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Smarter Study Habits: How to Create a Strategy That Works

How are your study habits? Developing the right studying strategy can be the key to academic success, and the students who achieve the most are the ones who start creating a plan long before classes begin. By taking control of your study habits, you can reach your goals and gain the skills you need to succeed not just in school, but also in your career.

  •         Get organized. The first step in creating a good study strategy is to organize your supplies and set your priorities. Think about how you are currently using your time, and determine how you can best work with the time you have available. Choose planning tools that will help you plan to accomplish your goals and keep your tasks organized. Take good notes in class, so that you’ll be prepared when you sit down to study.
  •         Make a plan. Mark off time on your calendar for regular study. Ideally, you’ll find one hour blocks of time that you can set aside for studying, breaking up your assignments to fit into your allotted time, rather than trying to study for long stretches. Once you’ve set aside that time, stick to your schedule, considering your study time as appointments you make with yourself to promote your education. Then write down what you need to accomplish before you get started so that you’ll stay on track. Review your notes before you get started, and begin your study session with your most difficult subject.
  •         Set SMART goals. In other words, set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. When you do this, setting small goals that build up to your overarching goals, you’re creating a road map that will carry you to your degree.
  •         Choose the right study spot. The ultimate study spot is subjective because everyone has different needs. For instance, while some people need complete silence while studying, some people need a little bit of noise to keep them focused. Choose somewhere that works for you, as long as it’s comfortable and well-lit, with minimal distractions.
  •         Ditch procrastination. Especially when you have a busy life, it can be easy to push your planned study sessions to the back burner. It might seem easier said than done, but if you get to the root cause of your procrastination it can help you find solutions that work for you.

o   Do you procrastinate because you have trouble making a plan and staying focused? You may have better luck staying on track if you keep a to-do list, breaking down large projects into achievable milestones and completing several tasks each day. Schedule time to brainstorm and let your mind wander.

o   Are you anxious about the work you need to do, and so you put it off? Try to set aside intrusive thoughts and focus on the task at hand, pushing through your anxiety by getting a little bit done each day. If you need help creating a realistic timeline, don’t be afraid to ask someone. When you accomplish a goal, reward yourself for your achievement.

o   Is your procrastination a side effect of perfectionism? Ask someone objective to help you create realistic expectations, and try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Keep a written record of your goals and progress, rewarding yourself for achieving mini-goals, and ask for emotional support if you start to feel overwhelmed.

o   Do you feel like you work better under pressure? Set false deadlines for yourself, to create that adrenaline rush that normally kicks in when you’ve got a deadline looming. That way, you’ll complete your tasks before they are really due. You might also look for leisure activities that give you that same rush, but try to be more self-disciplined when it comes to your studies.

o   Are you so overloaded that you’re always falling behind? Prioritize your to-do list and learn to say no to things that aren’t as important as your education. Work some downtime into your schedule, and update your to-do list regularly.

  •         Make the most of your resources. Take advantage of tutoring services as well as extra help offered by professors, and participate in study groups. If you use a study group effectively, you can get help from others on concepts you’re having trouble understanding, share your knowledge with others, and complete assignments more quickly by working together.
  •         Take time to review. One secret of successful students is that they spend some time each weekend reviewing what they’ve learned over the week. Doing this will help you build on the knowledge that you already have so that you can more easily incorporate new concepts.

If you’re looking for a school that helps you develop skills applicable to real-world career-building, you owe it to yourself to check out ASA College. At ASA College, our mission is to prepare our students for the challenges of today’s competitive job market. To that end, we’ve designed programs that meet the needs of a continuously evolving job market, providing a dynamic, flexible college education that equips students with specific, up-to-date skills and offers hands-on experience. Small class sizes, evening and weekend classes to accommodate working students, unlimited free-of-charge tutoring, and job placement assistance are just a few of the aspects of ASA College that make it the ideal place to invest in your education. To start your journey with ASA, visit our website or call 866.990.6148 today.

 

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