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

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.

Re-read and Re-write

by Vanessa Blank (June 27, 2017)

As a senior in nursing school, I’ve had many chances to test out different study strategies. Some have been successful and others, a complete failure. Getting to know yourself and how you retain information best takes time and practice. The study habit that I have found works best for me is re-reading my notes and re-writing the few most important topics within twenty-four hours of taking the notes in class. I do not always take the time to do this, but I have noticed a tremendous difference in what I retain when I take those extra fifteen minutes after each class. Each time I see a successful outcome, I am further motivated to carry this habit on to prepare for my next exam. It is especially satisfying when I am not glued to my chair or bed several days before an exam, avoiding unnecessary burnouts each time I do choose to set aside time for those short study sessions. Though it may seem exhausting at times, it is more than worth it in the end.

The Love of My Life, My Planner

by Emi L Bartholomew (July 29, 2017)

I first met my planner in a walmart isle. I was first seduced by the chevron pattern adorning the front, then as I flipped through it's pages I realized this planner met all of my qualifications; the months were tabbed with every month displayed in a traditional way before being broken down into weeks, each week was given two pages, and every day had about ten lines of space. It was love at first sight, and during the years since our relationship has deepened to the point that I can honestly not imagine my life without it.

My planner is the key to my success in college. At the beginning of every semester I go through all of my syllabi, writing the due dates of the major assignments in the month portions and weekly sections of my planner. As the semester progresses and more assignments are added I mark the addition in my planner. On a day to day basis I write everything I need to do in the day section, and highlight what needs to be done for the next day and what should be done. Through this system I am able to stay organized, and on top of my assignments, without stressing out. This helped, specifically, with a twelve page research assignment I needed to break down and work on chunks at a time to complete.

I attribute my organization, and time management to the magnificence that is my love and planner.

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.

Repetition, Repetition

by Whitney Wallerius (July 12, 2017)

In all honesty, I never really had to study in high school, so college was a bit of a reality check for me. It took me a while to nail down what would really work, in terms of studying, in order for me to really consume and understand what I was learning. By the end of the year I had figured out that repetition was the most helpful study habit I had picked up. I always handwrite notes from class, because of the science behind retention. From my notebook, I would transfer what I had written onto a Word document on my computer, and through this I was rereading what I had written while also organizing and adding any extra thoughts or questions I had. After this, I would create flashcards on Quizlet, again, rereading and organizing. Even though the copying and typing sometimes felt mindless, I was absorbing more and more of the material each time I visited it. Although this is a somewhat time consuming habit, and time is oh-so precious in college, I benefited greatly from the routine of covering my material over and over again on different platforms.