Member Tips: Study Advice to Make the Grade

Mar 9, 2020

Whether midterms are approaching or you’re tackling material for the GRE, don’t let March madness get the best of you. Studying for the upcoming challenge can seem difficult, but where there’s a will, there’s an A!

Our members have shared their best tips for staying focused and finding the right tools to make sure you’re giving it your best. After you read their advice here, join the conversation and share your tips with others within the Phi Kappa Phi community today.

  1. Start with a plan.
    Set up a timeline for yourself to stay focused. Members suggest a detailed schedule or to do list as the perfect place to start, and a regular review of the schedule at the start and end of each day will keep you on track.
  2. Be sure to consider your own personal learning style and schedule when creating the plan. Are you a night owl that absorbs information best once the sun goes down? Find time slots for studying that fit both your schedule and your personal performance peaks.

  3. Break it up.
    Don’t take on too much at once and become overwhelmed. Break down large tasks into smaller parts and focus on one piece at a time. If you have an entire book to read, set a goal of a few chapters. Or study one unit at a time, with an intentional break in between to redirect your attention. Members repeatedly emphasize the importance of taking regular breaks in their advice to one another.

  4. Location, location, location.
    You’ve heard the saying about real estate – remember to take it to heart with studying as well. An ideal location can improve your focus tremendously. While some members say they find support in group study sessions, others work best in solitude and silence. Whatever your preference, make sure you set the right scene before starting to study.

  5. Take an alternative approach.
    Step outside of your normal study patterns and see if you can discover new approaches that may help. Are you normally a very analytical and methodical student? Give your creative side a workout and try drawing a visual representation of a concept you’re working to master. Visit the member community and find one suggestion you’ve never tried before and see if it gives you new insight on how to improve your study skills.

  6. The eyes – and ears – have it.
    Visual and audio input can be key contributors to improving study success. For the visual aspect, our members shared advice on color coding notes and material, creating graphic representations of concepts, and rewriting lecture notes as a great way to look back over all you’ve learned. Watching YouTube videos about your topic can also provide a new angle or explanation that you may not have considered.

    For the more sound-oriented folks, a “listen and learn” approach may work better. Recording key lectures and re-listening to them later can remind you of forgotten tidbits. And for many of our members, background music is a must for maintaining focus during a study session.

  7. Remember the body/mind connection.
    Don’t forget to feed your body while you feed your brain. When you break up those study sessions, consider a cat nap or a bit of exercise. While some members prefer a short walk, one member suggested a full-blown workout as her biggest recommendation. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep at night and staying hydrated and well-fed during the day.

Do you have tips that have helped you master the art of studying? Click here to share your ideas in the Phi Kappa Phi community and see what other members have shared as advice and encouragement.

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