Studying doesn't have to be hard
By Marques Chavez
December 15, 2006 | Every person who has ever attended
a class in school with a desire to perform well knows
how difficult it is. It is harder than attending the
class to begin with. It is equal to eating your vegetables
as a kid. It is studying.
The very sound of the word makes most students cringe
as if they were listening to Roseanne Barr sing the
Star Spangled Banner. Don't misunderstand, there are
always exceptions to the rule. There are students who
hardly ever study but still manage to pass their classes.
Usually, these students can be separated into two categories.
Students who are geniouses and students who are on academic
probation. For the average student who needs to exhert
some sort of effort to pass with a grade above average,
studying is the only honest way to succeed.
So, what are some ways studying can be more effective
and seem less like a chore? The following are a few
First, find a venue that is most conducive for studying.
An obvious place to select for study is the library.
However, the university library may not be the most
effective place to go. Sometimes, libraries on campus
can be just as social and distracting as being on the
quad. If you choose a library, make sure you can segregate
yourself in a quiet area where you will not be distracted.
"I like to reduce all the distraction I can and get
in the zone," says Cami Clarke, a junior at Utah State
majoring in Social Work.
Amy Egan, a senior majoring in English says, "If there
is anything going on around me, I can't study." She
goes on to say, "I have to get out of my apartment."
Egan makes a good point about studying in your apartment.
Don't do it. Although you may be able to go into your
bedroom and study in a comfortable surrounding, there
are still too many things around that can cause distraction.
Your roommates may be loud, the television can be tempting
and so can your bed. Think about it. How many times
have you fallen asleep while reading a chapter for a
class you have the next day?
The second suggestion can be summed up in three words.
Plan, plan, plan! Set a schedule every week and make
sure to set aside quality time to study. It may even
be a good idea to plan monthly and modify those plans
Greg Lindsay, who is a junior majoring in Finance,
says, "I have found that planning is the best. I always
plan time to exercise everyday and it has now become
a good habit I have developed. The same is with studying.
You just have to create a habit out of it and that starts
"I get frustrated when I only have a half hour or
45 minutes to study," says Egan. "I have to plan at
least an hour for study."
Set aside quality time to study. Do not shortchange
yourself by trying to have an in-depth study in just
a half hour. It is also important to take short breaks
while you study. Get up and move around for a few minutes
after studying for a lengthy period of time. These short
breaks will raise your quality of study. When it comes
to planning, you will want to make sure you have accomplished
your studies before relaxing or hanging out with friends.
Doing this will not only improve your study quality,
it will also make recreation time more enjoyable because
you will not have the burden of studying constantly
on your mind.
Finally, it is important to remember that you don't
have to go it alone. Studying in groups, as long as
the group is focused on studying and not socializing,
is an effective tool. Plus, it can be fun. Who would
have thought? Studying can be fun. Another tool that
can be utilized is Supplemental Instruction or S.I.
These are superb opportunities to learn from an instructor
that can not only teach the material, but can also give
insights as to what exactly you should be studying.
Supplemental instruction will often cut your study time
in half. It doesn't get any more effective than that.
The important thing to remember is that while studying
is difficult and often boring, it doesn't have to be.
Applying some of these techniques may even give you
a positive attitude about studying. You can even look
up more study tips here.
Cami Clarke put it best when sh because I know how
to do it." She is someone who has seen the results.
The lowest grade she has ever received while attending
Utah State is an A minus.