Studying Tips

Student using a laptop

Whether you know how to study, or are struggling with finding your own personal study habits, this comprehensive list will help get you moving towards healthy study habits.

  • Make use of this handy tip sheet "Surviving Finals 101" to help you start (or get) prepared for finals week!
  • Whenever possible, study in a location where you do not sleep, eat, or play.
    •  It is often too tempting to take a nap, watch TV, and get distracted online or hang out with others in these places when trying to study.
  • Utilize an interactive note taking strategy (e.g. Cornell Note taking)!  The goal is to understand and retain the information—not simply regurgitate information.
  • Highlight key topics and concepts while reading your textbooks. It is ok to highlight important key topics with a yellow highlighter and make notes in pencil in your textbooks.  Do NOT highlight all the words on the page; focus on key topics and key concepts.
  • Try to study without looking at your cell phone for at least 30 minutes.
    • It is amazing how much more can be accomplished when people are not stopping a task to retrieve and respond to a message.
  • Cramming is not effective. For the best results: study notes before/after class.
  • Study in the library whenever possible.
    • Students can EAT AND DRINK in the library (with the exception of the computer stations).
    • The third floor is the quiet floor—there are even individual and group study rooms there!
    • Try picking up lunch at the Crossing and then eating the food while studying at the library.
  • Walking back to the residence halls to study adds time to the day and often leads to students getting a little distracted (i.e. peers swing by to ask the student to participate in another activity).
  • Get a tutor early if/when the course is going to be extremely difficult. Many students qualify for free tutoring. Students who are not eligible for free tutoring only pay $1.50/hour
  • Make a point to see your professors and instructors in their office hours at least one time every semester. Check the syllabus for the professor’s office hours and office location.
  • Students can simply stop by to introduce him/herself, ask a question about the professor’s interests (e.g. “what drew you to the criminal justice field”), or ask a question about a class topic.
  • Utilize campus resources. Many resources are FREE!
  • Create a master calendar the beginning of the semester. First Year Experience staff members can assist students with this.
  • All assignment due dates, exam dates, and final paper dates should be written into the planner.
  • Attend Student Academic Success seminars
  • Study at least two to three hours outside of class for every hour spent in class. So, students should likely study 30–45 hours/week.
  • Utilize PALs (Peer Assisted Learners) when applicable.

Utilize online resources:

  • Ask questions or look for computations using wolframalpha
  • Practice exercises and videos to help you learn at Khan Academy
  • Make your own study note cards with studyblue

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