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Effective Study Habits: Home

Tips for studying.

Effective Study Habits

You can prepare yourself to succeed in your studies.  Try to develop and appreciate the following habits:

Begin learning from the first day of class.

Studies show that students establish study habits for each course during the first few weeks of the semester. Often, students misjudge the amount of time needed to study for each course because the first few weeks of a course seem easy.  The first few weeks are subject-material review to prepare students for the harder material that comes later.

Take responsibility for yourself.

Responsibility is recognition that in order to succeed you can make decisions about your priorities, your time, and your resources.

Center yourself around your values and principles.

Do not let family, friends, and acquaintances dictate what you consider important.

Put first things first.

Follow up on the priorities you have set for yourself, and do not let others, or other interests, distract you from your goals.

Discover your key productivity periods and places.

Morning, afternoon, or evening: study where you can be the most focused and productive.  Prioritize these (times and place) for your most difficult study challenges. Remember, it takes more time to complete homework after the sun has set than it does during the day.

Consider yourself in a win-win situation.

You win by doing your best and contributing your best to a class, whether for yourself, your fellow students, or even for your instructors. If you are content with your performance, a grade becomes an external check on your performance.

First understand others, and then attempt to be understood.

When you have an issue with an instructor, for example a questionable grade or an assignment deadline extension, put yourself in the instructor's place. Now, ask yourself how you can best make your argument given his/her situation.

Look for better solutions to problems.

For example, if you do not understand the course material, do not just re-read the material. Try something else! Consult with the instructor, a tutor, an academic advisor, a classmate, a study group, or your school's study skills center.

Learning and Over-learning.

The hallmark of learning is repetition.  Go over your notes soon after class.  Go over your notes briefly before the next class.  Schedule some time each week for more in-depth learning.


Organize your notes, texts, and assignments.  Estimate the hours you will need to review materials.  Draw up a schedule that blocks units of time and material.  Test yourself on the material.  

Look to continually challenge yourself.

It is recommended that for every hour you spend in the classroom, you should spend 1.5 hours studying.  If you spend 3 hours in class, you should spend 4.5 hours studying.  THIS IS FOR EACH CLASS!!!!


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