Whether completing your education from a home computer (pusuing
an online degree) or within
the confines of a college campus, there are certain tips
and techniques that can be beneficial to any student and
at any age. It often feels that no matter what environment
in which we find ourselves conducting our studies, there
are a vast array of other factors pushing and pulling at
our attention. These factors can place certain constraints
upon how much time we feel we can devote to our schoolwork.
Making useful and efficient use of the time we have available
to spend on coursework and studies can be the difference
between a successful student, and one that just skates by
-- or worse, fails. Remember, it isn't always the amount
of time spent studying, but the quality of that time and
how well it is utilized. From attending class, to minimizing
distractions, and staying organized, even the smallest of
factors can make a huge difference in the ability to make
the most out of your limited time and still make the grade.
Go to class
While at first, sitting in class or in front of a computer
for an hour might not sound like the best use of your time,
it can be surprisingly useful in saving time down the road.
Professors are teaching for a reason, and while it might
seem hard to believe, that reason isn't just to hear themselves
talk. It many cases the material covered during class is
often the same material that will be found on the quizzes
and exams or needed to complete class projects. And having
the professor guide you through it in a 50-minute class
session will certainly be more effective than trying to
learn it on your own outside the classroom. Often, the professor
will also drop subtle and sometimes not so subtle hints
regarding certain requirements her or she will be looking
for on project work or items that might be found on upcoming
exams or the final. Notes taken during class will often
be an outline for future exams, which can be reviewed quickly
during study sessions. It therefore behooves you to go to
class, not only to make sure you'll be counted on the attendance
sheet but also to best utilize your study time.
Distractions can be the demise of any good study session.
No matter what they are or where they're located, distractions
can ruin the concentration required for optimum learning.
Televisions, radios, computers, and friends can prove the
greatest distracters for breaking into your thoughts. While
break periods are necessary in maintaining efficient learning
and sustaining your mental health, they should be taken in
moderation and kept relatively short. It only takes one bored
person on your dorm hall or stopping by your house or apartment
to create a distraction that could end up eating into hours
of your study time. "Hey, let's grab a burger!"
or "Want to check out this crazy video on the internet?"
can suddenly turn into an evening of lost productivity.
Keeping organized is one of the key factors required in making
the best use of your study time while in school. However,
you can't just scrawl things on scrap sheets of paper or napkins
you grabbed from the cafeteria. With work, family, friends,
extracurricular activities, as well as your studies vying
for your attention, you can feel as if you're being pulled
in three or four directions at once. Therefore, it is critical
to maintain lists to keep yourself organized and on task.
You must keep these lists in an area where you are sure to
remember to check them. It is also a good idea to keep your
lists handy and on your person so you are prepared when you
need to jot down something important like a test date, group
meeting time, work schedule, etc. It is often easiest to make
lists related to individual categories such as, "Work",
"School", "Household", "Extracurricular",
Carry an organizer/calendar
One of the best ways to make sure you are prepared at all
times to jot down your most important dates and duties is
by carrying an organizer with a planner-type calendar. Having
such a tool at your disposal can make staying organized and
ensure you make efficient use of your spare time. It will
also keep your most critical information in a central location.
By using such a device to organize your schedule, you avoid
misplacing loose-leaf lists or notes you've jotted down and
shoved in books, a backpack or similar easily forgotten spot.
With your lists created and an organizer in which to maintain
them, it is pertinent to keep the ball rolling by organizing
the items on your list in order of importance. Instead of
constantly rewriting your lists as priorities change, simply
number your items indicating which are more important to accomplish
first, and then cross completed items as you finish them.
Obviously, studying for that management exam is going to rank
ahead of making the intramural football game, and meeting
with team members for your marketing project should come before
going out with friends for drinks. Keeping your priorities
straight and in line with your goals is necessary in maintaining
your focus on achieving deadlines, adhering to timeframes,
meeting due dates, staying successful in your studies, and
making the most of your study time.