- Make use of daylight hours.
Research shows that each hour used for study during the day is equal to one-and-a-half hours at night. These are the most effective, yet most often wasted, hours.
- Study immediately before and after your classes.
Get the material into your words and your long-term memory while it is still fresh. A great time saver that works!!
- Study at the same time and place every day.
Developing a routine will make it easier for you to get started and concentrate on the task at hand. Put this in writing as your weekly schedule.
- Allow enough time to study.
The rule of thumb is that you should study two hours for every one hour in class. Thus, for a 15-credit load, a student should allow 30 hours of study a week. Depending on your background, or the difficulty of the class, you may need to adjust that figure up or down.
- Distribute your study time.
50 to 90 minutes at a time for each subject, followed by a 10 to 15 minute break is probably most efficient. Studying for longer periods of time could become counterproductive.
- Make a daily to do list.
Plan your day each morning or the night before. Keep your list to 5 or 6 prioritized items (both academic and personal) and set small, specific goals.
- Study during your peak periods of concentration.
Study for your most difficult classes during this time and do less demanding tasks when you are less alert.
- Eliminate dead hours.
If you analyze your day, you will discover how many 15, 20, 30-minute blocks of time are wasted. Often this time is between classes and during the school day. Use the time in between classes by writing questions in the margins of your notes and using them to quiz yourself.
- Leave unscheduled time for flexibility.
Packing a schedule with too many details will almost certainly doom it to failure. Lack of flexibility is the major reason why students don’t follow schedules.
- Be certain that your schedule is a balanced one, addressing both your academic and personal needs.