8 Essential Study Tips for a Successful Semester

"8 Essential Study Tips for a Successful Semester" & accompanying photo of notepad, pen, and plant

New semester, new you! Time management is critical when it comes to your success in school. When classes and exams pick up, extracurricular's typically do to. Don't let the semester slow you down. Plan your time efficiently, and you will excel. Check out some of Behind the Brick's study tips to have a successful semester! 

1. Space out your studying 

This may seem hard on a day-to-day basis, but it's much easier than cramming many weeks worth of work into the two hours you have before your exam. Reviewing a little bit of information that you learned in class each day will keep you up-to-date with what's going on in your class, and keep you from cramming your studying into a tiny amount of time. Even if you don't have time to study a little bit everyday, try doing it at least two weeks before your exam date. You can thank us later! 

2. Move around

Have you been sitting in the same exact spot for hours on end? It's important to give yourself breaks while studying. If you know that you can't sit still for more than an hour at a time, let yourself stand up and move around. Try standing up to stretch your legs, go grab a coffee, do a lap around the library floor, or even pack up and move studying locations entirely. 

3. Set a goal, and treat yourself when you reach it

Give yourself study goals. If you have two weeks before an exam, study forty minutes every night leading up to the exam. If you reach that goal, treat yourself to that venti cappuccino, instead of your normal tall. Don't let your hard work go unnoticed. 

Girl triumphantly holding up her Starbucks cup in the sky

4. Take breaks

Much like moving around occasionally, it is just as important to take breaks. In this time, you are not allowed to study or do anything related to school. I find it helpful to take coffee breaks and phone breaks. 

5. Snack on something healthy

Sugary food or drinks can make you crash quickly. Lucky for you, RIT Dining Services has plenty of grab-and-go options for students who need a quick and healthy study snack. Whether it be an apple, a protein bar, or a to-go cup of hummus, try making a healthy choice the next time you sit down to study. 

6. Get your sleep schedule on track 

You may think staying up late cramming for an exam the next morning may be the best course of action. Well, you're probably doing more damage than good. Getting a good night's rest the evening before a big test day can do wonders. If you show up to your test well-rested, you may be able to recall information that you didn't think you could! 

Bonus Tip: Try reviewing your notes right before you go to sleep on exam day, then get a good night's rest. You'll be surprised at how well you retain the information! 

View of empty bed with laptop

7. Take thorough notes in class

Instead of reviewing your professor's study guide that they put on MyCourses, just take better notes in class! If you're trying to take thorough notes while the professor is lecturing, you're probably also listening and retaining more.

8. Play classical music

Don't knock it until you try it! Not only is classical music proven to boost your mood, it even can help some individuals focus on the work at hand. Classical music is simple, elegant, and non-distracting. It will help you drown out external distractions, and maintain your focus on the material in front of you that you need to study. 

View of a stage with an orchestra

While all individuals absorb information differently and at different rates, it's safe to say that studying is important for the success of all college students. Take some of our tips and try them out for yourself! 

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