College is oftentimes the most exciting and transformative period in your life. However, the process of mastering the material it takes to do well and pass your classes can be grueling and anxiety-inducing. Don’t let the first year of tough classes push you over the edge. There are several strategies new college students can implement to optimize and accelerate the study process. Here are five of them.
This is one of the most effective study strategies available to students of all ages, and you probably remember making them in kindergarten as well as high school. Flashcards make studying easy and convenient. They can be reviewed when you’re in line at the grocery store, sitting on a train, or waiting for a friend to arrive for lunch. Just 10 minutes of review per day can help you remember key facts, dates, and definitions.
Pick the Perfect Place
Even if you possess the discipline necessary to study regularly, your environment can detract from your ability to do so effectively. Make a point to pick the perfect place to review your material. For some people, the ideal place is their dorm, spread out on the bed. But others find this setting too conducive to relaxation and sleep, so you may want to try studying at the university library or in empty classrooms.
Develop a Professional Relationship with Your Professors
No matter how studious you are, there will likely be some material you find difficult to digest. Developing a professional relationship with your professors is important to make difficult classes a little less stressful. These individuals can answer questions you have regarding information and ideas that you find inaccessible, archaic, or too abstract. Don’t be afraid to go to other professors in the same department as well. Sometimes just having material explained or looked at in a different way can help you come to terms with it.
Join A Study Group
In addition to developing a professional relationship with your professor, make sure you join a good study group and develop relationships with fellow classmates. This step will help you work with other individuals who are reviewing the same material, and increase the likelihood you can pass the test. Joining a study group can also help you get the motivation to actually study. While many people are willing to break their own study dates, they will oftentimes show up when they don’t feel like it if they know they’ve made a commitment to others.
Utilize Extracurricular Resources
Online courses, computer programs, and subject-related talks are extracurricular resources that can empower you to really wrap your brain around the material you’re studying. If you’re a law student, companies like TalksOnLaw can provide you with important legal talks you can access and view online. If you are taking history courses, local museums can provide you with reading and research material that can help push you forward.
If you’re serious about optimizing your academic performance in college, now is the time to put together a strategic plan. You can use some or all of the study strategies outlined above to get on the path of academic excellence right now.