Study Habits

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Study Habits

#1  Postby inkaStepa » May 15, 2011 5:39 pm

I quit my job in order to really prepare for my finals and am trying to prepare for summer classes now. I only recently got into the habit of putting everything into separate folders or binders...things that I should probably know by now having graduated high school and having been in college for two years now.I was wondering if anyone had any tips for studying biology or for getting through college with good study habits or techniques...any would be really helpful.Thanks.
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Re: Study Habits

#2  Postby Kaleid » May 16, 2011 10:33 am

It's different for different people. You have to find your own way of working, where you know that it's all sinking in. I used to sit there for hours poring over books, keeping the computer off to stop me wasting time online, but I didn't seem to retain much.
Then I found out that I study better in 20 minute periods. I keep to 20 minutes exactly, then I get up and mess about/waste time for another 20. Then I start again. I've found that I seem to take in far more this way.

Procrastination is the number one enemy. You'll have to see what works for you. Try out lots of things. I can't listen to any music whatsoever, but one of my friends simply can't study without metal blasting out at full whack.

It might also be a good idea to take yourself off to the college library to study, rather than do it all at home. The sight of others diligently studying might spur you on and help you feel more disciplined.
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Re: Study Habits

#3  Postby LucidFlight » May 16, 2011 10:42 am

Find a study partner (attractive, but not distractingly-so) and set a schedule — incentive, interaction, support, and discipline/routine. Your college library should provide an excellent environment for this, as Kaleid has suggested.
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Re: Study Habits

#4  Postby z8000783 » May 16, 2011 10:54 am

Planning is the key for me. Set up a large calendar so that you can write stuff on each day, a bit like a wall planner only larger. Do it in word it's easy. Write in work to be done and especially deadlines, use different colours if that's your style. Don't have late nights when you have study days or exams following. Besides writing in deadlines also write in the earliest date you can get work finished by to give you some contingency. Things will always go wrong like family problems, illness etc so always be ahead. If you do have to miss a lecture or tutorial, get the notes from someone and write up straight way.

If you plan well enough you can often treat yourself to long week-ends or even the odd week off with no major repercussions.

Do you have exams to do because there are a whole stack to techniques connected with that?

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Re: Study Habits

#5  Postby PureThrust » May 18, 2011 5:19 pm

My style is simple, though I don't know if it'll work for you:

1. Manage your time by allocating your priorities. :)
2. If you can't live without exercise, I recommend pop pilates 10 minute work out found in youtube.
3. 48 reading/understanding or applying what you study /12 minute break
4. I don't memorize, but if you know how to do it effectively, do so. I did see the difference between my test scores when I memorized what I needed to remember as compared to what I understood and knew how to apply. It was more accurate, but a 5 point difference isn't that bad. 95/90 average, choose your pic. Atleast a 90 with mastery is better than 95 not mastered. :)
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Re: Study Habits

#6  Postby inkaStepa » Jul 13, 2011 10:22 pm

How do you guys organize things for classes? I used to buy notebooks but they tend to get sloppy. I switched to binders but my papers kept ripping especially at the end of semesters. My folders always rip to at the edges...how do you guys keep your stuff neat?
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Re: Study Habits

#7  Postby CookieJon » Jul 14, 2011 1:03 am

Have the benefit of my experience...

1. Don't bother taking notes in classes. Just befriend some swot towards the end of the semester and photocopy all their notes.
2. Pull assignments from past students off the internet to hand in as your own work. Don't forget to change enough words so it can't be googled easily.
3. For group assignments, make sure you're paired with a control-freak, then do a terrible job on your part so they're compelled to take over and do it all for you.
4. Don't bother studying for exams any earlier than you have to. Simply stay up late the night before the exam, and cram in as much as you can. That way, you only have to remember stuff for a few hours until the exam's over.
5. For hard-to-remember things like lists and formulas, use the time-honoured technique of writing notes on your arms. Don't forget to wear a long-sleeved shirt to the exam, though!
6. In case all else fails, have an affair with your lecturer/tutor. For extra leverage, choose a tutor who is married - it could mean the difference between an A and an A+.

Good luck! :cheers:
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Re: Study Habits

#8  Postby Sonoran Lion » Jul 18, 2011 2:14 am

inkaStepa wrote:How do you guys organize things for classes? I used to buy notebooks but they tend to get sloppy. I switched to binders but my papers kept ripping especially at the end of semesters. My folders always rip to at the edges...how do you guys keep your stuff neat?


I just use notebooks for class and keep any papers in my notebooks. Needless to say, I am not that good at keeping my stuff neat. My desk usually has papers and books stacked on it but somehow I know where everything is (usually). Someone suggested to me keeping things in files and have a small file cabinet. You could try that.
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Re: Study Habits

#9  Postby AlohaChris » Jul 18, 2011 2:41 am

CookieJon wrote:Have the benefit of my experience...

1. Don't bother taking notes in classes. Just befriend some swot towards the end of the semester and photocopy all their notes.
2. Pull assignments from past students off the internet to hand in as your own work. Don't forget to change enough words so it can't be googled easily.
3. For group assignments, make sure you're paired with a control-freak, then do a terrible job on your part so they're compelled to take over and do it all for you.
4. Don't bother studying for exams any earlier than you have to. Simply stay up late the night before the exam, and cram in as much as you can. That way, you only have to remember stuff for a few hours until the exam's over.
5. For hard-to-remember things like lists and formulas, use the time-honoured technique of writing notes on your arms. Don't forget to wear a long-sleeved shirt to the exam, though!
6. In case all else fails, have an affair with your lecturer/tutor. For extra leverage, choose a tutor who is married - it could mean the difference between an A and an A+.

Good luck! :cheers:


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Re: Study Habits

#10  Postby laklak » Jul 18, 2011 2:45 am

Excellent advice CookieJon. The only option I might add is open bribery.
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Re: Study Habits

#11  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 18, 2011 4:22 am

CookieJon wrote:Have the benefit of my experience...

1. Don't bother taking notes in classes. Just befriend some swot towards the end of the semester and photocopy all their notes.
2. Pull assignments from past students off the internet to hand in as your own work. Don't forget to change enough words so it can't be googled easily.
3. For group assignments, make sure you're paired with a control-freak, then do a terrible job on your part so they're compelled to take over and do it all for you.
4. Don't bother studying for exams any earlier than you have to. Simply stay up late the night before the exam, and cram in as much as you can. That way, you only have to remember stuff for a few hours until the exam's over.
5. For hard-to-remember things like lists and formulas, use the time-honoured technique of writing notes on your arms. Don't forget to wear a long-sleeved shirt to the exam, though!
6. In case all else fails, have an affair with your lecturer/tutor. For extra leverage, choose a tutor who is married - it could mean the difference between an A and an A+.

Good luck! :cheers:

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Re: Study Habits

#12  Postby Mojzu » Nov 06, 2011 3:40 pm

I used to be awfully lazy when it came to studying, the problem is (or at least was) that in school there was usually only one method of revision that was encouraged/taught. And as a result you might have a system of revision pushed on you that just doesn't hold your attention. If you enjoy the subject matter then that makes things much easier, but other then that you just have to try multiple methods and see what works for you.

If it helps here are a few of the methods I tried, and still use some of them when necessary -

1. You're often told to avoid distractions such as turning the TV and computer off, and though it has changed recently I was always advised not to listen to music. For me it always depended on what was on, or what I was listening to, if I was sitting in silence I would simply shut off after 5 minutes and often just stop revising, I found having something in the background that wasn't particularly interesting (like a TV show you've seen before, or music you've heard a lot) helped for the momentary lapses in concentration.

2. It may seem like a waste of time but I find that I retain things better when I force myself to write them out again and again. If you're trying to glean information from a textbook, then write out the key points and then try to write them out again and again from memory until you feel confident of the information from the textbook.

3. If you're provided with power points or printouts then often people just avoid drawing diagrams and other pictures which can be really helpful for retaining information. As a result when you go back to notes then these diagrams/pictures are lost altogether, As with the above method I repeatedly tried to redraw these diagrams from memory in ways which made more sense to me. I think this is probably the only reason why I ever managed to grasp all the different cycles of respiration and photosynthesis.

4. Actively look for additional course materials online or in a book store. The textbooks schools provide you with just aren't designed to revise from. Though this isn't directly biology related I always struggled with what is now A level maths, often failing exams entirely until I found a revision guide that forced me to do question after question on every concept and explained things progressively which made much more sense to me.
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Re: Study Habits

#13  Postby felltoearth » Nov 06, 2011 4:46 pm

I suck at studying so my best study method was simply going to class and paying attention. I liked to use notebooks in combination with cards. The course outline or weekly reading should tell you the subject of the lecture. I write on the cards and use a separate card for each subject covered in the lecture. This can get tricky but you can train yourself to do this. This is really good for profs who jump around and disgress often. I then paste the cards into order into my notebook (the cards therefore shouldn't be of heavy stock and a coiled bound notebook is best). This makes studying enormously better as well.

As for now, I would just use my iPad. A Kindle Fire is probably a good option for the budget conscious as you could carry your textbooks with you at the same time.
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Re: Study Habits

#14  Postby felltoearth » Nov 06, 2011 4:49 pm

The card method is also good after the fact too, I might add. Organize and write down as you study. These become "flash" cards later.
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