Shake up those study habits

Parul Kanwar - 21 January 2021

Are you ready for another round of studying?

With a semester (or many) in the bag, are you ready to start another round of studying? Here's some tips if some things just didn't click for you.

If you tried highlighting and underlining

Did you tediously highlight everything important and have Instagram-worthy notes—which served no benefit? Highlighting draws attention to individual facts and may hamper the process of making connections and drawing inferences.

Try this instead: Instead of highlighting the entire page (and we've all been there), try to focus on highlighting only the most important information. (Easier said than done when everything seems to be.) If you're stuck, check the back of your book for a glossary or vocabulary section and go from there.

If you tried rereading to absorb more information

Sometimes this works and other times it just doesn't. Rereading can feel like a huge waste of time, especially if you're feeling crunched. Save this tactic for when you genuinely feel you didn't get it the first time around.

Try this instead: Browse the for main points and for the general idea: Read the topic sentences and see if it feels familiar. If not, give it your attention. Pick your battles!

If you tried Zoom and group study sessions

Studying with friends can be fun and relaxing, but you probably didn't get much actual work done.

Try this instead: If you study with friends, try setting expectations for each other and keep each other on track.

If you tried studying with background music

Studying with music in the background works for some people but, more often than not, all you might leave with is the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s Evermore.

Try this instead: If music is your thing and helps you concentrate, try a playlist you are already familiar with and play it at low volume. And if classical is your jam, even better! Music without lyrics or words is always best.

If you're on the all nighter squad

I've been there. You've been there. Cramming is something all of us have done, but it can be rough on your stress levels and your grades. You might remember things the next morning but chances are you will not commit information to memory for any longer.

Try this instead: Dip into the material at intervals over time. If you do want to pull an all nighter, try 20 or 30 minutes a day of hard core, focused studying and you will see that the information sticks to memory better.

If you love comfy time

I know how tempting it is to study in your comfiest blankets, but it is also super easy to get tired and fall asleep while reading anything in bed, let alone read a complicated essay.

Try this instead: If you have to study in bed for whatever reason, study on top of the covers or sit against your bed on the floor. Prop yourself up with pillows to avoid the temptation of lying down. You know best what makes you feel the Z’s so try to minimize the comfort.

Happy studying! This semester is yours for the taking!