Save Time and Improve Your Grades: Study Smarter, Not Longer

In order to improve your grades in college, it is advisable to study smarter rather than longer. What this means might be different to each individual, so we've listed some basic tips to get you started.

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How to Effectively Manage Your Study Time

Quality studying habits and good grades go hand in hand, but working toward having both doesn't have to consume every waking moment. Get tips on how to save time when you hit the books and raise your GPA.

Schedule It

One way to study smarter is to create a weekly schedule or to-do list and revisit it daily. Use a planner, calendar, computer or mobile device to help you keep track of your classes. Then decide on several realistic blocks of time that you can devote every week to studying. If a free moment opens up, consider studying on the fly. To avoid stress and anxiety, don't procrastinate. How much information can you really retain when you have to cram?

Ensure Focus

Focus begins in class. Be attentive, ask questions and take notes. Once you leave, the real work begins, and much of your studying depends on how well you paid attention to your professor. Take particular note if your instructor ranks or groups concepts or uses tell words like 'important' or 'key.' Before you open your textbook or notepad, find a well-lit, uninterrupted space that will allow you to concentrate. However, don't get too relaxed. You want to work; you don't want to feel tired. If you begin to lose focus, it's time for a break.

Actively Study

During study times, some students may find it helpful to highlight or underline important text. Others may prepare notes or outlines of key terms and concepts. Depending on the information being learned, it may also prove beneficial to create diagrams or other visual aids that can assist with retention. As you go along, think of analogies or mnemonics that can help you remember important points. One good way to tell if you've grasped a topic is to quiz yourself. At the end of each study section, develop your own questions and see how well you can answer them or create flashcards that you can refer to prior to exam time.

Use Resources at Your Disposal

Good students know when they need help and don't hesitate to ask for it. This may mean e-mailing your professor with questions or staying after class to seek clarification on a topic. Also, colleges and universities typically provide free onsite tutoring labs. In addition, you may consider partnering with classmates to form a regular study group. Online subject-specific discussion groups could also be useful.

Need more ideas for how you can get better marks? Check out these additional tips for improving your grades.

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