Studying for college, especially for someone who doesn't have much college experience, can be challenging. It is clear that there are more difficult careers than others, but one thing is clear: preparing for university exams and keeping up with the syllabi given in subjects university requires more preparation than you would expect in a normal school or an Institute.
So ... how do you study for college? How can we adopt those study habits that will allow us to adapt well to the pace of work and learning that is expected of us in a college? Let's see.
How to study for university and learn week by week
When adjusting to a typical college type of study, keep the following key tips and ideas in mind.
1. Autonomy is what matters
The first thing you should know is that in the university world, the person directly involved in learning is clearly each of the students . If in the institutes the little experience of the students had to be compensated by a very proactive attitude on the part of the professors, this logic no longer exists in the university. Students must do what is necessary to keep up to date on the content they teach in class, without waiting for anyone's help (especially considering that in most faculties there are many more students than teachers).
So, get rid of the idea that behind you there is a life-saving network of people willing to prevent you from having to repeat courses or pay again to take exams. This no longer works like this.
2. Face-to-face classes are an important resource
Many people believe that classes are simply that place to attend so that they do not get a mark for attendance. However, there is something that makes these spaces very valuable: they serve to raise doubts .
There is a custom of seeing questions in class as a rarity, something that only slows down the pace of the syllabus. Yet they are the essence of what it means to teach. The question session serves to fill in the knowledge gaps that remain between what is explained and what is learned by analyzing what the teachers say. The normal thing is that these types of knowledge gaps appear, so something must be done to prevent them from continuing to exist.
Raising a question out loud is something that can save us minutes and even hours of searching through notes, reviewing the bibliography, consulting other students, etc.
3. Create a calendar
You should avoid by all means making your study time depend on the dates you have exams to start reviewing your notes a few days before.
To do this, create calendars from the first week of the semester, locate the days of the exams, and create a first sketch of your study sessions for each subject. Taking into account that to optimize your study times you should spend time studying all the subjects at least once a week , distribute those sessions so that you have a balanced calendar.
4. Create schematics
Do not limit yourself to reading what it says in the books, in the photocopies and in the notes that you have taken as you listened to what was said in class. Write your own versions of that content. It may seem like an unnecessary “extra” task, since it theoretically implies duplicating something that already exists in other visual supports, but in reality it is not. The reason is very simple: doing that requires you to express content in your own words and make it form a coherent “whole”.
For example, carrying out this activity with the content to be learned will allow you to detect in time those “gaps” in knowledge and those apparent contradictions that, otherwise, would only come to your attention at the time of taking the exam or shortly before. In addition, it will make the study much easier, because having all the content in one place and being part of a text structured in a way that makes sense to you makes things much easier.
On the other hand, the fact of rewriting the contents of the syllabus makes you memorize them much better than you would simply reading, because it makes that information better fixed in your memory.
5. If you can, study in a group
Group study sessions are an ideal way to detect doubts in time that otherwise would not have occurred to you. Thanks to these sessions, those difficult questions that would have been off your radar if you limited yourself to studying on your own, without counting on others, are centralized. Mind you, make sure you study with people who have a similar level of knowledge to yours , or it could be a frustrating experience.