So, maybe you followed advice from our previous post and set up a calendar, established good study habits, and committed to taking notes in class. But now we’re further into the semester and it’s starting to get harder. So what now? To answer that question, we return with more tips from our expert sources.
1. Say no to multitasking
Multitasking always seems like a great idea. But new research shows that you’re not so much doing it all at once as switching very fast between tasks, and that switching means you’re constantly interrupting yourself and won’t remember as much.
2. Use your notes wisely
Hey, remember all those handwritten notes you took? Don’t forget to take a look at them later! Take a second to glance over your class notes every couple of weeks, and you’ll find it a lot easier to remember what they say when it comes test time. You might even want to use them to make flash cards or draw pictures that will help them to stick in your memory.
3. If you’re going to waste time pretending to study, you might as well be studying
Secrets of College Success says it best: “Don’t give yourself credit for studying when you’re actually just cleaning your desk, getting together the reading, or reorganizing the files on your laptop.” (55) Use our study rooms for extra quiet!
4. Take breaks, and give yourself rewards
You might think that your best chance of getting through a big project is to just keep going. Not so, according to the colorfully-named Kick A** In College: “Most people can maintain real intensity for about thirty minutes without interruption” (129), but after that they’re not as effective. Fix this by giving yourself a few minutes to walk around outside, eat a piece of candy, or just clear your head. When you finish a big chunk of work, give yourself a bigger reward.
–Contributed by Carl Lehnen, former ECC Reference Librarian