16 Study Tips for College: Building good study habits to succeed (2023)

31 March 2020

Brittany Mailhot

Categories: Applying for Scholarships

(Video) 7 Study Habits Of Successful & Effective Students 📝

College is an exciting and life-changing experience. It may be the first time you’ll be living on your own, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends, meet new people, and learn about your interests both personally and professionally. However, adjusting to college life can be overwhelming – and figuring out a solid study routine is no exception! Take a look at these study tips for college to help you succeed.

  • How To Find the Most Effective Study Habits
  • 16 Study Tips for College:
  • First, Focus on Preparation.
    • 1. Organization is key!
    • 2. Plan Ahead
    • 3. Take Good Notes
    • 4. Find a Routine
  • Teamwork is Essential
    • 5. Study with Friends
    • 6. Ask for Help!
    • 7. Teach Someone!
  • Create an Ambiance
    • 8. Switch Up Your Study Spots
    • 9. Eliminate Distractions
  • How to Approach Studying
    • 10. Don’t Cram
    • 11. Memorize vs. Understand
    • 12. Review and Reorganize Your Notes
    • 13. Study Smarter, Not Harder
  • Keep Your Cool
    • 14. Use the Reward System
    • 15. Take Breaks
    • 16. Be Confident About Your Studies
  • Now that you have a better understanding of these study tips for college, make sure your college writing stays in tip-top shape!

How To Find the Most Effective Study Habits

There’s no magic formula or set prescription for how to study effectively…every student is different! You might study well in a library, while your roommate studies better in his or her dorm room. The key is to try out different studying methods – including different study environments – to figure out what works best for YOU.

16 Study Tips for College: Building good study habits to succeed (1)

16 Study Tips for College:

First, Focus on Preparation.

1. Organization is key!

First and foremost, make sure you get a college planner. This can be a planner with a creative design, a plain notebook, a wall calendar, or even a small dry erase calendar for your desk that changes each month. A wall calendar or desk calendar is best for double-checking appointments, events, and due dates while a notebook planner of some sort will be best for planning on-the-go, wherever you are. This planner will keep you in check when you’re in class or in a meeting with your advisor.

If digital works better for you (since you can sync it with just about anything – your computer, phone, tablet), think about setting up an agenda on your mobile device. You can set up reminders for test dates, department events, study times, and assignment due dates. Additionally, you can create a study outline on your device in something like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or another digital format that works for you.

2. Plan Ahead

Create a study plan at the beginning of the semester based on your course syllabus. Ideally, you should study a little bit every day throughout the week —even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference—so you don’t wind up cramming and stressing out right before the big exam.

(Video) How to Study Effectively for School or College [Top 6 Science-Based Study Skills]

3. Take Good Notes

Studying starts in the classroom. Pay attention and take good notes, so when you’re studying later, you’re just reviewing information (instead of learning it for the first time). Speak with your professor about recording lectures on your phone. A recording can complement your notes so you can go back and re-listen to the information in case there are other details you pick up on later to note. Effective note-taking strategies can have a direct impact on your study habits and is one of the most important study tips for college.

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4. Find a Routine

Getting yourself into a study routine is one of the best ways to make sure that studying becomes a part of your everyday habit. Figure out what time of day works best for you and make a real effort to dedicate that time to reviewing notes, videos, and other related resources.

Pick times during the week to try out your studying. You can try studying in the morning on one day, the afternoon another day, and in the evening if that works best for you when there are no distractions at the end of the night. Once you’ve decided which time works best for you, try to stick with that time of day every day (or at least 3 days a week) to get in the habit of studying consistently. You might wind up rearranging your routine due to extracurricular activities, time with friends, and other commitments, but be sure to prioritize your studies and get them done in one way or another.

Teamwork is Essential

5. Study with Friends

Encouraging friends to study with you can make everything more fun and productive! Ask your classmates to study with you at a certain time and location. For example, you can ask your biology colleagues to study with you after class for an hour at the school cafe. You can set up your computers at a table together and grab some snacks and coffee to enjoy the time.

The same goes for studying with your friends. If you’re not in a class with them, studying together in-person can help you hold each other accountable. When you make plans with friends, you don’t want to be that person who cancels or doesn’t show, right?

6. Ask for Help!

If you really don’t understand a concept, ask questions! Stop by your professors’ offices during their office hours, or contact classmates and professors via email. Some classes might even have a Facebook Group to keep students engaged and to create an environment to ask questions outside of class. Either way, your professors will be on your side – nonjudgmental, wanting to help you understand the class in its entirety.

7. Teach Someone!

Teaching a friend, family member, or even your pet the material is a great way to see how well you know it! When you explain it to someone else, you’ll have a better grasp of which information you already have mastered and which information you should revisit for yourself.

(Video) how i ALWAYS get straight A's EFFORTLESSLY 📚(my tips, habits + college vlog)

You can create a fun PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation, get creative and present the information in a way that’s easy for you and your audience to understand. Who knows – you might even use that presentation in the future for your classmates!

16 Study Tips for College: Building good study habits to succeed (2)

Create an Ambiance

8. Switch Up Your Study Spots

Studying in the same spot can get tedious, so why not mix it up and get a new perspective on things? College campuses have tons of study spots for students—from the library to the campus lawn to local cafes (think back to studying with friends and finding an area to set up for an hour or for the day). Take advantage of these study areas, both indoors and outdoors, and give yourself a new view every day!

9. Eliminate Distractions

Studying without distractions is crucial. If you’re studying alone, try to find a quiet space or put headphones in to block out noise from your surroundings. If you’re in an area trying to study and it’s just not working out, relocate. It might be frustrating to have to pick up and move, but it will be worth it once you’re in a good environment.

Consider putting your phone on silent or vibrate too – you can always respond to your messages after your study session!

How to Approach Studying

10. Don’t Cram

While it may seem like a good idea to learn an entire semester’s worth of information in one night, it’s not an effective study habit, and it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, study a little bit of information every day for at least 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll likely remember more later and you’ll feel calm and prepared when it comes to exam time.

11. Memorize vs. Understand

One of the study tips for college that can make a massive difference in how you approach new information is knowing the difference between memorizing the material and understanding it. Memorizing information isn’t actually learning the information—it’s just helping you learn how to repeat it during a finite time.

For example, if you’re studying for a Spanish exam and you’re memorizing a conjugated verb chart, remembering what the verbs look like in written form will help you remember the information for that exam. However, you might forget the meanings of the verbs and how to use them in a sentence afterward since it’s a very specific way of studying. This may catch up with you when you take the next level up of Spanish.

12. Review and Reorganize Your Notes

Whether you’re using a notebook, a laptop, or good old-fashioned flashcards, reviewing each line of your notes helps ensure that you hit all the right information you reviewed in class and might even remind you of a few things you would have missed otherwise. It’s good to review notes shortly after class, and then again a few days later. This allows you to take a break between edits and come back to the information with a fresh perspective.

13. Study Smarter, Not Harder

Occasionally, college professors will tell you the information that will (or won’t) be on an exam—listen to them! They’re sharing this information with you to save you time so you’re not studying the wrong information for hours, and you can focus on the important points. If you’re unsure about what to focus on while studying, send your professor a quick email to confirm or speak with him or her after class.

16 Study Tips for College: Building good study habits to succeed (3)

Keep Your Cool

14. Use the Reward System

Studying can be draining, so treat yourself for a little motivation. Buy a coffee from your favorite coffee shop or get some study snacks from the campus convenience store. You can also reward yourself by taking breaks for activities you enjoy, like walking, reading, or watching TV. Adding in a reward will give you something fun to work towards.

15. Take Breaks

Continuing from the previous point, taking breaks is important. Breaks give you a boost of productivity, reset, and prevent burnout. It might seem like you need to use all the time you possibly can to study, back-to-back, but your brain will start to slow down if you don’t give it a chance to relax. Taking breaks can help you get the most out of your study time with the least amount of stress.

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16. Be Confident About Your Studies

It might be easy to fall into a trap of stressing yourself out while you’re studying, but that will be counterintuitive in the big picture. You can control when you study and how you study to help prepare you for your exams. After that, you have to be confident and try your best to retain the information. Believing in yourself and trusting that you’ve got this can help you forget about the stress and focus on moving forward.

Now that you have a better understanding of these study tips for college, make sure your college writing stays in tip-top shape!

Check out these additional resources and study tips for college to help you succeed in your college planning and writing:

  • How to write an essay about yourself
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  • Author
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Brittany Mailhot

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What are the 5 successful study habits? ›

Try out some of our five favourite study habits and learn some life-long skills.
  • Make a schedule. Number one on any list of study habits has to be making a schedule. ...
  • Create your environment. This one is so important while we're on lockdown. ...
  • Study in bursts. Treat your brain like a muscle. ...
  • Find a study group.
6 Apr 2020

What are the 7 study skills? ›

  • Read more than once.
  • Highlight and take notes.
  • Make margin notes.
  • Don't put off reading assignments until the last minute!
  • Review after reading.
  • Keep from dozing off: don't read right before going to bed, and don't read in bed.
  • Read and understand captions and figures.
  • Make a glossary of terms.

How can I successfully study in college? ›

Use this cycle and the following 11 study tips for college to help you succeed in school.
  1. Make a Study Schedule. ...
  2. Take Notes the Right Way. ...
  3. Think Strategically About Where to Study. ...
  4. Join a Study Group. ...
  5. Prioritize Comprehension Over Memorization. ...
  6. Incorporate Review Sessions. ...
  7. Identify Your Study Weaknesses. ...
  8. Know What to Study.

What are 7 things you could do to study more effectively? ›

10 tips on how to study effectively
  1. Get organised.
  2. Don't skip class!
  3. Take notes.
  4. Talk to your teacher & ask questions.
  5. Space out your studying.
  6. Create a study plan – & stick to it.
  7. Don't just re-read but study.
  8. Set up a quiet study space.

What are the smart tips of study? ›

Try to do something for each class each day. Be specific and realistic regarding how long you plan to spend on each task—you should not have more tasks on your list than you can reasonably complete during the day. For example, you may do a few problems per day in math rather than all of them the hour before class.

What are 20 good habits for students? ›

20 Good habits parents must teach their kids
  • Making 'reading' a habit. This habit opens up the gateways of knowledge for your child apart from serving as a healthy pastime. ...
  • Playing outdoors. ...
  • Saving money. ...
  • Conserving resources. ...
  • Limiting screen time. ...
  • Being organized. ...
  • Adhering to a routine. ...
  • Adopting a friendly attitude.

What are the 8 study skills? ›

Active listening, reading comprehension, note taking, stress management, time management, testing taking, and memorization are only a few of the topics addressed in our study skills guides for students.

What are the 8 Habits of Highly Successful students? ›

8 Habits Synopsis
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive. I am a responsible person. ...
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. I plan ahead and set goals. ...
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First. ...
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win. ...
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. ...
  • Habit 6: Synergize. ...
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. ...
  • Habit 8: Find Your Voice.

What are the top 5 tips secrets for studying? ›

5 Study Tips to Set You Up for Success
  • Find a Go-To Study Location. For starters, find a quiet, well-lit area that is available to you whenever you need to study. ...
  • Avoid the Stress of Cramming by Using a Spaced Study Session Method. ...
  • M N E M O N I C S. ...
  • Simple Self-Testing Practice. ...
  • Learn, Relearn, and Learn Again.
25 Apr 2018

What are 6 study tips? ›

Six Steps to Smarter Studying
  • Pay attention in class.
  • Take good notes.
  • Plan ahead for tests and projects.
  • Break it down. (If you have a bunch of stuff to learn, break it into smaller chunks.)
  • Ask for help if you get stuck.
  • Get a good night's sleep!

What are the 6 study strategies? ›

Specifically, six key learning strategies from cognitive research can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice.

What are 5 study styles? ›

There are five established learning styles: Visual, auditory, written, kinesthetic and multimodal. Kinesthetic learners have to do something to get it, while multimodal learners shift between different techniques.

What are the 4 study strategies? ›

In this short article, we explore four general study strategies that help improve your learning. These include: preparing the study environment; organising your study schedule; tips for while you are engaged in study; and methods of boosting your reading efficiency.

How can I improve my learning? ›

9 Tips to Improve How you Learn & Your Learning Capacity
  1. Vary your learning routine, locations and material. ...
  2. Get a good night's sleep. ...
  3. Space your study time. ...
  4. "Cramming" for an exam can work…. ...
  5. Use self testing. ...
  6. Take notes in class and review them. ...
  7. Don't worry about short breaks or distractions while you're studying.
1 Jun 2022

How can I focus better in college? ›

Learn how to tackle distractions, prepare your mind and maintain your focus throughout your time at college.
  1. Get rid of distractions. ...
  2. Participate in class. ...
  3. Take notes. ...
  4. Eat and drink before class. ...
  5. Get enough sleep. ...
  6. Exercise in-between classes. ...
  7. Find your motivation.
23 Feb 2022

What is the best time to study? ›

Most of the students prefer to study in the early morning, generally from 4 or 5 AM in the morning as the brain is more likely to concentrate. It could be the best option for students who have more stamina early in the day.

How can I study daily? ›


What are the 3 secret study tips? ›

3 Secret Study Tips
  • Know what your lecturers want. Before you start studying a topic, write down your lecturer's learning objectives for that topic. ...
  • Make a study plan. Many people waste time when they study because they don't have a plan. ...
  • Use effective study techniques.

What are 3 ways to study? ›

Studying a single subject for a long period of time and repeating phrases over and over to memorize them (known as massed practice) Reviewing one topic repeatedly before moving onto another topic (blocked practice) Reading and rereading a text. Highlighting or underlining important concepts in a text and then reviewing.

How can I focus 100% on studying? ›

Here are some simple study tips to help you stay focused:
  1. Set study goals. First things first; start with the basics and set your study goals. ...
  2. Make a study timetable. Once you know what you want, the next step is to prepare a weekly study timetable. ...
  3. Learn to say no. ...
  4. Stay focused on your priorities.

What are the 30 good habits? ›

Healthy habits
  • Breathe and meditate. ...
  • Improve your sleep hygiene. ...
  • Prepare your meals at home. ...
  • Watch your portions. ...
  • Have a consistent workout plan. ...
  • Take probiotics and prebiotics. ...
  • Practice intermittent fasting. ...
  • Tune in to your inner cues.
15 Mar 2021

What is habit 1 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College students? ›

Habit 1: Be Proactive® I am responsible for my education and life. Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind® I have a plan for what I want to accomplish. Habit 3: Put First Things First® I do the most important things first.

What are the 7 daily habits? ›

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive® ...
  • Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind® ...
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First® ...
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win® ...
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood® ...
  • Habit 6: Synergize® ...
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw®

What are the 20 life skills? ›

20 essential life skills
  • Writing. Most professional roles require writing in some capacity, whether it's drafting reports or communicating via email. ...
  • Public speaking. Many careers require public speaking skills. ...
  • Interpersonal communication. ...
  • Resilience. ...
  • Decision-making. ...
  • Cooperation. ...
  • Prioritisation. ...
  • Focus and attention.
17 Aug 2021

What are the 12 teaching skills? ›

12 Skills Teachers Require to be Effective in Teaching
  • Discipline Skills. ...
  • Classroom Management Skills. ...
  • Observation Skills. ...
  • Student Engagement Skills. ...
  • Strong Communication Skills with Students and Parents. ...
  • Teaching Skills. ...
  • Subject Matter Expertise. ...
  • Time Management Skills.
12 Feb 2018

What are the 9 life skills? ›

What are life skills?
  • Coping with emotions.
  • Communication skills.
  • Creative thinking.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Decision-making skills.
  • Empathy.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.

What are 12 characteristics of successful learners? ›

12 Characteristics of Successful Learners
  • …are leaders in their own learning.
  • … engage with the world around them.
  • … question everything.
  • … think for themselves.
  • … are driven by their interests.
  • … push through challenges.
  • … are determined to succeed.
  • …have inner motivation and self discipline.

What are the 7 habits of students? ›

Introduction to the 7 Habits course.
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive® ...
  • Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind® ...
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First® ...
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win® ...
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood® ...
  • Habit 6: Synergize® ...
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw®

What are the five 5 suggested methods to improve study habits? ›

11 Techniques to Improve Your Study Habits
  • Find a good studying spot. This is important. ...
  • Stay Away From Your Phone. ...
  • No Willpower? ...
  • Take a break and take care of yourself. ...
  • Organize lectures notes. ...
  • Join or create a study group. ...
  • Aromatherapy, plants and music. ...
  • Leave time for the last-minute review.
1 Aug 2019

What is the fastest way to study? ›

25 Tricks to Study Faster and More Effectively
  1. Never Cram. There is no such thing as an effective cramming. ...
  2. Manage your time. Why do you cram? ...
  3. Practice Interlinking Ideas. Impossible you say? ...
  4. Make Diagrams. ...
  5. Set up your own Mnemonics. ...
  6. Learn to Visualize. ...
  7. Retell the Story. ...
  8. Take notes.

How can I study till 3am? ›

Go to bed earlier or wake up later in the days before you know you're going to have to study all night. Just an extra hour or two can help you stay up all night. This extra time can cue your body to the all-nighter as well as give you some extra hours of sleep reserve on which to draw when the night comes.

How can I study 30 minutes? ›

Here's Why You Should Only Study for 30 Minute Stretches (Plus 9 More Tips)
  1. Set Time Limits. Try working for 30-45 minutes straight, and then take a 10-15 minute break. ...
  2. Drink Water. ...
  3. Tackle the Little Stuff First. ...
  4. Stay Organized. ...
  5. Take Breaks. ...
  6. Remove Distractions. ...
  7. Use Rewards. ...
  8. Listen to Music.
27 Mar 2019

How do students learn? ›

Children and teenagers learn by observing, listening, exploring, experimenting and asking questions. Being interested, motivated and engaged in learning is important for children once they start school. It can also help if they understand why they're learning something.

What are the 2 types of learning strategies? ›

Six types of learning strategies
  • Active learning.
  • Mnemonic learning.
  • Text-visual combination.
  • Spaced learning.
  • Revision without books or notes.
  • Mixed study subjects.
4 Feb 2020

What are the 7 strategies of how do you study effectively? ›

How To Study Effectively
  • Get organized. Carry a homework planner at all times. ...
  • Pay attention in class. ...
  • Steer clear of distractions. ...
  • Make sure notes are complete. ...
  • Ask questions if you don't understand. ...
  • Make a study schedule/plan. ...
  • Review notes from class every evening. ...
  • Talk to teachers.
19 Apr 2017

What are the 7 student engagement strategies? ›

Here are 7 student engagement strategies to enhance learning and boost meaningful involvement in the classroom:
  • 1 – Setting Ground Rules. ...
  • 2 – Journaling. ...
  • 3 – Let Students Lead. ...
  • 4 – Icebreakers. ...
  • 5 – Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum. ...
  • 6 – Get Outside. ...
  • 7 – Perform a Class Service Project.

What are 5 ways to study? ›

5 Study Tips to Set You Up for Success
  1. Find a Go-To Study Location. For starters, find a quiet, well-lit area that is available to you whenever you need to study. ...
  2. Avoid the Stress of Cramming by Using a Spaced Study Session Method. ...
  3. M N E M O N I C S. ...
  4. Simple Self-Testing Practice. ...
  5. Learn, Relearn, and Learn Again.
25 Apr 2018

What is the best studying method? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

How do you study college 12 Powerful Tips for lasting success? ›

How to Study in College: 12 Powerful Tips for Lasting Success
  1. Lay the groundwork.
  2. Start with the right mindset.
  3. Make a study schedule.
  4. Space out your study times.
  5. Choose a study place (or two).
  6. Make sure you have only what you need.
  7. Try different study techniques.
  8. Use as many senses as possible.
20 Apr 2022

What are 3 ways to prepare for college? ›

The following tips and details can help you prepare for academic success in college.
  • Start Planning for College Now! ...
  • Take the Right High School Classes to Prepare for College. ...
  • Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities. ...
  • Keep an Extracurricular Record. ...
  • Get to Know your High School Guidance Counselor.

What is the best and fastest way to study? ›

This includes how to learn faster and more efficiently, while retaining information for longer.
  1. Learn the same information in a variety of ways. ...
  2. Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects. ...
  3. Review the information periodically, instead of cramming. ...
  4. Sit at the front of the class.
2 Aug 2022

What are the 11 strategies to handle weak learners? ›

What you can do to help your child
  • Provide a quiet work/study area. ...
  • Keep assignments and homework sessions short. ...
  • Be accessible. ...
  • Ask questions such as 'what does that word mean? ...
  • Read to your child.
  • Be patient and consistent.
  • Do not allow them to give up on their work or themselves. ...
  • Don't be overprotective.
27 Oct 2017

Which time is best for study? ›

Most of the students prefer to study in the early morning, generally from 4 or 5 AM in the morning as the brain is more likely to concentrate. It could be the best option for students who have more stamina early in the day.

How can I study every day? ›

Here are some of the best science-backed techniques to focus while studying:
  1. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Create a study schedule.
  3. Use soothing study music.
  4. Turn off all the technology that distracts you.
  5. Prepare a perfect study spot.
  6. Get up for a walk or workout.
  7. Train your mind to focus for a longer time.


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