Tips on how to study effectively

Hi friends. Today I thought I would tackle a topic I should be a pro at by now, studying.

It is not fun (I am sorry but that is the truth), but we have to do it in order to be successful, right? This can be applied for those of you who are not in school as well because we should always further educate ourselves and try to acquire new knowledge.

So, what makes me a so called pro in studying? Well, I have survived (almost at least) four years of college at three different universities (two of them being located in the US and one in Sweden). Not only have I almost survived these four years, but I have done so by maintaining my GPA at a 3.75 (4 is an A, 3 points for a B). For those of you who have no clue what that means, I have never received a grade below B.

How do you study successfully?

1. Change your environment

I love to sit at local coffee houses to study. It might seem expensive to pay $4-$5 for a coffee, but I think it is worth it. Why is this? Well, if i sit at a coffee shop to study instead of at home, I get more done in a shorter amount of time. Instead of getting distracted by everything at home (such as TV, cleaning, running to the fridge, etc.) I want to be on my best behavior in public and therefore I do my best to focus on what I am supposed to be doing. I have found that spending those five dollars is well worth it.

2. Make lists

If you know me, you know I am very dependent on my lists. I tend to forget a lot of things, but by writing lists I stay organized. It is such a satisfying feeling to check things off on a list once they are completed.

I try to make two types of lists each week on post it notes, sometimes a make daily ones in addition to my two weekly ones. My two weekly lists are, “urgent”, and “looking ahead”. On the urgent list I include items that I need to get done that week (or day) such as assignments, homework, essays, and quizzes that I need to study for. On the looking ahead list I write down things that are coming up in the near future (next week or the week thereafter) that take longer to finish such as studying for exams, doing projects, and writing research essays.

3. Invest in an agenda

Who would I be without my beloved agenda? Well for one, I would always be late and forget majority of the things I would ever have to get done. In my agenda, I like to store my lists and post it notes. I also write everything down in here (and yes, I mean EVERYTHING). I always transfer all my due dates for everything from my syllabuses on the first day of class to my agenda. In addition to school, I find it very important to write down when I work, when I am hanging out with people, when I have meetings, when I have school events, etc. You get it, everything goes in my agenda. How does this relate to studying?

By having everything written down, I can also plan my week accordingly. If I have a lot in school next week, but also a lot of fun stuff planned, and my current week is pretty airy, I try to get most of the following week's stuff done the previous week. It is easier for me to work ahead and complete assignments beforehand and also study ahead of time instead of on Sunday nights.

So remember:

  1. Change your environment

  2. Make lists

  3. Invest in an agenda

Did you find these tips useful?
What are your study tips?