Studying is essential for college students. While some students may have found their own method of preparing for projects, exams and quizzes, there are others who have not found a suitable studying method or have struggled with studying in some way. Here are some ways students can become comfortable and productive when studying to reduce stress when it comes time for the finals week.
Find a good setting
An underrated aspect of any study session is the location. It is important to have an area where you’ll be relaxed and able to focus. The ideal location varies from person to person because some people work differently. One person may be able to study in a loud environment, while another person may prefer a quiet setting.
NIU has a number of ideal studying areas but the best area to study just might be the Founders Memorial Library. The library is quiet and has enough seating available for people to spread out throughout the building to feel comfortable. The library even has a variety of both individual and group study rooms that can be reserved, according to the NIU website.
Stay organized and plan ahead
Another tip for studying is to have organization and a study guide or layout for your study time. This could be in the form of a planner or any personal method to help students stay on task and understand the material. Even taking advantage of resources like the writing center can be beneficial.
Things that may be useful include having the class syllabus, notebook, writing utensils, textbook and other basic materials. Having an organized and set schedule can be beneficial.
“The university Writing Center helps with writing and presentation projects and everything related to them,” said Gail Jacky, director of the Huskie Academic Support Center. “Supplemental instruction helps with content-based tutoring, primarily 100 and 200 level math and science courses.”
Plan out the material and areas that you want to study. Maybe you didn’t do so well on a previous assignment or have an upcoming test. It’s important to highlight the importance of understanding material that you may not feel as well versed or confident in.
“Understand your schedule,” Jacky said. “Figure out when you have commitments, classes, work, scheduled tutoring, recitation sessions, organizations, eat and sleep.”
According to the Learning Center of the University of North Carolina, simply re-reading or reading a text is not studying and not actively engaging with the course material. Active engagement with the material comes in many forms and includes the student making some kind of connection to have an actual understanding of the material.
“Study time should be relaxing and thought-provoking,” said Aaron Barnes, a sophomore undecided major. “I usually like to get cozy, maybe a little bit of music and some snacks. It’s no fun to study on an empty stomach.”