Top Tips for Studying in College
So the time has come again where classes are back in session
and study habits need to begin now,
not a week before finals.
There are a few things I do that I think could be helpful to some others out there.
If you like this check out the sequel!
1. COLOR CODE
I’m not kidding when I say my life is color coded.
In your planner,
I recommend that you use a different color pen for each activity in your life.
So as an example, for me…
Pink: Chemistry Lab
Light Green: Biology Lab
Of course you can do this however you want,
but when I look at my planner and I need to know what’s due or what’s going on Friday,
I know just by looking at colors.
I also color code my notebooks.
I use different colors to represent different types of information in my notes.
This makes studying a lot easier for me,
and I am more likely to want to have my notebook out,
because the colors break up the information instead of just pages of one color.
My system for these colors is…
Red: Vocab word
Purple: Vocab definition
Black: Major Topics
Green: Figures and examples
Pink: Review or questions
Blue: Other notes
By breaking this up,
when I look at my notebooks and I just want to study vocab,
I can just look for red.
This has been huge help for me over the years.
2. IN CLASS USE SHORT HAND
I have a 5 subject notebook that I bring to class with me.
This is where I take my notes in class.
In class I use shorthand
and write fast to keep up with my professor.
I can then after class look at the power points again and see where I need to fill in.
Some shorthand I find useful is as follows…
#: I use numbers whenever I can
H, O, C, Cl: I use the periodic symbols in Chemistry notes a lot
There are plenty more you probably use and I use,
but those are just the ones on the top of my head.
***3. REWRITE YOUR NOTES
I bring the big notebook to class with me where I write in shorthand for 50 mins and most of the time my hand is just moving and my brain isn’t comprehending.
I pull up the powerpoint on my laptop and take my in class notes out.
First I go through and see if I need to fill anything else in,
then I highlight them with the colors I listed above based on definitions, figures, etc.
Then I rewrite my notes,
in full sentences and in english,
I do so neatly and with all my colors in a new notebook to make the information make sense to me.
Sometimes I cut things out because I wrote it a few different times,
or a condense different parts into one to explain something.
This is where you revise your notes.
This is a huge part in helping you study.
Without this step,
your notes would still be jumbled up when you try to study.
4. TIME YOURSELF
All my professors tell me I need to be studying and working on the content everyday.
Science classes are usually recommended for 3 hours outside of class for every hour in class.
For me, that’s 9 hours a week,
and I’m in 2 sciences.
When I rewrite my notes,
that is studying.
Set a timer and just see how long it takes to highlight, revise and rewrite your notes.
That’s a good chunk.
Next is reading the chapter for next class,
how long does that take?
Then if you need to,
go over them.
The hours add up very quickly.
I like to write the time down on a post it and keep it for the week and see where I was.
Maybe I’m over and maybe I’m under.
***5. REVIEW AS YOU GO
This is the last thing I do,
after I write out my notes in colors in the separate notebook,
I go through and think of test questions that could be based on the information I wrote down.
I type these up on a word doc.
I personally just type the question,
not listing possible answers.
Maybe I’ll get 3 or 4 questions from one lecture,
maybe I’ll get 10-12.
It doesn’t matter.
But by doing this you are making a study guide for the test you’ll be taking later on.
This time typing out questions also counts for time for studying for each class.
*Each class and each school and each person are completely different in the way they are set up.
I know for me, some of my classes,
don’t have rewritten notes or color coded systems.
But some do.
I hope these few tips might help you study and review in a more efficient manner.
Let me know some of your study tips in the comments.
I’d love to hear them.
Don’t forget to check out PART TWO HERE.