Expert Study Tips to Help Save You Time

Let's face it: Everybody could use more time. But how do you carve more time out of an already busy schedule to study? Read on for some tips to help you study smart.

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Study Tips to Save Time

In college, your time is just as precious as your money. If you know how to manage the former, you can get through your homework and tests more efficiently. If you're having some difficulty, the following tips can be used to boost your productivity and help you with studying.

Get Plenty of Rest

In college there are always events and opportunities to prevent you from getting a full night's sleep, but these are dangerous to your health and your studies. Getting a full eight hours of shut-eye allows your brain to power down and process the information you recently studied. Lack of sleep also diminishes your concentration, requiring you to spend more time memorizing items or rereading text.

Find a Quiet Space

Like a lack of sleep, a lack of silence can cause lessened concentration. Look for a space that's generally quiet in which to study. Without distractions, you'll spend less time looking around or talking and more time getting through dense material. Since all students have different study styles, you may prefer some background noise. Still, find a quiet, comfortable setting and set up your iPod with meditation tunes or instrumentals. These provide white noise that won't distract.

Manage Your Time Wisely

One of the biggest distractions and time-wasters is having little time to study. It takes a few minutes to get in study mode, and if you've only set aside a half an hour for it you'll just be getting into the zone when you need to stop. The worst thing you can do is study before you need to be somewhere - the whole time you're supposed to be going over notes and reading you'll be clock watching instead. The standard rule is to treat college like a full-time job (eight hours a day), so if you spend four hours in class each day, spend the other four studying.

Study After Class

Review your notes and do your homework right after class, if possible. The material will be fresh in your mind, so you'll be more likely to understand your notes. If you need to, you can now expand on your notes for a more thorough understanding of your lectures.

Take Thorough Notes

Taking notes requires your mind to process what it's just heard and put it into terms you already understand. You'll want to take as many notes as possible during class. Your professor may give an example or metaphor during a lecture that's not in the book. If this leaves your short-term memory, you'll have a harder time memorizing things for a test. Notes are one of the major resources you'll use when studying, so be sure to be efficient in note-taking.

Abbreviations

Using abbreviations in your notes helps cut back on the amount of writing you need to do during class. However, because you know your favorite abbreviations (think: texting and e-mails), you'll understand what you wrote down. Check online for other shorthand and abbreviations to use during lectures.

Participate

It's always smart to ask questions in class. Most professors support the idea that there are no stupid questions, so don't feel like an idiot for disrupting class for clarification. It'll help you understand whatever you don't, and many students may have the same question but are afraid to ask. Finally, most professors include class participation in the grade, so not only will you be helping yourself understand things better, but you'll also be contributing to class discussions and boosting that part of your final marks.

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keys

In the age of technology, you may be tempted to lean on the latest toys, so recording a lecture for later note-taking or taking notes with your computer may seem like a great idea. While you're guaranteed to avoid hand cramps, your brain won't be as active as it is when writing things down with pen and paper - not to mention that you won't likely listen to that lecture a second time, unless you'd slept through the first round, and there are too many opportunities to become distracted on the computer. Facebook, The Sims and chatting are nothing but temptations to avoid during boring lectures.

Studying requires a lot of your time outside of class. Now see how to save additional time when doing homework.

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