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Best Study Tips from Top Students

A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Hi guys,

I am interested in what your study strategies and tips are for succeeding in university. Even if you are in high school, I am curious to know about things that have been effective for you that can also be applied later on in life. Any lessons you learned? Stories with morals to them?

Thanks in advance.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I see that the Feynman technique was already mentioned! This one works really well (mainly it's the act of recalling information and 'teaching' someone else the topic- in simple terms. This reinforces learned knowledge really well.)

I tend to start early- if I have an assignment due by the end of the month, then I will begin a rough draft on the day that I get it. 

Revising notes each day is a good habit to build, and it also helps you solidify what you learned in class. (Spaced repetition helps develop your memory recall regarding a learned topic.) 

I also use a separate notebook for writing down what I have learned - in my own words. It needs to be separate from the rest of my work (otherwise I associate my classroom-learning+notes with what I already know.) This method helps me determine what I don't yet know. I use it during text assignments (read chapters x-- x by a set date.) This way I can reinforce the learned material as I progress through a chapter. If I didn't actually learn it then I can go back into the text and reread a few paragraphs. I try to limit how often I look back to the text while writing in this notebook- I want to understand and remember the information, rather than read and copy it down.

For college/university students- we're usually given the content online before learning it in-class. Read the PowerPoints/lessons online, highlight what you're not familiar with, and develop questions. Bring that paper with you to your next class- this will act as a guide during the lesson. You can ask the professor your questions- and you will be familiar with the content, because you read the online material! When you reach a highlighted area, you will know to focus on the lecture more closely. If your questions still remain, ask your professor! They're there to help you. Taking initiative is important in post-secondary studies.

For habits at home- I always set my phone away from me, or I'll set myself away from it during homework: No phone, no laptop, no television. I set an alarm and chip away for half an hour. Then I get a 15 minute break. If I'm 'in the zone' then I'll work at it for an hour and take a 30 minute break. Breaks are important! Don't cram your brain. It won't remember everything right away (do you remember every little thing discussed during a 2-hour lecture, at supper time that night?) Breaks are good. Get some chow and drink and do something 'not-school-related.' When the alarm sounds again, get another bout of work done for the night. This works best if you set goals for yourself: 'finish reading chapter x, jot down key terms,' 'write rough draft of essay,' 'finish questions x - y.' Set out a reasonable task goal and finish only that goal. Don't overwork yourself, but don't underwork either. 

If you have to use your laptop for research/lecture/notes, then try a browser extension that can block websites for a period of time. There are great resources available on tumblr with apps and study techniques too! (tag: studyblr, apps) 

It also helps to understand what kind of learner you are!! This can change often- so it does help to determine this each year/every few years of your studies. (A google search will provide you with information on these styles.) Most people are a combination of each learning style, although they'll learn best with one or two types. (Social/Solitary, Visual, Logical, Aural, Verbal, Physical)
When you determine what type of learner you are, you can tailor your study environment/habits better. 

Best wishes on your academic journey (:
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I also think organizing also helps with grades. If you leave assignments until last minute you're usually rushed to complete them. Starting early is helpful because you can break down large assignments into smaller components. An app I just recently started using is GradeHero, check it out. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.gradehero#details-reviews
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Studying can be such a drag sometimes. 
What helps me is breaking everything down. If you keep good notes, usually it isn't too hard. Look at the big ideas of the course. What does your teacher want you to know? Then from there, split up the smaller, more in depth ideas into these big idea groups. Hopefully that gives you more of an idea of what to study. 
Do one or two topics each night. I find it really helpful to keep a written planner. That way, I can write what I need to do each night, and highlight the important stuff. Some people use their phones, but i find that distracting, especially when I get Social Media updates, as I'm trying to work. 
These ideas should cut down on stress, which is your big enemy. Do whatever you have to do to cut down on stress. Eat healthy, exercise, and get sleep. If it helps you can maybe get your favourite treat to eat a little bit of each night while studying for a reward, as long as it doesn't get too out of hand. A stomach ache is not something you need in exam season.
My last thing that I love to do, is to try and explain things I've learned in the course to people who aren't taking said course. This doesn't work for everything, but if you can explain something to someone, without having to use your textbook or notes, you definitely know it.
Good luck with studying!
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Just finished my freshman year in college for nursing, and I have a couple of tips! (Some of them may be unusual)

1. As soon as you get an assignment, or notified of a test - GET ON IT ASAP. I cannot stress this with enough importance. Scream, shout, talk to yourself and do anything crazy to convince your mind it's worth starting on a project right away, because God knows you're only going to save yourself from future unnecessary stress by doing that. 

2. Sacrifice: If you really want to accomplish a goal that bad, some things in your life have to go. I had best friends who always hung out every weekend (no matter what -  even if there was a huge ass test the next week), and I, most of the time, always had to say no because I knew I wanted to academically succeed more than I wanted to drink and make out with a hot guy at a party lol. 

Which brings me to my third point....

3. Prioritize! Some things have to go - that is true - but not permanently. Learn how to balance your lifestyle, and everything will fall into place. Work hard, study hard, play hard! Just because you sacrifice some weekends, does not mean you have to sacrifice all :) It's still very possible to get drunk out of your mind 1-2 weekends a month while getting a 4.0! 

4. Be a sponge: no, not the one under the sea (ha ha ha). By that, I mean someone who is always willing to learn. This will help you go a long way, because believe it or not - it's always better to be the dumbest person in the room than the smartest. Who's doing more learning? The dummy or the know-it-all? Well duh, obviously the dumb bimbo because he/she is doing all the information absorbing and opportunity-soaking. This leaves the brilliant know-it-all, stagnant, in his/her intellectual development. [AND NO. I am by no means telling you to try and be the dumbest person in the room!! you know what i mean lol]

I went religiously by these four rules, and it worked for me! Don't know if it will for anybody else out there, but hopefully it will :) And not for my bragging purposes, but for those who wanna know how well it worked out for me - I ended up with a 4.0 at the end of the year. This was by no means, accomplished on a whim especially for someone like me who basically has serious attention span problems. 

Just remember to work hard, play hard, and study hard - but all in moderation! So best of luck to all of you. :)



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The things I am going to talk about can be referred to the copy-book truth. Nevertheless, it will come to work!
1. Keep a record of your rebuffs and achievements. It helps to control the quality of your study plan fulfillment. And guess what? Nothing but an .xsl table can be handy for these purposes.
2. Create online discussion and initiate your group-mates to participate in it. In this way you can be prepared to lectures and seminars. Foe instance, with Google Hangouts https://hangouts.google.com you will have an opportunity to organize video and voice calls. 
3. Be aware of plagiarism. Whatever discipline you study, it will be the necessity to write an opinion essay, research work or report. Every University has a set of recommendation which students should follow in their writing. Also, if you want to ensure that your work contains no text matches, it makes sense to use plagiarism checker like Unplag https://unplag.com/check-paper-for-plagiarism which highlights unoriginal content you need to cite. 
4. Be friendly to people. Nobody had cancelled The Boomerang Principle. 

Make a plan, use technology and keep studying smart!
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