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5 Different Ways to Study When Looking Over Your Notes Just Won't Cut It


By Paige Holmes, Oklahoma University

Studying is a pretty big deal. Even if you didn't need to study in high school to pass your classes, you're going to need to study in college. There's a lot of material covered in college exams, but try not to stress about it! Keeping up with your homework and studying before your test will go a long way to help. Here are a few different ways you can get ready for your test.

1. Study in a New Environment

Sometimes, studying in your dorm room can hinder you more than it will help you. Your roommate or friends could be around, and hanging out with them is a much more tempting idea than studying is. Besides, your dorm room is a relaxing environment for you. You might think that sitting at your desk and studying is boring, so you decide to study in bed. . . and find yourself waking up from an unplanned nap later. Try studying in a new, quiet environment, ideally your campus library or a coffee shop. You'll be away from your normal distractions and more able to focus on your class material.

2. Try Group Study

Believe it or not, group study can be a very beneficial way to retain the information that will be on your test. Try to explain sections of your notes to your friends. Talking through the material is a great way to remember what you've written down and heard in class. Listen to what other people are studying for your test, they may have information that you accidentally left out of your notes. A great way to study in a group setting is to find a whiteboard and some markers and "teach" the material to your friends by writing it out and explaining it on the board.

3. Make a Study Schedule

If environment and people don't matter as much to you when you're trying to study, consider making a study schedule. Make a detailed plan for your day after your classes have ended, and put time to study in there. Stick to your schedule, and study when it's time to. Your schedule will keep you accountable and hopefully keep you on track.

4. Try Some Online Resources

Odds are, someone has taken your class before you. Try Googling the name of your course, and you may be surprised at what you find! Many students will create study guides online or upload their notes for other to study. is a great place to find study guides, or to create your own. Check out some apps that will help you streamline your studying process. You can even create a Google Doc and share it with your classmates so you all will have a place to share and compare your notes.

5. When's a Good Time to Study?

So, you want to study for your test, but you're not sure when you'll have time to do so. You can try creating a study schedule (see above). Try to study in the afternoon or evening. Studying at 2 in the morning is probably not going to help you very much. Make sure you get some sleep (not just a bunch of coffee) before your test. You'll perform much better if you're well-rested. Even if you plan to study the day of the test, make sure you also study the night before. You may not get enough time to study last-minute right before the test.

Kelly Peeler