College students, what are your most effective study skills and work habits?
I'm addressing this question to college students, but anyone is welcome to answer. : ) What are your most effective work habits? What learning skills best enable you to process and retain knowledge? Bonus Questions ~ ~ Are there apps or devices (such as a Kindle or tablet) that are helpful to you? ~... show more Update: This is a link to a pdf with study skills that have been effective for me: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/CTL/Student... ** I am not the one who created the list. ** Update 2: THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL, USEFUL ANSWERS!!!!See Answer 10 Add Answers
How I study:
For studying math and physics, my most effective habit is simply to read the material, including the example problems, before attempting any of the problems. Every textbook is different, but usually math textbooks have problems after every section of a chapter, while physics textbooks have problems after every whole chapter. So for math assignments, it's easier to go back to the material whenever I'm stumped in order to review something I may have missed. I would also check the answer in the back of the book to make sure I got it right. If I got it wrong, I go back to the problem to check if I had made a mistake while calculating, or if I made an incorrect assumption in the beginning of the problem, I start all over.
When taking notes, I try to be as neat and thorough as possible, so that when I return to it, I can actually interpret what I wrote. Using a notebook instead of loose paper is more organized. Math and Physics will involve a lot of equations, so one thing I like to do is to draw little arrows pointing to individual letters of an equation, and at the end of those arrows, I would annotate what that letter represent. I would also write on the side other important considerations for that equation.
Where I study:
Preferrably, I would study in a quiet place, which would usually be at home. However, sometimes it's good to study with or around other classmates, so that we could help each other or I could at least overhear what they're discussing as a way to learn. I also have a gaming computer at home, so by staying in the library or a study lab, I won't become distracted by gaiming or web-browsing, even though it might be somewhat noiser in school than at home.
Other study habits:
Other things I do is I would answer questions on Yahoo relavant to what I'm learning, and this really helps me practice explaining something to someone else, rather than just learning and doing the problem. If I'm really stumped, I might ask the problem on Yahoo Answers or e-mailing my professor, or look up an existing answer. I would make sure to explain my attempt at solving the problem as well so that others can pinpoint what I don't understand and devote extra attention in that area. Simply asking a question on yahoo and saying "how do I do this?" won't really be beneficial for me, because answerers will likely explain something that I could just read from the textbooks anyway.
The bottom line:
I strive to study all the material, and leave no stone unturned. That's really the only way to get an A. No matter what tricks you have up your sleeve, or how much you optimize your routines, the biggest factor in success at school is how much time and effort you put in.
Before an exam:
The day/hours before an exam, I would either review the relevant material or catch up on sleep. Ineffective habits would be playing a game just before the exam. Once I did that, and I got an F, even though I had done all my homework and read the material and everything. Maybe it was a more difficult exam than usual, and that despite my studying, I still didn't fully grasp the concepts, but never again will I play a game before an exam to "relax" or anything.
Tools I use:
Most math or science students probably have heard of wolframalpha.com. It's like a super calculator that can calculate a lot of advanced equations by just typing it in. It also can display 3D graphs, and more. Other than that, I just use a simple TI-30X scientific calculator and of course a periodic table for Chemistry.
Well, I am not a college student yet, but I will be this June. :)
Work habits :
I have to admit right off the bat that I am a neat freak. I am starting to think I'm a bit OCD, but that is probably just my imagination working overtime. I have separate folders for each of my six classes; everything is labeled and sometimes when I get hasty during class, I will go home and organize all the papers again.
I enjoy taking the time to clean my folders thoroughly after the semester ends. I dispose of my planner (if it's all full) and buy a new one. I enjoy buying large planners because my hectic schedule cannot be fit on a modest sheet of paper. On the weekends (if I find time), I try to fill out my planner for the next week so I do overlook any important meetings, appointments, etc.
I have to work in a quiet space. My friends and I have all very incredibly diverse study habits - some study at Starbucks, others at the park, etc; but I concentrate best in the mid afternoon while sitting at the library or somewhere peaceful. I have a short attention span, so I try to keep my workspace as less cluttered as possible. I enjoy writing small post it notes and taping them on my bedroom door or main calender, so I don't forget what to do.
I am a visual person. I enjoy reading over notes and going over powerpoints. I also enjoy watching Youtube tutorials because I learn well from watching some excellent tutors going over tedious math or chemistry problems. I am a note taking person. I can and will literally take notes for hours without feeling agitated. Granted, there are days when I can hardly hold a pen, but for the most part, I like keeping my notes tidy so I can review them later.
BQ1: Hm, I don't like using technology to help me stay organized and on task. I often find myself spending too much time on Facebook, Y!A, Youtube, or Google. I enjoy using a planner because I am able to cross that task off and therefore feel a sense of accomplishment.
BQ2: At my house or the library.
BQ3: Easily distracted. Like I mentioned before, my attention span is brief but I am working on improving it slowly. I am proud to admit that I am able to study for math for a few hours without having to "use the loo" or "find a snack."
BQ4: I don't think there are ineffective study habits. Each individual is different, so what one person finds ineffective the other person might find effective. I know there are people who don't enjoy taking notes as they find it time consuming, but I enjoy doing so and it helps me.
Honestly, I think the key to an effective studying is to study smart, not hard.
What I mean by that is, study in the way that works for you and make sure you're completely relaxed when you start studying.
I leave everything for either the night before or 6 hours before the exam, but that's because I find it easier to concentrate then because I'm under pressure. That has always worked for me. When studying I just read over lecture slides or read the chapters in the book and high light the information that I find important and read out loud.
I find it easier to learn things that need to be figured out, like Maths and Chemistry. I hate learning facts, I just can't sit down and read a book that has facts only, like History.
- I don't use any apps or devices to help me study. I study the old fashioned way.
- The Library, the living room, my bedroom.
- Yes, I need complete silence when I'm studying or doing an assignment.
- Most ineffective habits for me would be reading someone else's notes. I need to figure things out myself, that's the only way I can learn.
Anonymous · 3 years ag
I find that using applications such as iStudiez Pro or iHomework thusly benefit your overall organizational skills and such throughout college and even high school levels. In addition, I literally always use Quizlet to remember key terms and phrases. Through using that website, it is extremely facilitated to retain knowledge of such vocabulary and phrases.
Hope this helps. :)