Studying at university is very different compared to school. The very scope of the study is different. Students have to learn things in much more detail than they had before. They also have to make assignments and take tests to prove that they understand these things. Alas, university life is full of distractions which makes it difficult for students to study properly.
Well, we are not going to tell you that you cannot invest your time in distractions. Instead, we will teach you how to utilize best the time in which you study. So, let us check out some tips for studying well that are aimed at university students.
Tips for Studying Well for University Students
Space Out Your Studying Sessions
In school, it is easy to get away with cramming the night before a test or an exam. But cramming is a terrible studying practice. You do not retain almost any of the information that you learn by cramming. That is why you face confusion during the exam. This is also a problem because many subjects are related to the university. They interchangeably use concepts and build upon them.
If you just cram to learn these concepts you will forget them and be confused when you learn something that builds upon those concepts. To deal with this you should space out your studying sessions.
Spacing works because of a specific bias called the “Spacing Effect.” Basically, humans have a natural tendency to retain information for the long term if it is repeated in spaced intervals. You should use this natural tendency to your advantage and conduct study sessions with frequent gaps.
For example, if you are learning a topic and are going to be quizzed on it next week, then do not cram the night before. Instead, read about the topic once every day and by the end, you will have remembered that information clearly. Do not take our word for it, try it out yourself.
Take Proper Notes in Class
A big mistake that students make early on is that they do not pay attention in class. This poses problems in learning. It is understandable why students get bored during class, but unfortunately, that does not excuse them in any way. They must fight boredom and do something about it.
The best way to do that is to take notes during class. Try and note down what the teacher is writing or saying. Create a shorthand to write faster (or use an existing one). If you cannot keep up, then record the lecture and create notes in your spare time.
Keeping notes is an excellent method of studying because of the following reasons.
- It is an active studying method. Your mind and your body are both involved in the effort of studying. Your brain is actively going over information through sight, touch, and even sound, which makes it easier to retain the information.
- It teaches you what to prioritize. When taking notes, you cannot afford to write everything, you have to actively think about what things to note and what not to note. This helps you to retain important information for a long time.
So, never forget the importance of taking notes.
Teach the Topics you Want to Learn to Others in Your Class
Teaching others is one of the most foolproof techniques of studying. Its main benefit is that it helps you to hold a spaced-out study session as well as increase your understanding of the topic.
If you can successfully teach something to someone else, that means your grasp of the topic is good enough. Now, with that said, teaching someone else can be quite tough. That is because different people grasp and understand things differently. Unwrapping your understanding of a concept and then rewrapping it in another person’s style requires that your understanding should be at a very high level.
Others may not understand your way of phrasing concepts and information. That is why you should try to rephrase the information. If you can rephrase the sentence and alter its style and how it conveys information, you can find success in teaching others. A good way to do that is to rely on rephrasing tools. That can also help you by exposing you to different ways of relaying the same information.
Review Your Lecture Notes
Taking notes is a hasty affair. We previously mentioned that you should use shorthand to make your notetaking faster. But with speed also come errors. The faster you try to create notes the more your fingers will slip on the wrong keys and result in typos and incorrect punctuation. It may also result in factual errors.
To ensure that these mistakes do not come back to bite you, you should review and correct your notes the very same day you take them. This helps in improved learning because you are essentially holding a spaced-out study session in which you are teaching yourself. So, you are doing multiple things that enhance your studying.
You can enhance this reviewing process by using ed-tech tools as well. You can check grammar of your notes with a tool that detects and corrects grammar errors. Using tools to automate boring tasks like these will save you time. So you can complete your review faster. You can also use other tools to make your notes concise or more readable.
The point is that the better your notes are the more they will help you in your studying. So, make sure to always review your notes the same day you take them.
That concludes our article on studying tips for university students. University students are adults, and they can make their own decisions. They know better about themselves and know how to take care of themselves. But the distractions and glamor of young adult life can detract them from their studies.
That is why we have compiled these tips for studying effectively which do not take too much time and still allow for plenty of fun. In the end, it all comes down to managing your time well. And these tips show you how to do that.