List of study habits

6 Crucial Study Habits for College Students

Adjusting to the academic workload in college can be difficult for some freshman students. Compared to what they experienced in high school, the curriculum is typically more specialized and the assignments are often more in-depth.

It’s important to form good study habits for college early on so that you don’t fall behind when faced with more challenging or time-consuming readings, subject material, and exams. Make these six study habits a part of your regular routine and you’ll start off your college experience on the right foot.

Keep Reading: Don't Just Survive, Thrive! 4 Back-to-School Tips for Your Best Year Ever

1. Find a Place to Study Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to studying, so do your best to make a habit of it! It’s a good idea to find a spot on campus where you feel comfortable and inspired to dive into a successful study session.

The environment should be whatever works best for you—whether that means having complete silence, some light background music, or a more lively atmosphere. Give it some thought and try out a few different spots. The sooner you find the space that works for you, the sooner you’ll be able to study effectively.

2. Keep Track of Deadlines and Important Dates

You might have the best of intentions when buying a new planner, but to really make the most of it, you should be sure to review it every day and write down due dates for assignments, exams, and other important events. Keeping track of what you need to study for can help you stay ahead of crucial projects and develop good study habits for college.

Keep Reading: The Biggest Adjustments You'll Make Going from High School to College

You can get ahead of upcoming assignments by checking your calendar on a weekly (and daily) basis, outlining each deadline in advance, and blocking off time to study. And don’t forget the best part of keeping a list of tasks—crossing them off once they are completed!

3. Don’t Cram for Your Exam

If you follow the previous tip, you likely won’t find yourself in a difficult situation, but it’s worth repeating: Remember to schedule your study time wisely to make the most of it. Studies show that reviewing material in smaller chunks of time—over a longer time span—is more effective than trying to cram a ton of material into one session. Slow and steady wins the race.

Once you have your course syllabus and schedule for the semester, find periods of time between classes and activities when you can fit in some studying. This way, you won’t have to stress the night before a big exam trying to review everything at the last minute.

4. Organize a Study Group

Studying on your own works well for many subjects, but it also might be easier to learn the material if you can bounce ideas off of your classmates. During your first year at college, give group study sessions a try. There’s a good chance your fellow students will be interested in getting together to review course materials. You might discover a new way to study while also making a few new friends!

5. Review Your Notes After Class

Taking notes during the lecture is a study habit you might already be used to, but do you take the time to review those notes after class? If not, consider reviewing your notes later the same day. Going over your notes after seeing the material in class will improve your memory and can help you more effectively learn the material.

Keep Reading: Advice for College Students: 5 Things Your Professor Wants You to Know

6. Ask for Help

When you arrive at college, you’ll find a team of professors and advisors who are there to help you succeed. It’s normal to find a class challenging at times, but don’t feel like you have to face it alone.

Everyone needs help at some point—and it’s better to reach out as soon as you think you need it rather than let yourself fall behind. Reach out to tutoring services, your professor, or an advisor if you don’t understand the material or need extra assistance in adjusting to college academics.

Posted: August 16, 2018

Study Habits of Highly Effective Students

by Becton Loveless

The key to becoming an effective student is learning how to study smarter, not harder. This becomes more and more true as you advance in your education. An hour or two of studying a day is usually sufficient to make it through high school with satisfactory grades, but when college arrives, there aren't enough hours in the day to get all your studying in if you don't know how to study smarter.

While some students are able to breeze through school with minimal effort, this is the exception. The vast majority of successful students achieve their success by developing and applying effective study habits. The following are the top 10 study habits employed by highly successful students. So if you want to become a successful student, don't get discouraged, don't give up, just work to develop each of the study habits below and you'll see your grades go up, your knowledge increase, and your ability to learn and assimilate information improve.

1. Don't attempt to cram all your studying into one session.

Ever find yourself up late at night expending more energy trying to keep your eyelids open than you are studying? If so, it's time for a change. Successful students typically space their work out over shorter periods of time and rarely try to cram all of their studying into just one or two sessions. If you want to become a successful student then you need to learn to be consistent in your studies and to have regular, yet shorter, study periods.

2. Plan when you're going to study.

Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to study -- and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule. Even if you're all caught up with your studies, creating a weekly routine, where you set aside a period of time a few days a week, to review your courses will ensure you develop habits that will enable you to succeed in your education long term.

3. Study at the same time.

Not only is it important that you plan when you're going to study, it's important you create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week, you're studying will become a regular part of your life. You'll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive. If you have to change your schedule from time to time due to unexpected events, that's okay, but get back on your routine as soon as the event has passed.

4. Each study time should have a specific goal.

Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying, set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. memorize 30 vocabulary words in order to ace the vocabulary section on an upcoming Spanish test.)

5. Never procrastinate your planned study session.

It's very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done, or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. If you procrastinate your study session, your studying will become much less effective and you may not get everything accomplished that you need to. Procrastination also leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors.

6. Start with the most difficult subject first.

As your most difficult assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy, you should start with it first. Once you've completed the most difficult work, it will be much easier to complete the rest of your work. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult subject will greatly improve the effectiveness of your study sessions, and your academic performance.

7. Always review your notes before starting an assignment.

Obviously, before you can review your notes you must first have notes to review. Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session, and before you start a particular assignment, review your notes thoroughly to make sure you know how to complete the assignment correctly. Reviewing your notes before each study session will help you remember important subject matter learned during the day, and make sure your studying is targeted and effective.

8. Make sure you're not distracted while you're studying.

Everyone gets distracted by something. Maybe it's the TV. Or maybe it's your family. Or maybe it's just too quiet. Some people actually study better with a little background noise. When you're distracted while studying you (1) lose your train of thought and (2) are unable to focus -- both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Before you start studying, find a place where you won't be disturbed or distracted. For some people this is a quiet cubicle in the recesses of the library. For others it is in a common area where there is a little background noise.

9. Use study groups effectively.

Ever heard the phrase "two heads are better than one?" Well this can be especially true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you're struggling to understand a concept, (2) complete assignments more quickly, and (3) teach others, whereby helping both the other students and yourself to internalize the subject matter. However, study groups can become very ineffective if they're not structured and if group members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively.

10. Review your notes, schoolwork and other class materials over the weekend.

Successful students review what they've learned during the week over the weekend. This way they're well prepared to continue learning new concepts that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.

We're confident that if you'll develop the habits outlined above that you'll see a major improvement in your academic success.

8 Healthy Educational Habits

Perhaps today the most important skill that every person must master is the ability to learn. We want to tell you about a few habits that will help you speed up the learning process and make it interesting.

Choose the right place to study

It may seem obvious to you, but choosing the right place to study is very important, because the environment will affect your concentration. For example, if you start exercising on the bed, you will quickly get tired and will not be able to concentrate. nine0003

Pay attention to what you are used to doing in different places. For example, at home you relax, and in a coffee shop you easily tune in to reading and learning.

Take only what you need with you

Remember the important rule: the things that are on your desk should not distract you from the process. If you need a laptop to study, close all distracting tabs and apps. But if you take a laptop to take notes on it, think about whether you need it. It might be better to take a notebook for notes. Of course, it is better to put the phone away so that there is no temptation to be distracted by notifications and social networks. nine0003

Take notes

Everyone knows that writing down information helps to understand the material better and remember it faster. There are 2 main rules to help you take good notes:

  1. Don't try to write everything down. Highlight only the main ideas that you need to pay attention to;

  2. Take notes in your own words, as this helps you create your own associations to remember. nine0003

Note-taking helps to use almost all sensory systems for memorization: visual and motor memory.

Use mnemonics

With the help of them you will be able to quickly store information in long-term memory. Memory Palace is one of the most popular mnemonics, which we described in detail in our video:

Make a convenient schedule

in the evening all these things are forgotten? nine0003

You're not the only one who likes to procrastinate, so it's important to have a comfortable schedule that you follow. Make a schedule and come up with your own training program. The main thing is regular classes, not frequency. If it is convenient for you to practice 2 times a week, and not every day, then do just that.

Motivate Yourself

Learning can be an enjoyable process if you reward yourself for accomplishments. To get started, make a list of tasks for one session. For example, in your first English lesson you have to learn 10 words, 3 grammar rules and do 5 exercises. For each successfully completed task, pay yourself 100 rubles, and then buy something that you have long wanted. nine0003

Such motivation will not only help you learn a lot of new material, but also reinforce new habits.

Practice the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most effective techniques for concentrating while studying or working. Research scientists have shown that after 20-25 minutes of focused training, you need to take a break for 5 minutes so that the brain reboots and translates knowledge into long-term memory.

This is exactly how the Pomodoro Technique works: set a timer for 25 minutes for training and 5 minutes for rest. For this technique, there are many applications that count the time for you and remind you of the start of classes and rest in time. For example, you can use the PomodoroApp app or download a browser extension. nine0003

Get in the right mindset

You don't need to treat your studies as a monotonous process, because it won't give you high results: interest quickly disappears, the brain begins to perceive information worse.

Try these ways to change your attitude towards learning:

  1. Stop thinking about defeat and start looking for positive moments;
  2. Don't go to extremes;
  3. Don't compare yourself to others. nine0030

If you want to be a learning genius, join our Become a Genius course!

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10 habits for learning and self-development


  • Mental attitude
  • Environment
  • nine0005 Time management
  • Mnemonics
  • Note-taking
  • Discipline
  • Useful content
  • Reward yourself
  • Stop criticizing yourself
  • Leisure

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock

Mental attitude

In order to develop good habits for studying, you first need to properly prepare yourself psychologically, that is, mentally prepare for classes. This will help certain rituals that will accompany your training. nine0003

For example, place a mug of your favorite tea on the table every time or light a candle. This will mean that now is the time for productive work. When such a ritual becomes a habit, it will be easier for the brain to tune in to learning.


Environment is no less important for the process of self-development. For example, the famous psychologist V.G. Maralov in his scientific work notes that cramped living conditions can become an obstacle to learning. Therefore, try to free up the workplace and create as much free space as possible. nine0003

Make it a habit to clean up your desk and leave only what you need right now. Hang a picture above your desk that you associate with productivity, such as a picture of Moscow City or another business district.

Turn off the TV and put your phone away to avoid distractions.

Time management

Planning your time is a guarantee that you will definitely be on time for the most important things. Time management helps to save time and resources, as well as to distribute them wisely. nine0003

If you have too much material to study and don't know what to do first, prioritize. Determine what needs to be learned as quickly as possible and what can be left for later. Making plans in advance will help you sit down and get down to business, and not think about what exactly you will study now.

It is equally important to allocate a time block, which will be the time of "meeting" with training materials on your calendar. You can set aside a few hours after work for studying, or you can devote part of your lunch break to this. nine0003


Mnemonics are techniques that help you remember information quickly and efficiently. For example, with the help of an abbreviation, you can remember a long phrase (VDNKh - an exhibition of achievements of the national economy).

At school, we often learned the rules with the help of funny rhymes and phrases: “The bisector is a rat that runs around the corners and divides them in half”, “Pythagorean pants are equal in all directions”, “Every hunter wants to know where the pheasant is sitting” etc.

You can make up your own abbreviations, rhymes, associations, etc. If you need to learn foreign words, try to associate them with various objects: bed (bed) - I spent the whole lunch in bed.

Using these habits for self-development, you will be able to assimilate the material more easily. I recommend developing this skill every day for 5-10 minutes. The main thing is to accurately determine the time and place of classes.

Photo: Dragon Images / Shutterstock


Note-taking can be beneficial for self-development only if you do not just copy the material, but pass it through yourself.

My recommendations for taking notes:

  • first read the text or watch the video, and then, closing the book or video, write down what you consider important and necessary;
  • use various schemes, tables for structuring the material;
  • nine0105 highlight the main thoughts with a marker or colored pens so that when viewing the abstract they catch the eye and serve as reference points for remembering the material;
  • record only the material you plan to use, don't try to record everything.

See also:
10 daily habits that will make your life much better

15 healthy habits that will come in handy in 2021

9 habits that will make you more energetic


Discipline is an important habit for those who want to achieve serious results. And here you need to clearly understand why you need self-development, what global goal ignites you for this activity. For example, learn English and Spanish to travel around the world.

Also a necessary condition for good discipline is the resource state. If you are filled with energy, it will be easier for you to take actions, even if at the moment they are boring and uninteresting. These useful habits for self-development will allow you to competently organize the learning process. nine0003

To develop discipline, create for yourself the right conditions for learning: mental attitude, environment, time allocated according to the plan, necessary materials. Try to build perseverance and diligence. Always keep motivation in mind and do not forget about the goal. This will help to avoid lengthy preparation and, as a result, postponing important tasks.

Move towards the goal in steps: set mini-tasks and deadlines for their implementation (for example, read four books in a month, that is, you need to read one book a week). If you can’t become disciplined, work on bad habits: gadget addiction, entertainment abuse, etc. nine0003

The Pomodoro technique will help with this: set a timer for 25 minutes and do only one thing during this time, then take a break for five minutes, during which you can relax, scroll through the Instagram feed and reply to friends' messages. By setting aside time for everything that distracts you from your studies, you can focus on learning.

Useful content

Let's go back to the importance of understanding what exactly you will study in order to achieve a certain goal. Educational materials must be well-selected so that you receive only reliable information. Use the libraries of the area in which you want to develop. Listen and even ask for recommendations from those who have already achieved some success in your industry. nine0003

I took up psychosomatics to deal with health problems in my family. At first she studied literature, took courses, and then received a higher education in the field of clinical psychology. Now I continue to attend lectures and master classes from leading Russian experts and constantly improve my skills.


Podcasts are a modern and convenient way to learn material for those who are constantly on the move. You can subscribe to podcasts on a topic of interest and listen to them while walking, in the car or at home while cleaning. nine0003

This option is for people who are better at listening or who don't have time to read books or watch videos.


Books are a source of endless information and new knowledge. Reading literature allows you to broaden your horizons and form your own opinion on certain things. Choose the right time (for example, in the evening before going to bed), create a comfortable environment and start learning the material.

You can find an interesting author and study all his works or take a study guide with a list of used literature, and then start studying these books.

Documentaries and webinars

Watching documentaries can help you learn a lot of interesting things. Such content is suitable for those who better perceive information in combination with a visual picture. And on webinars, you can ask questions of interest to specialists and receive feedback. nine0003

Photo: Alex from the Rock / Shutterstock

Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself can be another healthy self-improvement habit. Our brain loves to be praised. So, as a result of a study from the BBC, it turned out that compliments make a person feel better and become more productive.

Set yourself rewards for learning blocks of information (for example, for reading a book). As a reward, you can buy something for your collection (a new pen, an elephant figurine, etc.), visit a relaxing procedure (massage, body wrap, bath, sauna). It can also be a walk with friends, a trip to the forest or to the river. nine0003

It is important that the reward is something desired, but not necessary (going to the cinema, meeting friends, attending a concert, etc.). Then you will feel sincere joy. Do not set food as praise: you should always eat well, regardless of training.

Stop criticizing yourself

Self-criticism is not always a good habit. Sometimes it can lead to anxiety and depression. The more we blame ourselves for our own failures, the worse our mood and well-being, and this is a direct path to serious psychological problems. Therefore, do not reproach yourself too much for the difficulties that arise in your studies. nine0003

Analyze your actions by asking yourself: “What can I do better next time? What other topic do I need to study to make this question more clear? Who can help me to study this topic? This method will help you stop criticizing yourself if you made a mistake or did not take the time to study a certain issue.

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