Upgrade Your Study Habits
Everyone has to study. Like doing laundry or brushing your teeth, studying should be a regular, automatic part of your routine throughout your academic career. As long as you are in school, you should be studying. Let’s go over how to upgrade your study habits to make the most of your study time.
Great studying starts with scheduling. Put aside time every week for studying, and don’t make plans over your study time. In whatever calendar/planner you use (you should only use one and put everything on it), schedule specific study time. Whether it’s one hour a week or two hours a day, your study time should be concrete.
Planning out study time isn’t as easy as putting a test’s date in your planner and saying you’ll study before the test. You’ll need to make your study time regular and specific to guarantee you’ll study enough before the day of the test.
On your planner, put down everything you need to get done as soon as it comes up. Whenever you’re given a homework assignment, appointment, or meeting with your friends, try to set a specific time for the event so it can go in your planner. Remember, “later” doesn’t count.
Having an organized planner that you live by is not only a good study strategy, but a valuable life skill.
You should share this planner with your parent/guardian, or whoever can help you stay on time with your plans. If someone drives you to meetings with friends, or if you share a car with somebody, share your planner with them as well. That way, they’ll know exactly when you need a ride or need to borrow the car.
When it’s finally time to study, you should plan out each study session. If you’re reviewing for a test, block out some time to spend on each topic. Make sure to give more time to topics you need review more.
If it’s a project or essay, make sure to plan out each step of the assignment. Projects and essays can take weeks or months, and planning can keep the assignment moving along with steady progress. With long assignments like these, don’t save all the hard work for the night before the due date. Save the last few days before the due date to look over the project and see if anything is missing or wrong.
Steady progress over a long period of time will give you better grades and less stress than doing everything at the last minute.
Great study habits are all about preventing low grades and all-nighters. Some late-night study sessions are inevitable, especially in college, but they’re unhealthy and less effective than consistent long-term studying. I got my COVID booster right after an all-nighter, and I was in bed for three days. Don’t do what I did!
Smaller assignments don’t require as much planning but provide a great opportunity to see which topic you need to study. If a question or problem is difficult for you, write it down and go over it while you’re reviewing for the test. You may find that the questions and problems that are giving you trouble cover similar topics to those that will show up on the big test, and that will show you what you need to review most.
Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help with specific topics. They can give you materials or textbook pages to help you review on your own time, and many teachers will offer you time after class to go over assignments with them one-on-one.
Schools don’t often teach study habits. They teach the topics themselves: math, English, sciences, etc. They don’t have time to help each student find what study habits and strategies work for them. It’s up to you to learn how you study, but if you figure it out, you’ll have a massive advantage on every test and exam you take!
This process of learning how you study will involve time, trial, and error, but upgrading your studying is essential to maintaining good grades and low stress throughout your academic career.
Author: Hastings Davin