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Techniques for Effective Studying

The following techniques are about when to study, where to study, how to handle the rest of the world, and things to think about when you get stuck.

When/how to study:

  • Plan 3 hours of study time for every hour you spend in class.
  • Study difficult or boring subjects first.
  • Avoid scheduling marathon study sessions.
  • Be aware of time of day when you are most alert.
  • Use waiting time (waiting for the shuttle or sitting in a doctor's office).

Where to study:

  • Find a REGULAR study area.
  • Don't get to comfortable before studying.
  • Utilize the library.

How to handle the rest of the world:

  • Pay attention to your own attention.
  • Make rules with your roommates concerning study time.
  • Avoid noise distractions.
  • Beware of individuals who misuse their time.
  • Get off the phone.
  • Learn to say NO.
  • Hang a DO NOT DISTURB!!! sign on your door.

Things to ask yourself when you get stuck:

  • Ask:  What is one task I can accomplish toward my goal?
  • Ask:  Am I being too hard on myself?
  • Ask:  How did I just waste that time?
  • Ask:  Would I pay myself for what I'm doing now?
  • Ask:  Can I do just one more small task before I stop studying?

Adapted from Becoming a Master Student by David. B. Ellis.

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