Time to Hit the Books –Again!

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationAs summer winds down, it is not just kids who are heading back to school. In fact, first-time undergraduates who are studying full-time now make up only 15 percent of all post-secondary students, according to recent National Council of Education Statistics. As more adults head back to school to sharpen their skills or retrain for a new career, they too will have to work hard to achieve success. “Simply paying attention to a lecture is not enough,” states Jake Kassuba director of education of Everest College in Burr Ridge. While every student has a different learning style, here are ten study tips from Kassuba that can help students of all ages get the most out of studying:

    1. Manage your study time wisely. It doesn’t matter how long you study; what matters is how much you accomplish during that time. If you only have a limited time to study each day, develop a schedule and outline your goals for each session. Keep a timer on hand to gauge your progress and ensure that you don’t lose track of time.

    2. Experiment with different techniques for understanding and memorizing new information. For example, try using flashcards to remember major concepts or highlighting class notes.

    3. Designate a specific time and place in your home to study. This should be a comfortable place where you can remain alert and not be disturbed. Although it’s tempting, remember, the bed and couch are never good study spots.

    4. Give yourself a break, or two. Instead of studying for five hours straight, you’ll be more productive if you take short, periodic breaks. Breaks also can be used to motivate you towards your studying goals. For example, give yourself a snack break as a reward for finishing an assignment or getting a certain number of review problems correct.

    5. Learn general concepts first, and worry about filling in the details later.

    6. Practice rapid recall — after completing a reading assignment, summarize the new information you learned, either aloud or in an outline. Make sure to focus on the main ideas of each reading.

    7. Share your newfound wisdom. Talk to friends and family about what you’re learning. The ability to teach others is an indicator you have really absorbed the material.

    8. Review your notes every day, even if you don’t have homework. Reviewing your notes daily will cut down on stress prior to exams, and will help move information from your short-term to long-term memory.

    9. Don’t wait until the last minute! Give yourself plenty of time to study for exams and quizzes or finish writing assignments. Make sure to gather class notes and practice problems to review before each assessment.

    10. Learn what works best for you as a student. As you learn course material and face new challenges, note what works best for you. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, so the trick is to find the techniques that work for you and stick with them.

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