The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Study Smarter, Not Harder: Four Study Tips For College Students

Photo Courtesy / Unsplash Firmbee

When it comes to studying, there is no “right” way. However, there are ways to make studying easier for students. Whether this includes a study schedule with allotted time slots or using creative clues to make memorizing easier, students can utilize many different tactics to study smarter, not harder. 

Create a Study Schedule

Creating a study schedule can sometimes seem extremely intimidating; seeing all of your assignments laid out can easily make any student feel overwhelmed. However, creating a study schedule with allotted times for a specific subject allows for students to solely focus on what is being studied at this time. 

When that time ends, then the brain can transfer to a different subject, rather than worrying about everything at once. Additionally, making a priority list is beneficial, as it itemizes the most urgent assignments to the minimal ones; so, rather than becoming overwhelmed with the amount of things to do, there is an efficient and effective order in which assignments can be done. 

Take Lecture Notes

Ranging from one to three hours, lectures can be boring, long-winded and exhausting — especially when the professor is merely reading off the lecture slides, it is inevitable to let the mind wander. Yet, taking notes on these lectures are useful in building a foundation of the information that will be studied at a later time. 

Taking notes forces students to pay attention, instilling a deeper understanding of the concepts learned. Additionally, since these lecture notes are created by students themselves, the notes will make more sense than a textbook. 

Make Effective Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to memorize short bullet points on a certain topic; yet sometimes, even the making of a Quizlet flashcard set can be boring. In order to amp up the creativity as well as the progress in memorization while using flashcards to study, students can come up with unique ways to remember answers. 

Whether it’s taking the first letter of a historical figure and making all the facts about this figure begin with the same letter, or rhyming the facts of a famous historical event, students can get extremely inventive when it comes to finding which studying tactics work best for them.

Color-Code Your Outlines

Although making an outline may be time-consuming, making it a color-themed outline can make it more fun and less dreaded; write in different fonts, use various shades of one color, use pens and pencils, place stickers on pages or add doodles. 

Color-coding your classes, exam outlines and homework assignments is the first step to a visual way of studying and memorization. When seeing a specific color, the brain will be reminded of the subject with which it correlates. So, when studying, it will be easier for students to visualize notes and facts based on the colors and shapes around them. 

Transitioning studying from an intimidating feat to a creative outlet can aid students in studying smarter, not harder.

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