It’s also important to note that it is OK to walk away from a study group that you are not getting anything out of (this took me a long time to figure out). Everyone learns differently and it is best to find others that share your same or similar learning style. People who blow off study group or you consistently are NOT serious about studying, dump them (as nicely as you can). You are responsible for your education, don’t let others mooch off of you or not pull their weight in study situations. EVERYONE should contribute something (again something I learned the hard way).
- Skim the reading BEFORE you go to class.
- Key words are important and generally so are the sentences surrounding them. When skimming the chapter I highlight all of the key words and read the sentence before and after. I can not tell you how many times the answer to a super hard test question was from a sentence right before a key word.
- If available take the end of chapter quiz BEFORE and AFTER reading the chapter. This is super helpful to do before the teachers lectures on a subject. When you hear the lecture it will trigger important points of the chapter that you should pay attention to or write down.
- Write notes in a format that you can easily skim over later. That may mean re-writing them when class is done.
- If the teacher hands out notes STUDY THEM! They are not handing them out for no reason (usually).
- If tutors are available USE them no matter how well you think you know the subject. Most of the time the tutors have taken the class with the same teacher and can offer some new perspective on the class.
The short of it is you get out what you put in. Studying is a LOT of work. I hope that some or all of these tips help to make your studying a little easier or at least a bit more organized. If anything it’s a place to start if like me you are totally lost on how to study.
Let me know in the comments what study habits you use that are not listed? If you try any of these out let me know how it goes.