6 Study Tips that will get you that 4.0
Performing well in school is a common pressure that most people experience. We have our families, friends, and teachers pushing us to do well, but sometimes we lack the skills to do so. Whether you are in college or high school, having academic success is praised, yet it is often difficult to achieve. Some of us have to balance work, extra-circular activities, children, intimate relationships, or maybe all of them in accordance with school. This can be challenging if you want to do well in school, but it is very possible! I will give you my tips that I used that helped me to maintain 4.0 GPA in college with a busy schedule.
1. Make Academic Success Your Priority
Yes, I know you have other things going on, but if you want be successful at anything, you must make it your priority. So, leave the excuses at the door and put your academic career first. It is okay to give up a weekend at the bar to stay in and study or finish up homework. Additionally, don't let other people make you feel guilty for prioritizing your work. Some people may be intimated that you are reaching new levels in your academics, so they will try to pull you away from it. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN! Remember, being academically successful is for you and your career goals.
2. Organize, Make Goals, & Reward Yourself
Make sure you have a planner in reach to plan your assignments out and track study time. For example, if you have 2 papers and an exam in the same week, then start planning your studies during the weekend. So, on Sunday you will write one half of the first paper and do one hour of studying, and so on. This method helps to keep you accountable without being too overwhelmed. Also, make small goals. If you complete two hours of studying, then you get to have an ice cream cone. Reward yourself for studying so you can continue to have motivation.
3. Know Which Classes Take More Energy
We all have those few classes that just suck the life out of us, so it is essential that you identify those classes and invest the most energy into them. On the other hand, there are some classes that do not take as much effort, so we can relax more. Make sure that when you study for the difficult classes that you are putting enough time into them, but just don't make the mistake and disregard your easier classes. Academic success is all about balance, so just be sure that you are keeping yourself accountable and you can identify when you are starting to slip up.
4. Get Help if You Need It
Most colleges and high schools have free tutoring services for students and even some professors will help you individually with your work, so there is really no excuse for flat out failure without even trying! Do not be ashamed of having a tutor, that is their job and they are happy to help you! As a 4.0 student, I even had to get tutoring for a few classes, and that is okay! Getting help does not mean that you are stupid or not capable, it just simply means that you need help, and it doesn't hurt learning from someone else who has more knowledge than you. Also, many classes have study groups that you can attend to get more help, or you can start your own study group.
5. Know Which Study Techniques Work Best for You
Do you like flashcards, fill in the blanks, saying the material out loud, or writing everything out on a dry-erase board? Whichever technique works best for you, then do it! Not everyone memorizes material the same way, so just find what works best for you. The main keys to good study skills are memorization and retention. Once you get material in your head, you need to keep it in there. And you can do that by rehearsal and finding a good study method.
6. Chunking and Distributed Studying
Chunking is taking large pieces of material and breaking it down into smaller, more understandable pieces. Psychology research has shown that there is a positive correlation between chunking and test scores. Sometimes looking at a lot of material all at once can be stressful, so it is best to break it down so you will be less stressed and willing to learn it. Another psychological concept that has been proven to be successful is the distributed study method. This method is when you begin to study early and little at a time each day of the week. For example, if you have an exam on Friday, you will start studying for two hours a day starting on Monday. This technique helps you to learn, memorize, review, and retain material. So when test day comes, you will pass with flying colors!