Study resources exist to help students achieve their academic and personal goals. By utilizing these helpful tips, you can optimize your educational experience.
Balancing life as a student means that time management and study resources are of utmost importance. When you have to hit deadlines, study for tests, maintain good grades, read for classes, and write papers, there are a lot of moving pieces throughout your educational journey, so it helps to instill good habits and practice tools to alleviate the burdensome load of student life.
When you can adapt these skills and develop a routine, studying becomes easier and more efficient. In order to make your degree worth every last drop, solid studying skills will promote better learning and help to alleviate stress. Despite the amount you have to learn, there are many resources available to help prepare you for success.
Top 10 Amazing Study Resources for Students
1. General Study Tools
Thanks to the internet and open source software, there are multiple digital tools that can assist in your everyday study routine. Here’s a look at a few across the board that can be of service.
Quizlet is a free learning tool and digital flashcard reservoir. You can either use existing flashcards to study a topic or create your own!
Like Quizlet, StudyStack offers existing flashcards or the option to make your own.
As a top-notch organizational tool, Evernote provides you with a digital notebook with amazing features like the ability to scan documents, sync notes, create note-taking templates, and more.
Grammarly uses AI technology to offer you with writing corrections across multiple platforms from social media to emails and Google documents.
2. Time Management Tools
As a student, one of the most important skills to master is time management. Once you can take a hold of your time, you can design your days to optimize every minute and get everything you need done without causing stress or panic. Here are a few ways to help manage your time better:
It helps to prioritize what you need to do around what your goals are. If you take some time to brainstorm and write down your goals, you can then map out the steps you need to take to achieve them. Once you have them written down, you can better align and prioritize your tasks around meeting your goals.
With so much to do, it can become easy to forget things. That’s why using a digital or traditional agenda can help to remind you of your meetings, assignments, deadlines and more. Google Calendar offers an easy-to-use and free calendar, if you don’t like the one on your phone.
To Do List:
To do lists are most useful when they are organized in order of priority. Be sure to itemize your list by importance.
Learn to Say No:
Although this one sounds easy, it proves to be a challenge for many people. Saying no could mean displeasing someone else, so it’s naturally hard to do, but when it comes to your time, if it isn’t suiting your goals or you can’t fit something in, learning how to say no can alleviate an immense feeling of pressure.
It’s cliche to say, but “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” As such, not everything has to be done immediately and non-stop. Taking breaks allows you to refuel and recharge so that when you do exert output, you can do so with a refreshed mind.
Sleep allows for your brain to sort through memories and helps to provide better brain functioning and cognition during waking hours. Without adequate sleep, memory problems occur, your body can be in physical pain and your overall well-being diminishes.
3. Concentration Techniques
While in class, after school and in general life, concentration is important to retain information and live in the present. There are ways to increase your concentration abilities, but they take practice.
Meditation and Mindfulness:
There are various kinds of meditation and mindfulness, but the overall idea is to use and focus on your breath as a marker to remain in the present. Generally, you acknowledge thoughts as they pass through your head and let them go to try to come back to your breath. A good way to start meditating is to start small, like trying 5 minutes a day or so, or use a guided meditation like this one to stay focused. Or, you can try an app like Headspace to help get you going and track your progress.
Create a “Distraction” To Do List:
Of course you know what a to do list is, but have you ever heard of a “distraction” to do list? There may be things you want to check out while you’re focusing, but instead of moving off the task at hand, simply write it down so you can take a look at your distraction to do list and go through them in their own time.
Practice Active Listening:
Active listening is listening with all your senses. This means giving full attention to the person speaking and using verbal or non-verbal communication to signal you’re actually listening, like head nodding or uttering “mhm” to signify you understand the message rather than just hear it.
4. Note-Taking Tips
In whatever course you take, you’ll likely have to take notes. Whether this is on a laptop, tablet or by hand, there are ways to maximize your note-taking to better serve your learning.
To keep your notes organized, begin each lecture on a new page with a title and date at the top so you can easily find what you’re looking for when you need to refer back to your notes.
Leave blank spaces in your notes to come back and write more later from the textbook or lecture materials or insert relevant questions.
Consider editing and rewriting or typing your notes within 24 hours after first taking them to better allow the information to sink in. Also, the act of writing notes again is a memorization tool.
Check the accuracy of your notes to textbooks and lecture materials to ensure you got the information right.
5. Online Studying/Distance Learning
Online institutions are becoming increasingly popular, especially for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Schools like University of the People allow people from all over the world to earn their degrees in various programs with nothing more than an internet connection. Online learning comes its own share of study tips.
Because these institutions rely on the internet to provide courses, materials and student interaction, begin by ensuring that you have a strong internet connection or find a place where you can use internet without interruptions.
Space and Place:
Be sure to designate a comfortable and quiet place to study from that is conducive to your needs.
Build a Study Plan:
One of the greatest things about studying online is the flexibility. But this also means you have increased responsibility to manage time and decide when to log on and learn. That’s why it’s useful to build a study plan and schedule. You can try use something like Study Planner for this, which also includes mind mapping tools that can be useful for tip #9.
Ask for Help:
Distance learning offers student resources like traditional campuses, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from the university’s resources or fellow students. For example, UoPeople grants each student with an academic advisor who is there to answer questions at any time throughout the degree program process.
Online discussions exist to create a semi in-class environment where students can interact, get to know one another and even work together.
Like in any school setting, breaks are necessary to take. When you study on your own time, schedule in some breaks from the computer to do what you love or rest.
6. Essay Writing
When it comes to essay writing, the number one tip is to not procrastinate. Here are some more tips to help you write.
Understand the Prompt:
Take your time to read and understand what is being asked of you. Underline key words in the prompt and consider rewriting the prompt in your own words.
Create an Outline:
Write down the skeleton of your essay with the thesis statement (or the overall argument) followed by bullet points with big headlines (topics) of each supporting paragraph.
Write the essay according to the outline and take time to edit and revise the content.
7. Test Taking Tips
Test days can be overwhelming, but if you follow these best practices, they get easier!
Be sure to arrive a few minutes early to get settled. The night before, get good sleep by shutting off distractions early or trying something calming before bed like a warm bath or drinking chamomile tea.
Test directions are important and should not be skimmed over.
Start by answering the easy questions and marking the hard questions that are taking too much time. After answering the questions you know for sure, go back to the more difficult ones. Be sure to answer all questions even if you are unsure if you’re right.
Some people like to start their test with a memory dump, or writing down the equations, dates, and important information that may come up at the moment the test begins.
8. Stress Management Tips
When you’re stressed out, your body physically and psychologically responds, which can cause energy depletion and unwanted thoughts. By managing stress, you free your energy to study and allocate free time to do more of the things you enjoy. These tips are straightforward:
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Write down things you need to do
- Talk to someone — a friend, family member, counselor, and/or write in a journal
- Practice time management tips (see above)
- Take breaks and rest
9. Memorization Tips
Many school subjects require memorization. Some people are naturally better than others with memorizing facts and numbers, but everyone can strengthen this skills by using the following helpful devices.
A technique to memorize information through a song, rhyme, image or phrase. An example for basic math is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” to remember order of operations for: parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.
The creation flashcards alone helps to memorize, but you can test yourself or have others test you. (Refer to tip #1 for flash card tools like Quizlet or StudyStack).
The more you repeat information, the better you will remember!
You can create a mind map by writing the main subject in the middle and drawing lines to all related information with images, colors, symbols or words to help remember associated words and ideas.
When you teach someone else, you may remember information stronger because you can recall what it is you told them.
10. Balance Work/Life/School
Of course all of these tips are the most beneficial when you can learn to balance your work/life and school in comfortable proportion. It’s not always easy, but it can be achieved, especially when you keep in mind the following:
- Take time for breaks
- Schedule time for friends
- Do something you love
- Set achievable goals and give yourself rewards when accomplishing them
- Exercise regularly, eat healthily and get sleep
All Together Now
Each of these tips combine to create an efficient student experience and allow you to optimize your time. They take a lot of practice and require trial and error to see what works best on an individual basis. Once you can conquer the best study resources, you can enhance your education!