How to Study Better and Smarter

Procrastination is any college student’s enemy. There’s nothing worse than cramming, last-minute, for a test that (doh!) you’ve known about for weeks or doing research for and writing a ten-page paper until the wee hours of the night. Yet it happens, time and time again, to the dismay of thousands of students each year.

First things first, dump the negative attitude! Stop hating on papers, tests, and projects. They are a part of school, the primary reasons why you‘re there, so learn to actually enjoy learning! How? Put some thought into your papers and projects. If you have a choice, at least pick a topic that doesn’t make you fall asleep. For tests, imagine making that ‘A’ and how the very few grades you will earn your whole college career will each make a contribution to your overall GPA and personal satisfaction. And don’t forget, you’ll learn something, which is always an accomplishment.

Now, preventing procrastination. It’s easier than you think to do and requires just a little discipline and some planning ahead. First, buy an agenda. No more writing things on random pieces of paper! It helps t know what’s coming up in all your subjects in one place. Next, chart out what needs to happen before your assignments are due or before your tests take place. For example, with your next paper, jot down the essay and subject on the actual due date in your agenda. Then schedule your outline, research, first draft, second draft and any office hour dates and times you might need with your professor. Breaking up an assignment helps make the best use of the time before the deadline and makes every task more manageable.

Finally, stay organized. Keep a dedicated notebook or binder where you keep all notes for each subject. No sharing them amongst all classes! You are less likely to lose items you’ll need, important notes, rubrics, etc. For research papers, type everything with documentation of sources for your notes on your computer with a properly-titled document or on notecards.

Having a good attitude, solid plan and staying organized will help you keep procrastination at bay and succeed in school with less stress. Don’t limit these tips to just school work. Use them for keeping up with activities your involved in, and you will be in great shape for the real world.

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