You may have earned excellent grades at high school without putting in much effort, but university is different. It’s down to you to ensure you study effectively and use your time wisely. If you want to see improvements in 2023, commit to adopting some smart study habits.
1. Stay Motivated
You’ll find it easier to sit down and study if you’re motivated. You may find motivation from meeting your goals, having the chance to overcome challenges, or enjoying the topic you’re studying. Figure out what motivates you and use this to push through when what you’re studying is difficult or you’re not in the mood.
2. Find What Works for You
Everyone is different when it comes to best practices for studying. Although you need a place where you can study without interruptions, good lighting to read without straining your eyes, and a comfortable surface to write, other factors differ from person to person.
For instance, you’ll need to determine at what time of day you’re able to study best and what kind of atmosphere helps you. You may prefer to be alone or you may find it easier to study when you’re around other people.
3. Create a Study Schedule
Draw up a schedule that will keep you studying on a regular basis throughout the week and allow you to finish assignments on time to ensure you never need to pull an all-nighter. Create a study schedule at the beginning of the semester, taking into account key dates. Be realistic about how much you can achieve in each study session and how many days you need to complete tasks.
Remember that your study schedule should be flexible. If you discover you need to dedicate more time to studying for one class than another, adjust your schedule accordingly. You should also monitor your progress toward your goals to check that you remain on track.
Finally, organize the rest of your time around your study schedule. Although you should have plenty of fun at university, academics need to be your priority.
4. Take Breaks
Rather than trying to stay focused for long periods of time, take regular breaks. If your mind is drifting when you’re trying to study, it will take you twice as long to complete tasks and you’ll retain less information.
Make a note of how long it takes you to start losing concentration. In subsequent sessions, set a timer and only study for this long. A break of just a few minutes will help you feel refreshed and prepared to continue.
Breaks also promote good mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and feelings of not being in control. Use short breaks to do some stretches or to grab a healthy snack. On longer breaks, try to spend time with others, practice your hobbies, or fit in a workout.
5. Reward Yourself
After you finish a task, reward yourself. This will give you something to look forward to and push you to keep going until the end. You can also reward yourself for achieving the grade you wanted. Don’t worry about what your classmates achieved — focus on your own goals.
You’ll study better if you have a quiet place where you can go to focus without distractions. This is easier when you live off campus. You can find rooms for rent in Edmonton, Alberta, at 1Ten on Whyte — we have apartments ranging from bachelor suites to four-bedroom suites. All are fully furnished, including a study desk and chair in each bedroom. Book your in-person or video tour now.