7 Ways to Improve Study Habits from Freshman to Senior Year

Conventional wisdom says learning more means having to study more. However, there are ways to learn as much while studying less. This is best done by connecting different ideas. It’s the same way the brain operates which makes it work so well. Here are seven ways on how to improve studying from freshman to senior year.

  1. Learn to visualize. – Simply memorizing facts could overload your brain with information. Instead of doing this, remember something by learning to visualize. Break down information into smaller parts and remember these as mental pictures. This will make it easier to absorb and retain what you’ve learned in class.
  2. Add your thoughts. – Taking notes is an excellent way to remember points discussed during class. Maximize this technique by adding your thoughts to help you understand. This technique can be used throughout college from freshman to senior year.
  3. Teach other people – Learning something is one thing but retaining it is another. This way, you’re forced to simplify complex topics which aids in understanding the subject. Teaching forces your brain to connect different ideas as well.
  4. Be active in class. – Showing up for class is not enough. You’ll have to actively participate to get the most out of it. Ask questions when something become confusing.
  5. Avoid all-nighters. – It’s a common mistake freshmen make. Studying all night before an exam does more harm than good. It’s much better to allot an adequate amount of time for study.
  6. Use your syllabus. – Most professors won’t tell you which part of the book to read for the upcoming lecture. Refer to your syllabus to know which chapters to read before class starts.
  7. Join a study group. – Studying with a group of people provides an opportunity to clarify and organize thoughts. In addition to giving feedback, a study group can also motivate and keep you on track.

Studying isn’t as difficult as it seems. It’s just a matter of finding the right techniques to maximize learning and the motivation to keep going. Keep these ways on how to improve studying from freshman to senior year in mind to stay on track and graduate on time.

Holly Dunsworth
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island. She’s editor of The Human Fossil Record room and Evolution P.S.A. Her work is published in scholar.googleable academic journals and books, as well as in 826 National’s Don’t Forget to Write. She’s also offering her works at research paper service AceWriters for his students. Since it aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition, her totally sappy This I Believe essay “I Am Evolution” remains in the top five of the site’s columns of all time. Follow the updates on her most recent works at Twitter