Developing good study habits will pay in your career.
“Effective study habits create a more efficient academic or work environment,” says Kris Owens, Manager of Student Success. “Planning in advance, setting priorities, and organizing your time are necessary skills for success.”
Mercy College provides multiple tools to help you become a better student and professional. Owens suggests leveraging the ELEOS Student Course, which has a collection of student resources to help improve study habits, including: note taking, identify learning styles and study strategies. You can also develop your study habits by participating in free Success Seminars, regularly offered in the Success Center Tutoring Room. To find a list of upcoming Success Seminars, visit the schedule of events and registration form here.
- Create a study plan to help you stay organized
Treat your schoolwork like a job and block off days and times in your calendar for studying. Analyze when you work most efficiently and adapt your study plan accordingly. If you are a morning person, schedule your study session in the morning. If you work better at night, plan to study at night.
- Create a weekly list, then cross items off!
At the beginning of every week create a list of goals for each class. Jot down in a calendar homework assignments, big projects, upcoming exams and areas you need to work on. Determine what you need to do to complete or move forward each item and adjust your study plan accordingly.
- Start and complete the least favorite task.
Begin your study session with the most difficult task. Your brain will be fresh and ready for a challenge. You should also plan to do more difficult assignments towards the beginning of the week. Procrastinating on difficult assignments only leads to stress.
- Understand your learning style.
Not all people learn in the same way. Identifying and understanding your personal learning style can help you study more efficiently and effectively. Once you identify your learning style, adapt your study plan to include study strategies appropriate for your style. Resources for discovering your learning style are available on ELEOS.
- Prepare for class, before class.
Simply showing up to class is not enough. Before every class, spend time reviewing your notes, completing assigned reading and forming questions. Coming to class prepared will increase your engagement in class and help you understand the material.
- Take purposeful notes, that make sense to you.
Most lectures cover a lot of material, so it’s important to take excellent notes. Taking good notes includes being prepared for class to understand the lecture and reviewing your notes after class. Make sure you label your notes with the date and name of the course, and keep all of your notes in the same place so they are easy to reference. Resources for improving your note taking skills are available on ELEOS.
- Create a working environment that suits you best.
Identifying your learning style will help you create an ideal working environment. If you thrive in group work, organize study sessions with other students on a regular basis. If you prefer working alone or in a quiet place, plan to study in that setting. Try to keep your working environment free from distractions to increase productivity and efficiency.
- Study with others.
There are many benefits to having a study partner or group, even if you prefer working alone. Talking to another person about coursework can help you gain a new perspective or understand something you struggle with. Plan to regularly discuss coursework with at least one other person outside of class. Pick a study partner who will stay on task, but also realizes when it's time for a break.
- Strive for understanding material, through personal connections.
Students who understand the material are more likely to remember what they learn for the long term. Practice reading and thinking critically about the content, forming connections between everything you study and practice explaining and demonstrating concepts.
- Budget your time and schedule breaks.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete big projects or study for exams, but plan for breaks in between study sessions. If you schedule several long days of studying you will get discouraged and burnt out. If you start to feel overwhelmed by a project, move on to an easier task or take a walk. Effective study strategies are important, but so is work-life balance.
Congratulations! Now you are equipped with a plan to successfully succeed at Mercy College.