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Friday, October 16, 2015

Study Habits


Being a senior undergraduate at age thirty-one, after mistakes when I was younger, I may not be the best person to give advice but I should let others decide from what is written here.  I have had my fair share of failures and successes so let me try to provide what has worked for me.  The best study techniques I would share are the following:

  1. Read to comprehend
  2. Learn for yourself beyond the classroom
  3. Putting emphasis on what the professor or teacher says
  4. Connecting the materials to other topics
  5. Creating the proper amount of time to study
  6. Summarize your notes
  7. Use homework and assignments to prepare for tests
  8. Start your day and end your day positively
  9. Never be upset with the amount you have to study
  10. Study to remind yourself of information rather than learn it for the first time. 

Each of these points is imperative to any favorable result I have had while in school.  The educational process is distinctive in that you can always improve from past performance.  If these techniques do not work for you, you can modify them to what you feel is best.  Let me try to elaborate on how each has been constructive towards my erudite learning. 

Reading to comprehend means to try to understand more than the words printed on the paper.  It is getting the concept of the overall message and how that particular phraseology is being used to express it.  This can be a timely activity to adjust to and really take in. Then it can become facile or second nature with the right amount of repetition and practice.  The level of thought to master that will transition to our next point, learning for yourself beyond the classroom.  Just acquiring knowledge can become a habit that you begin to complete for more that tests, quizzes and assignments.  Increasing your all around intellect can turn into a hobby as well.  The next one is something that I had to learn the hard way.  Put an emphasis on what your professor or teacher says during class time.  In college, we are given a syllabus and know what to expect on each test for the entire semester.  The professor who creates the exam will usually speak about what is most important from the required text and may cover material that the author does not discuss.  They could be speaking from personal experience or just adding something they think you should hear.  Becoming an elite student incorporates both excellent reading abilities in addition to paying attention in class.  When something is giving you difficulty, connect the material to another topic you know better.  A simple example of this was applying English and Math to Computer Programming when I first began.  Thinking about what causes errors during compiling and execution were some of the common rules from those subjects.  Once I was really able to grasp that, I could get through the elementary concepts of programming.  Some of the more advance techniques require a higher level of thought but that is a fair place to start.  Another idea is creating the proper amount of time to study.  I attempt to avoid studying too early in the morning and too late at night.  Therefore, I schedule time to study during the day similar to my courses.  Setting aside a period of 50 to 75 minutes to review material is very valuable to my study habits and maintaining some form of consistency.  I do not have to cram for a test in one day if I can constantly give the subject some type of attention for weeks leading up to the approaching date.  Summarizing your notes can help too.  Though most teachers have set the precedent of students reproducing absolute regurgitation for answers, it is good to write it in your own words.  If you can translate a message to your understanding, you can ask if your interpretation is correct.  This can not only help you but someone else who is having trouble with the vocabulary of the topic.  Use homework to prepare for tests.  Your performance on graded work is a fair indicator of what you may do next.  You can learn from your mistakes and gain confidence from what you already stored in your memory banks.  The next one is both important and sort of a side note.  Start and end your day positively.  If there is nothing that causes excessive stress or avert your attention to other areas, it will help to retain information that you received during your courses.  The second to last one has to do with coping.  Never be upset with the amount you have to study.  This applies specifically to what will be on a test or what has to be read before a certain class.  All assigned work is within your capability as long as you are a student in the course and your professor might be more aware of that fact than you are at the time.  Some professors do take pride in their students’ progress in a class.  Lastly, study to remind yourself of information rather than trying to learn it for the first time.  Whenever you study, it should be to reiterate something already presented to you.  You should be going more in depth to think on a different level and comprehend in another sense.  If you are studying a completely new subject or theme, it may be challenging to balance with everything else you are responsible for. 

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