10 College Studying "Don'ts"

As a college student, you might be familiar with how to study, but what about how not to study? With these 10 studying “don’ts,” you’ll be better equipped to get more out of the studying “dos.”

  1. Don’t cram: Cramming for exams rarely works out. Pace yourself by studying for an hour or two each day starting one week before the test. This way, the before is simply a review session.

  2. Don’t pull all-nighters: Along with cramming comes the dreaded all-night studying. While this might be unavoidable if the deadline is tomorrow, always make sleep a priority to keep your cognitive functions performing well.

  3. Don’t study without a laptop: Even if you prefer to take notes by hand, your laptop is an invaluable study tool. You can access class notes online, look up unfamiliar terms and listen to ambient studying music.

  4. Don’t be distracted by social media: While your laptop is a useful tool, being connected can also be a distraction. Close all social media tabs and put your phone on silent so you can concentrate uninterrupted.

  5. Don’t study only in between other plans: It’s worthwhile to study during the 30 minutes you have between classes, but don’t let rushed, short periods like this be the only time you complete schoolwork. Your mind can focus better if you’re not looking at the clock every two minutes.

  6. Don’t underestimate study time: If you think it will take two hours to finish a project, it will probably take four. Strive to always overestimate the time you need to study.

  7. Don’t study silently: If possible, complete homework in a place where you can talk without disrupting others around you. Saying what you’re studying out loud – or even making up a song – helps you memorize and retain the material more effectively.

  8. Don’t equate memorization to comprehension: It’s possible to memorize something without understanding it, but this doesn’t help you apply what you’ve learned to the real world. Don’t end your study session until you feel confident that you comprehend the subject matter.

  9. Don’t get left behind in your study group: The person who leads the group may be ready to move on, but if you’re still confused, don’t allow yourself to get left behind. Ask for clarification, more examples or a different explanation until you’re sure you get it.

  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Teachers are here to help you learn, which also means assisting with the study process. Visit them during their posted office hours and look into getting a tutor if you need additional help.

Start off your college career with these studying “don’ts” in mind, and you’ll find it easier to pass classes and keep your grades up. Northwestern State University’s global campus division, eNSU, offers extensive secondary education opportunities for students who prefer to learn online. If you think you’re ready to enroll in classes, or you have questions about our online degree programs, please contact us today.