Studying, as all serious college students know, is one of the major keys to academic success.
Having the right skills, and making the right study environment are important factors in making sure you study well.
While some students have the luxury of spending their study hours in a classroom or the university library, other students are not as lucky and must make so with their study needs at home.
These home study tips can really help you make the most of your home study time, which can in turn, help you to be more successful in your classes and your education.
1. CREATE A SPECIFIC HOME STUDY SPACE
This home study tip is number one as we think it is the most important. We will be harping on this quite a bit because having a set apart home study space really can make a huge deal of difference.
Whether you are living in your parents’ house, sharing a dorm, or have your own apartment or home- you NEED to find a space there for you to claim as your study space. This can be a desk, a table, a night stand, a closet- whatever!
It just needs to be a place where you can go that is free from most distractions, and will allow you to get into the flow of studying without having too many other things on your mind. Here are some home study tips about what to include in your specific home study space:
* A writing surface.
* All the utensils, books, and tools you will need. You don’t want to be getting up and down.
* Bring some study snacks and drinks so you won’t have to leave for those.
* Include a clock. This way you won’t have to worry about the time.
* LEAVE YOUR PHONE BEHIND! Unless you anticipate needing to call someone, hide your phone so it won’t be a distraction.
* Turn off all music and sounds. Some people say that music really helps them focus. They are lying. Even ADD laden students can’t read well or fast when there is music with lyrics playing in the back ground.
* Tell any housemates what you are doing and how long you plan to be doing it, and ask them to act appropriately. Whether it be a spouse, children, or roommates- have them respect your study time and space for a reasonable amount of time.
* Use a lamp. Even if there are other lights- use a reading lamp. You will always read better and faster in a well lit area.
* Have a computer nearby. Pretty much everything we do these days will necessitate the use of a computer. Have one ready to go, but do NOT turn it on until you need it.
2. LEARN GOOD NOTE TAKING SKILLS
Note taking is a very important skill to have when studying, especially if you are studying from home. For some reason, good note taking has almost become a study tip of the past.
Students nowadays seem to think that if they have a laptop, the text book and all the other new gadgets out there, they don’t really need to take good notes. This is so not true. Good note taking skills is a very important home study tip that can make your information absorption easier and your test taking results more successful.
Everybody will have their own style of note taking that works best for them. However, here are some of the most basic steps of effective note taking:
* Write down anything from class that you think will be important for the test.
* Write things in the way you understand them- not necessarily the way they were stated by the teacher or the book.
* Re-write your notes. When you first take notes, they will probably be pretty messy or unorganized. That is because sometimes you just have to get the notes down. Re-writing these notes in an organized way will not only make them easier to study, but will reinforce all that information by having to write it again.
* Use different colors of ink. This can be done with different color pens, or with highlighters over your regular ink. This will help you separate the different themes and to emphasize important things.
* Take notes while reading. Note taking is not just for lectures- it should be used for your textbook reading as well.
* Illustrate your notes. This will make them not only more informational, but will add in some visual cues to get that information to sink in.
3. TEACH OTHERS WHAT YOU LEARN
The best way to know whether or not you have mastered information is to teach it to others. This is a fun home study tip to follow as you can share with others what you are learning.
Before you take an important test, be sure you know your stuff by following these home study tips about teaching others what you learn:
* Prepare a lesson plan. Pretend you are a teacher and prepare how you would teach this information.
* Hold a lecture with one or more people. Get some supportive family members or friends to come listen to you for half an hour or so while you review the information you need for your test .
* Teach yourself in the mirror. If nobody wants to come a lecture given by you, or if you are too shy to hold a self given lecture- then teach yourself in the mirror.
* Lead a study group. Bring together a group of people from your class and teach them what you have learned by leading a study session yourself. You could take turns with others in the group to give everyone a chance.
* Don’t skip this step. This is one of the most overlooked home study tips because of the outgoing nature you might have to hone up for a bit. It is so important, though and can be very effective.
4. READ ALOUD FROM YOUR TEXTBOOK
Reading is an integral part of any study time. One of the simplest home study tips we can give you will enhance the ever present need for reading in studying. Just read out loud.
You can whisper to yourself if that makes things easier, but there really is a power that comes from hearing the written spoken out loud. One of the common things missed in home study courses like online classes is that there is a major lack of audible information.
Hearing a professor speak a lecture is more memorable to students than one they have to read. The same goes for text books. You will be shocked to find out how much more you get out of your text book reading if you simply read it out loud.
5. ANNOTATE YOUR READING MATERIAL
Here is another home study tip about reading. Annotating and high lighting your reading makes what you read sink in a little deeper. High light the parts that you think will be most important to the test or that explain in concise words what the main points of the chapters and units are.
Write in the columns the thoughts that come to mind, and the way you feel about them. Use arrows to connect thoughts and to point from one major idea to others.
The reason these home study tips help so much is that they make it easier for you to skim through the reading when it is time to review the information. There will be no need to re-read the whole text you can bounce from all the highlighted and annotated portions and skip over all the fluff.
Another reason highlighting and annotating your text book is such a great home study tip is that it adds an extra visual cue to the information you have to internalize. This home study tip is such a simple way to make what you are already doing a lot more effective without a lot more effort.
6. CREATE FLASH CARDS
There are very few subjects that flash cards would not be helpful with. Making flash cards is a great way to internalize information because it can help you study easily wherever you are without digging through all the information in the text.
They can also be easily customized for what you specifically need to know. You can create different sets for different classes, and add on to these sets as you learn more in the class, and even take ones out that are no longer needed. Having flash cards makes for an easy way to review all the information you have covered in class.
If you don’t know everything you need to know about any particular card, then you know just what to study more in depth. Simply pull out the cards that you haven’t mastered and work on those specific ones.
While there are lots of flash card sets out there for purchase, we suggest making your own. This will solidify the information as you create them, and will make it easier for you to make them in the style you need. Here are some good tips for making your own flash cards:
* Make them colorful. This will add visual cues to your study time.
* Use them with friends. While flash cards are good to study with on your own, they can be very useful to use with friends as well.
* Use both sides for one subject. Don’t double up. One card per item.
* Find sturdy materials. You don’t want to break the bank when making these, but you do want them to last.
* Make them in a size that is easy to carry with you. If they can’t fit well into your pocket, back-pack, wallet, or purse, then you won’t be able to take them with you everywhere, and that will cut out one of the major benefits of having study flash cards.
* Add to them when needed. Never be afraid to add to a card if you need extra information, even if it makes the card not as aesthetically pleasing as it could be.
* Create games with the cards. Memory, jeopardy, guessing games, timing yourself, whatever. Make your study at home time a little more entertaining by making a game out of your flash cards.
* Do not make them too fancy. This is to study and to make things easier- not to add extra stress or wasted time to your schedule.
7. SET A STUDY TIME LIMIT
The worst thing to do when studying at home is push yourself too hard and burn yourself out. That burnt out feelings makes you less enthusiastic about what you are learning, and makes it harder to retain the information you are studying.
The best home study tip to use to avoid this problem is to simply set a study time limit. Do not let yourself get burnt out! If you have a lot to study, then try doing it in spurts.
Study for an hour (or whatever time increment works best for you), then get up and get something to eat, go for a walk, make a phone call, whatever! Do something different for a little bit, and then come back for another study session.
This will make your mind work better and will make your study time more effective.
8. WRITE DOWN QUESTIONS YOU HAVE
It is inevitable for you to have questions while studying. Not everything will make sense right away. That is because you are not a master of what you are studying- hence the reason to study and take a class.
When these questions pop up some students obsess about finding the answer right away and waste precious study time searching for the answers. Others skip right over them and continue on as if nothing happened.
Our home study tip for when these questions arise is to write them down. Many times the answer will appear as you read further on, and you can cross those questions off.
If the answer isn’t apparent when you get to the end of your study material, you can study the material again to find them if you have the time. If that is not an option, these are the questions to ask your professor or other classmates.
Do not try to remember these questions on your own. You will forget them, and they might be very important. Write them down so you can get the answers you need in a timely manner.
9. GET COMFORTABLE
This is a home study tip that is actually easier to follow at home than anywhere else. The best studying will be done when you are comfortable. Hard desks and chairs may keep you awake, but they might also be keeping you from really being able to delve into your study material.
You don’t want to be so comfortable that sleep sneaks in, but you shouldn’t ever be worried about a sore back or neck while trying to internalize important information. Come to your study space well armed with pillows, cushions, or whatever else you need to feel comfortable while you study.
10. KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
Education in important. Make no mistake about that. These classes you are studying for are very important and will make a huge impact on your future life and career.
Make sure you have all your priorities straight and have placed our education and the studying that will be needed in the most appropriate place in your priorities. College students these days are juggling more balls than ever before- but you have to decide which ones are worth dropping to keep your educational goals intact.
Your education is important, so don’t let social calendars or work schedules keep you from completing something that will greatly affect your future.
Now that you have our top ten home study tips, you are ready to make the most of your home study sessions. Some of these tips might not work for your particular study course, but we are confident that a vast majority of college students today will get a lot of use and help from following these tips.
It might be a good idea to even print out the list to review every now and again to make sure you don’t start slipping back into bad habits. Onwards and upwards is where everyone should always be headed, and these good top ten home study tips are definitely meant to propel you in that general direction.