Study Tips for Busy Students

Adult students are often juggling a full work load along with the demands of school, family, and a social life, drastically limiting the amount of study time available. Make the most of study time with the following tips.

Schedule
Ideally, make a weekly schedule identifying when to study, and post that where other family members can see it.  This way others can be sensitive about respecting the time needed to get classwork done.

Sit
Make sure this area ensures some privacy, is quiet, is well-lit, contains all the materials needed, and is comfortable.

List
Update this To-Do list daily or once a week, and circle or put a star by the things that need to be done first. Keep it in an accessible place, like on the fridge, or put it in a notebook that can be easily slipped into a backpack or bag.

Maximize
Study difficult and boring subjects first, when energy levels are higher. That way these subjects are done more quickly, leaving time for more interesting classes afterward.

Break
Don’t try to study for hours on end – despite the best intentions, that can only make for an exhausted and less productive study session. Study for 45 minutes or so, then take a break for 10 minutes, and come back refreshed and ready to study again afterward.

Reinforce
Spend up to 15 minutes before and after class reviewing previous notes and looking over notes from that day.  This regular review reinforces information, making it easier to study later and eliminating the last-minute cram session before tests.

Rest
Try to get enough rest so once study time comes around, it will be easier to concentrate. Fatigue leads to poor learning and even poorer retention of information.

Ask
Set up a study group with other students from the course, either in person or in an online forum or chat.  If a course is especially difficult, or if it feels like you are drowning in information, sign up for a tutor. Tutors are sometimes offered for free or at a low cost through the university.

For a full, downloadable PDF version of the article, click the link below.

Study Tips for Busy Students

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