Are you going back to school as an adult?
Have you been away from school for a number of years? If so, you may feel a little rusty when it comes to your study skills. Below are some tips for studying that will help you use your time wisely as you pursue your education.
Set aside a time to study every day. Most people have very busy lives. The demands on your time can make it easy to say “I’ll study later.” But before you know it, the day is over, and you are studying late at night, or not at all. That’s why it’s important to select a time every day that is set aside for studying, and stick to it! Treat studying like a job, and make sure you show up!
Avoid distractions. Create a study space that is free from distractions. In today’s world, there are so many things that can distract you from studying. It is tempting to return a text to a friend, or talk to a family member, or grab a snack from the refrigerator in the middle of studying. These distractions add up quickly, and take away from your focus. Be sure to find a private place to work, ask your family members not to disturb you, and turn off your electronic devices. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish without these distractions!
Stay organized. Keep all of your school materials in your study space. Find a bin, drawer, or shelf to keep your materials neat. Use color-coded folders or notebooks to organize the notes and handouts from different classes. Get a bag to take to school that you use only for your school work. If you keep your materials organized, you will spend less time looking for things, and more time learning.
Keep a calendar and prioritize your tasks. Keep a calendar that shows due dates for assignments and test dates. Look at the calendar every day to decide what task has the highest priority. Remember to update the calendar every time you get a new assignment. Write a manageable “to do” list at the start of your study session, and make sure you stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Studying can be frustrating if you don’t understand what you are studying. If you are having trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Ask you instructor for help, or ask another student. Consider forming a study group that meets once a week to help encourage each other.
Take time for yourself. Many people find that they are more effective if they take short breaks. Try studying for 30 minutes solid, then take a quick 5-minute break to stretch or get a drink of water. Then sit down for another solid 30-minute block of time. Use a clock or a timer to make sure you stay on schedule.
We hope these tips are helpful as you set up a study routine. With effective study habits, we hope you find that the learning comes more easily.