A new semester is a great time to start fresh and make improvements in your life. To succeed, though, you need to set goals. Since one of the most important aspects of being a student is gaining good grades, it makes sense to set several goals related to studying. When deciding on your goals, take into consideration a few things that are likely contributing to your bad study habits.
1. Class Attendance
Whereas many classes at university are technically optional, you’ll be missing out on a full education if you choose to skip them. If you try to teach yourself from your books, there’s a risk you could misunderstand something. Attending class, however, gives you the opportunity to get detailed explanations from your professors to help you fully understand the material. Stop seeing classes as optional and attend all of them, unless you have an excellent excuse.
2. Reviewing Your Notes
You take valuable notes when you attend class — or at least they could be valuable. It helps to check your notes soon after you write them, as some parts may be unclear and won’t make sense later. In addition, you should review your notes on a regular basis to remind yourself of the key points. That way, you won’t be relearning information when you study for an exam, but just reminding yourself of the fine details.
3. Required Readings
University is different from high school in several ways, including the emphasis on studying in your own time. You cannot expect to succeed if you just attend classes without first properly reading (rather than just skimming) the assigned readings. In addition, you should be familiar with what the readings cover long before the exam. Spend the period right before an exam reviewing your notes and revisiting any points you need to clarify, but not reading in depth.
Procrastination is an easy habit to fall into, but it’s one that should be avoided. Deadlines for assignments are often long, which can make it tempting to forget about them until a few days before the due date. However, you’ll never do your best work if you leave papers to the last minute. The same goes for studying for an exam: it’s much more difficult to retain information if you stay up all night rather than spreading out your studying over a longer period.
5. Enough Sleep
Even if you don’t procrastinate, you’ll retain less if you lack sleep. On weeknights, you need to have a bedtime to ensure you sleep between six and eight hours.
6. Your Study Spot
If you’re struggling to stay focused when you study, it could be because your study area is uncomfortable or full of distractions. It’s important to experiment with what works for you — some people focus better when they’re alone, while others perform better when they’re in a room with other people. Commit to finding a few places (perhaps the desk in your bedroom, the couch in your living room, the campus library, and a favourite coffee shop), since switching things up can help you retain more.
A goal for next semester unrelated to your studies should be to find better housing, such as by moving out of your dorm and into student rentals. Kingston students can live in luxury by moving to Foundry Princess. We have a broad range of amenities for students, such as group study rooms, a swimming pool, outdoor BBQ kitchens, and a fitness centre. Join our waitlist to be first in line for a suite when a spot opens up.