Trying to find adequate time to study as you balance your college education with a full-time job and family responsibilities can feel like an impossible dream. To make the most of every available minute, you need to employ focused concentration and superior self-discipline.
Maybe you already know the best study environments for your personality, but if you’re still struggling to fine-tune your process, here are some good study tips from successful college students who’ve cracked the code.
1) Identify Your Optimal Auditory Experience.
Some students can only concentrate with a pair of headphones and soothing, melodic instrumentals, such as guitar or piano solos, flowing into their ears. Others need the most raucous head-banging rock music to focus. Some people find the droning chatter of cable TV news to be the perfect “white noise,” and others require the absolute silence of a library for effective study time.
Once you figure out the sounds, or lack of sounds, that help you concentrate, you can seclude yourself in your bedroom with headphones, grab a table at the lively coffee house, or make the blissfully quiet school or public library your study sanctuary.
2) Know Your Personal Circadian Rhythm.
Are you an early riser who has to tackle the most important mental tasks of the day first thing after coffee? Perhaps you don’t really feel alert until the sun goes down and others are fast asleep. Build your study schedule around your own unique energy patterns so that you’re sitting down with books and computer when you’re most alert and fresh.
3) Unplug, Log Off, and Focus In.
One of the best online course study tips is to shut down your email program, log out of all social media sites, and turn off your phone and store it in another room. By removing the temptation to check electronic gadgets and social media, you enhance your ability to work efficiently and effectively.
4) Fuel Your Brain.
Do you know that your brain is your most energy-demanding organ and uses one-half of all the sugar energy in your body? The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute advises, “Brain functions such as thinking, memory, and learning are closely linked to glucose levels and how efficiently the brain uses this fuel source.”
Without sufficient glucose derived from healthy snacks, such as fruits and whole grains, your brain can’t produce the chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. This causes communication between neurons to break down. Additionally, if your blood sugar is too low, your brain loses energy and you experience poor attention and impaired cognitive functioning. One of the best math study tips is to stay nourished and hydrated while you try to perform those complex calculations.
5) Be Prepared with Portability.
One of the best English study tips is to tuck your reading materials into your purse or backpack before you leave the house. This way, whenever you find yourself with unexpected time on your hands, you can whip out your coursework and maximize every moment. Seizing every chance to study that comes along is a sure indicator that you have what it takes to be a successful online student.
6) Schedule Every Single Thing.
When asked to share their most important examination study tips, successful college students point to creating a schedule and sticking to it consistently. Determine if a weekly or monthly calendar works best for you, and if your smartphone or a paper planner is most effective.
Block out time slots for attending classes, studying for exams, writing papers, and reading. Remember to allocate time for rest and recreation. If you’re the type who absolutely needs nothing at all to do every once in awhile, be sure to leave yourself plenty of wide-open breathing room, too.