College 101

5 Tips for Effective Studying

There is no “one size fits all” study routine. You might find that you study most efficiently in a silent library, with no distraction, while your roommate is more likely to retain the information if they’re locked in their room, blasting music. The secret is to try out different tricks, methods, and environments until you find the combination that’s perfect for you.


One of the most important elements to effective studying is staying organized. Creating a digital calendar or writing everything down in a planner will help you to plan and prioritize all your assignments and study sessions. You’ll want to create a study schedule at the beginning of the term based on your course syllabus. The ultimate goal is to set aside time to study each day – even if it’s just 15 minutes – so you aren’t cramming for finals at the last minute.

Take Note

Taking good notes is critical to effective studying so make sure that you take detailed notes for each class. Talk to your instructors about recording class lectures on your phone so you can fill gaps in your notes later, to ensure you don’t miss any pertinent details.

Find Someone to Study With

Find a study group or partner. Having someone to study with can be a huge advantage. You can cross reference notes and quiz each other as needed. Discussing the material amongst peers or teaching the material back can help to ensure that you truly learned and understand the content.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

Utilize your instructor’s office hours! They’re there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to schedule time to sit down and ask questions or simply send an email if you’re unclear on the subject matter. Your instructors want you to succeed, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Get Rid of Distractions

Eliminate as many distractions as possible. This means no Instagram, Tik Tok, television, or text messaging. Turn the TV off and put the phone away! Reward yourself by giving yourself breaks between subjects to scroll through social media, or watch an episode of your favorite show. Giving yourself incentives for studying will help to keep you focused on the task at hand.