Studying is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “a state of contemplation,” “application of the mind to the obtaining of knowledge,” or “a careful examination or analysis of a phenomenon, development, or question.” Studying in college is necessary if a student desires to excel academically. Provided below are ten significant tips to transform mental labor into academic success.

Establish a Routine

To apply the mind constantly to a task requires setting up a routine by which the task or challenge will be accomplished. A good routine to establish that aids in college preparation is to set aside a specific time of the day to study. If a student is more productive in study in the morning than during the day, he or she should study at a time where the mind will be most productive.

Create the Right Environment

A student can choose to study at a particular time of day, but still fail to do so because of a distracting environment. If a student is to get any studying done, he or she cannot have his or her attention turned away from the books because of the latest movie or newest game show. Turn the television off or decide to go in a room where there is no television or stereo system. Getting rid of atmospheric noise will free the mind to think, optimizing study performance.

Set It Down

Often, when students are busy, it never fails that at least one activity in the day will be neglected or completely forgotten. Placing the necessary time(s) of study on a personal calendar or in a personal planner helps the student juggle the many tasks that he or she has throughout the day as well as accomplish the studying goal. What is not planned cannot be performed.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Study time will not be a productive endeavor if the student does not maximize his or her health condition. To this end, the student should drink plenty of liquids, primarily water, and eat healthy foods (fruits and vegetables). The student should get plenty of rest at night, a minimum of eight hours of sleep a day. To stimulate the mind, create an exercise routine by which the mind can rest from study and process the material learned. When the body feels great, the mind will respond favorably.

Reward Yourself

After the work comes the reward. The student should find a way to reward himself or herself for productive study. Little rewards celebrate the past labor and anticipate the future reward.

Creativity in Study

The student should design his or her own test questions, daily answering questions regarding the material studied previously. This keeps studying alive as a journey while also boosting retention of the material previously learned.

Avoid Interruption

The student should have all notes with him or her before a study session begins to prevent interruption.

Test Yourself

The student should test himself or herself after studying to provide some tangible way of measuring academic progress. Students can ask their parents to test them, or rework old assignments and examples provided in their course textbooks, etc.

Don’t Panic

A student can easily be confident in his or her abilities until the day of the exam, when the student becomes fearful and then panics. Panicking may seem like a normal reaction, but it only clouds the mind and prevents the brain from retrieving the information stored in it.

Ask for Help

The student should always be willing to talk to professors and other classmates if he or she continues to struggle in an academic area or concept. Asking up front optimizes the chances of success, rather than waiting until the week or night before an examination.

Studying is hard work, but the reward will more than make up for the labor. One success is always the steppingstone upon which another comes.

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