Nov 3, 2009

Good Study Habits

Honestly, I dont know how I made it through College. It was 4 years of mostly rote learning. The effort I exerted in being part of the varsity team unfortunately did not parallel my enthusiasm for studying. I was up at 530 am doing my routines. But I usually slept through classes and slept in the locker room for most of the afternoon.

I usually slacked around until it was a week before exam day. Then I would spend sleepless nights, high on caffeine and knowledge that I swear leaked out of my nostrils. Too much information had to be processed in a short span of time. On every exam day I felt I was gonna die. Its not easy to get by with only 2-3 hours of sleep, 8 cups of coffee and a day long exam on subjects like Biochemistry, Physiology, Microbiology and Physics.

Im lucky I managed to graduate.

Truth is I never really knew how to effectively study even up until 4th year of medical school.

In line with my back to school agenda, I am contemplating on developing good study habits. It sounds like a lot of work but I know it will pay off in the long run. Im skeptical, hopeful and eager though. Im sure its not yet too late.

I googled the topic on study habits and found a lot of sites that offered information. But since I have ADD , I picked out the first 3 links I liked.

This one seem simple and easy to follow. It even recommended that you pick out the embed (sorry im not a computer geek, Im unsure if i used the right term) and post it on your blog. So here it is :

How to Develop Good Study Habits for College

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

College is an entirely different situation than high school. Classes consist of far fewer grades. Some classes have only a midterm and final. This being said, it is important to stay caught up. Do not tell yourself, "I'll read the assignment later," because oftentimes you merely end up cramming right before the test; research indicates that cramming is not the most effective way to study , so try to avoid it if possible.


  1. Review the lesson plan prior to class.
  2. Take quick notes in class. (see tip)
  3. If you read the material before class you will have an idea of what doesn't make sense, and concentrate of your professor's explanation.
  4. Don't make notes on what's already in the book, it wastes your time and attention. Highlight the parts emphasized, and listen to the way your professor relates it to what you've already learned.
  5. If it's repeated more than twice it's going to be on the test.
  6. Study for at least a total of an hour everyday before the next class. For each lecture hour you should expect at least two hours needed for study- more if it's a challenging class.
  7. Don't let social activities take priority before studying.
  8. Plan your breaks in the short and long term. If you HAVE to make the Saturday night party, know you'll have to spend the afternoon at the library. If you're spending the day hitting the books, plan an hour off at suppertime, and a treat for dessert.
  9. Study groups help some remember material, and clarify difficult points.
  10. If your friends are in different courses plan on getting together for stress busting periods, especially during exam week. Midnight power walks make great memories.


  • The problem about studying isn't the actual studying itself, rather it's the getting started part. Most people find that once they have gotten started, it's much easier to continue.
  • If you know yourself well enough that you know that you probably won't study for an exam until the few hours before it, then you could try fixing this by tricking yourself. Write it in your calendar and convince yourself the exam is on a certain day, when it's really a week later. If you get into that mode, it's much easier to start studying and continue studying.
  • A very wise professor once said, "How and when to study? Study like there is always going to be an exam the next day. That way when there is, you've been studying for it for weeks."
  • If highlighters and Post-It notes help you organize and stay focused don't hesitate to put them in the budget. It's a small investment, and you'll be committed to USING your investment,
  • To take quick notes abbreviate everything, for example: (message = msg, take = tk, learn = lrn); just make up your own abbreviations, you'll come up with what works best for you in no time.
  • You remember things better in short amounts of time - DON'T study for 4 hours; you will only forget half the things you read. Study for an hour, then take a 5 - 10 minute break to walk around, and study for another hour. Be committed to making the break work for you too- don't get distracted for an hour, make sure you get back within the time you've set for yourself.
  • Listening to calming classical music and chewing gum while you study are helpful items that can help you remember things better.
  • Coffee or energy drinks could help, but substance abuse is a huge black hole. Use them occasionally, but depend on your own good work for quality results.
  • If you don't study for an exam even though you should have, don't beat yourself up. It actually makes you avoid studying. Instead, tell yourself that you *will* do better next time. Make yourself determined. When questioning on whether or not to study, remember the time that you didn't and felt terrible after the exam. use this to motivate yourself.
  • Always give yourself a break time and always plan things out one by one. Viewing three tests as one obstacle can become overwhelming.
  • Everyone hits a point that they don't understand, or has a paper they're frustrated enough to quit over. Don't let that one obstacle ruin you- get help from your professor, your study group, whatever, and solve the problem. Quit only AFTER the problem is solved, if you still want to.
  • Do the subject you don't like first, and move towards the easier tasks. You'll last longer and get more done.
  • Listening to music can also enhance your study ability by a lot it doesn't matter what you listen to. People say listening to music keeps the thoughts in your head the next time you study because you remember the music and what you have studied wile listening to the music.


  • Stay away from distractions while you are studying like computers, TV, non-soothing music (music with lyrics can distract you), etc.
  • Do not study if you're tired. But don't go with "I'm tired" all the time. Sleep, or go out and exercise, and start again.
  • If you're going to a party, budget the party AND the sick hangover time as down time in your schedule. Don't try to work through- you'll waste your energy and get frustrated.
  • Do not cram; there is no point in trying to, because you will only remember very little and it won't help your future career because you'll have rotten recall.
  • During all nighters you'll lose as much information from sleepiness as you'll learn from the extra time spent. Stay up late, but make sure you're budgeting at least 6 hours for sleep, even on your night before the big exam. Your brain processes what you've learned in your sleep.
  • Don't abuse substances too much. Don't use tobacco. Often times, caffeine as well will lead to jitters making it impossible to get any decent studying in.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Develop Good Study Habits for College. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Well the above would work though if I truly plan on carrying it out! A day at a time! Mine starts tomorrow. =) Happy studying!


  1. This is some really good advice. I've heard a lot of this from different places. I can't listen to music with lyrics while I'm trying to study. It distracts me. I also heard that studying a bit at a time is better than cramming so I try to do that.

  2. cramming really isnt good but ive always done it. thats gonna change in the future though. its better to be relaxed when the exam day comes.


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