Essay Theme: Good Study Habits for College (My Example)

Your study habits define who you are as a student. Do you take notes religiously or adopt a more casual approach? Do you leave assignments to the last minute or get on task early?

A good study habit is one that works for you. We are interested in knowing your best tip. What thing do you do consistently that helps you achieve study goals?

Please tell us in 250 words or less about your highly effective study habit. Exactly what is it? - give us the details. Can you give a specific example where it helped? What was the outcome?

From time to time, we'll publish some of the best entries we've received so far. If someone writes something similar later, we'll ignore their entry in judging. You must be original to win.

For terms and conditions, see the main page of the Study Hard Challenge.

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Excellent Essay Entries

Discipline, Diligence, and Self-awareness

by Xinyue Qiu (April 2, 2017)

Good studying habits incorporate discipline, diligence, and self-awareness. In terms of discipline, I see my syllabi as a contract that tells me what is expected of me and what I can expect. From the very beginning, I mark my planner with all the major assignments, such as papers, quizzes, and exams, for each class so that I can efficiently plan my weeks in advance. For example, in biology, where 1-2 textbook chapters are lectured each week, I make sure to read and take notes on the material for the lecture in advance. Instead of trying to learn everything on the spot during class, I am focusing on retaining the information. This way, class becomes review and confirmation of the information I’ve already learned. However, this requires a lot of diligence in that I need to always read and take notes ahead of each lecture. By knowing my overview of work for the week, I can organize my days one day at a time so that I am constantly making progress with my work.

Students must recognize that different courses in varying areas of study require development of different skill sets. For example, humanities courses may emphasize more critical reading, analysis, and comprehension. On the other hand, science and mathematics courses focus more on problem-solving, concept application, and research inquiry. In this context, self-awareness comes with knowing what skills you need and what type of learner you are so that you can tackle problems in a way that works for you.

Team Work

by Damian Chacon (May 25, 2017)

With today’s technology, there’s an endless array of options when it comes to studying. One may watch videos from other instructors, search related information on the web, browse data bases for previously published journals etc. However, the most effective and useful method I have found is a pencil and paper, and a friend.

First rewriting something you've learned has been proven to help the mind retain the information. An index card is reliable and convenient means of doing this. A student can restructure one topic into many questions to assist in holding on to new information. Secondly, you're not the only one struggling in the course. I found spending a couple of mins before class quizzing fellow students on previous chapters and being quizzed myself, help both of parties preserve and identify information, methods, or definitions associated with the exam. Although computers make writing exponentially fast and easy there’s no equivalent to the power of a pen and paper. Thanks to these two methods I was capable of passing exams on a subject I had zero knowledge and comprehension of prior to the semester.

Visual Flashcards

by Justine Green (April 18, 2017)

Through high school and into college I have found that studying two weeks before a test works best for me. I first make flashcards either on Quizlet or by hand. I then study in one hour increments so that I can take a break and really test my memory. If I study all at once I do not take in the information as well as when I take breaks. Since I usually study for Art History I tape the image of the artwork to one side and then the slide information is on the other. This way I have to memorize the titles well as the other facts. I also do this for vocabulary I need to know. To me it is most effective to speak out loud while reading the information. I use this all the time and has really helped my test taking skills and makes me more prepared.

Time Management Is Key

by Janelva Williams (April 26, 2017)

As a fully employed mother to two girls, going back to school was not an easy decision. I mean where in my day would I fit in a courses for a full degree program between work meetings and picking up kids after school, violin practice, track meets and the like. However determination and self-motivation are my driving forces. I set a goal for myself and I was determined to get it done. I wanted to complete my degree for my girls and no matter how busy anyone says they are, any goal can be accomplished if you keep moving forward. So I set out to achieve my goal; 30 minutes set aside here and an hour and half there, in between practices and pick up, carefully sculpting time for reading and homework assignments. I would not be able to reach my goal and still support my family unless I closely managed my time. I know it may sound corny or overly simplified but a simple act of writing down the times I would dedicate to studying or completing assignments kept me accountable and on task and I recommend adding this skill to your habits in order to be a highly effective student.

Good Study Habits for College

by Cassidy Garren (June 9, 2017)

It is important to develop good study habits for college because college classes are much harder than high school classes. The best piece of advice that I can give is to study a little bit every day instead of saving everything till the last day. It is important to go deeper into a class than to just go to the class. You need to do the readings and research the subject on your own. It helps if you devote at least 30 minutes of studying a day to each class you are taking. Re-read the notes you took during the class, do the readings, and do the homework. It also helps to study in a quiet place away from distractions, for me personally it is helpful to put away my phone and to study alone so I can fully focus on the subject. Another key piece of advice is if you don't understand the topic talk to your professors. They want you to succeed and they want to help you.