To achieve success (high grades) in universities, you have to do the work. And doing the work entails studying really really hard. Back in most secondary schools, students move on to the next class automatically when they fail any subject. Universities do not run in similar styles. Yes, you might move on to the next class but you’ll always have to rewrite any course you failed in your previous classes. You have to complete the entire course schedule required to acquire your degree.
Just as our faces differ, that is the same way our studying habits differ. For most people, studying entails long hours of complete dedication while others don’t even need long hours. Many people have retentive memory that can easily recollect whatever the lecturer teaches in class. Thus, they don’t need to study really hard. Here are a few secrets on how to cultivate healthy studying habits:
1. Discover the kind of study person you are:
I hated studying in school libraries. There was something about the deafening silence in libraries that made it really hard for me to concentrate there. The silence was so deep that if a pin dropped, one could hear the sound. Such silence scares me especially knowing that it is in a public place. So I could hardly concentrate in a library. Spending time there, pretending to be a serious student – one of those students that make libraries their second home – would be a complete waste of my time. If I continued, I would never achieve anything. But, there are students who love studying in libraries. It helps them concentrate.
There are students that enjoy playing music while studying because it helps them focus and then there are people who don’t use music. There are those who eat while studying and those that drink coffee because it all helps them concentrate. Some can study in the middle of the night because they are more night people than they’re morning people while some cannot stay awake in the night, not for anything. The most important secret is discovering what works for you so that you don’t end up wasting a lot of your time.
2. Start studying early:
The second most important secret is to start studying early. It is not always ideal to begin studying a week or a day before exams start. You won’t ever have enough time to cover every area successfully no matter how genius you are. The pressure of writing exams might break you and make you forget some important details. I know this because I’ve been a victim.
3. Study, don’t cram:
Cramming is like a shortcut that you think leads you to your destination but instead, it leads to a dead-end. It is not the most ideal studying method. I’ve heard stories of people forgetting how to spell simple things inside the exam hall. I think it is mostly the negative result of cramming than it is of “exam fever”. Cramming will fail you inside the exam hall when you need it most, desperately.
4. Set a Schedule:
Planning never fails. Planning a studying schedule and sticking to it is one of the most effective ways to teach yourself how to study hard. Plan it in such a way that you get to study for a specific period of time every weekday. That way, your mind becomes used to studying and might even remind you when its time to start studying.
5. Don’t procrastinate:
Stick to your study schedule. Postponing your studies is very easy to do but its effect/result is very devastating and long-lasting. DO NOT procrastinate, not when it comes to your studying schedule. Stick to it. Start small. Take it one page at a time. You don’t even have to study for such long periods. Just start small, anyhow you’re most comfortable. Stick to a particular topic/subject until you learn all there is to learn about it.
Finally, make your own notes as much as you can. When the lecturer is teaching, you don’t have to follow his exact definitions. You can make your own notes based on how you understand his lessons. Join study groups if you think it is good for you. Study groups are important because they can help to keep you accountable and focused. Start each studying session with the subjects you consider the most difficult; that way you get those out of the way first. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help whenever you need to. Nobody is too smart; you’re not dull if you don’t understand a particular subject. Ask for all the help you can get.
Start studying today and stick to your books. It’ll help your GP. Goodluck.