One of the most daunting parts of starting college is feeling unprepared for classes. Strategies that you utilized in high school are oftentimes ineffective due to the rigor of collegiate coursework. Additionally, everybody is different, so creating a PERSONALIZED plan is essential for success. Here are 4 questions that you should answer to develop your own plan!
1) What TIME do you study the most efficiently?
Some people feel most productive in the morning while others enjoy studying at night. Determine what time fits best with your schedule and tendencies and stick to it. You can then structure other aspects of your life (exercise, social life) around this time. This way, you can ensure that you are carving out adequate time for studying every day.
Personally, I am more of a morning person and like to study right after completing my morning routine!
https://www.oxfordlearning.com/best-time-day-to-study/ -> check out this site for context
2) Do you like focusing on one subject at a time or multiple?
Determine whether you like focusing on one class at a time or can balance multiple classes at once. When planning to study, you can block out specific times for specific classes or just have a section of time dedicated to schoolwork generally.
Personally, during the average week, I dedicate a certain amount of time to school GENERALLY. However, during exam week, I plan out what I need to cover for each class and study for each course independently!
3) How long can you concentrate before a break is needed?
Some people can study for hours on end, while others have difficulty focusing for more than 15 minutes. Be honest with yourself and determine how strong your focus is.
I can study for long periods of time if I have short breaks integrated into the session. As a result, I found the Pomodoro method to be the most useful for me!
There are other ways to go about this, but try the Pomodoro method to see if it works for you (it is scientifically backed to be beneficial).
4) Do you need a detailed plan to study effectively?
Some people can waltz into a library with no plan and get all of their work done. Others need to have everything written down, color-coded, and documented. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
For me, I use Google Tasks to keep track of assignments. Around exam time, I handwrite everything and keep track of my progress throughout the week.
I know this guide does not include specific suggestions, but the fact of the matter is that everyone should utilize a different plan. Everyone has different tendencies and should therefore use different strategies to maximize success!