Top Five Tips To Studying Effectively

Quiz yourself
Group Of University Students Working In Study Room

Studying in university can be a bit intimidating no doubt. The key to your success is knowing how to study effectively.

Even though being a student is a serious endeavour it’s an exciting and liberating time. Trust me, it gets better, while being oh-so-hard all in one.

Here are five things you can conquer to ensure excellent studying habits and ultimately the pay-off – good grades.

Pen on notebook
Studying: Pen on notebook by: Holly Abidi

1). Be prepared and organized for class.

It seems like a no-duh; though when you have a plate full, very little time, and tons to do before class it can serve you well to keep diligent on this one point.

  • Do take a few minutes to study your syllabus and notes.
  • Reiterate in your mind the last lecture, this will help you retain your information and succeed.
  • Have your supplies. Apart from a good set of writing utensil’s, highlighters, and stickies, I loved to keep some plastic folders that snap closed. They come in assorted colours to keep your notes organized by subject, especially helpful with back-to-back classes.
  • A school planner is a must to ensure you won’t miss any deadlines.
  • You can also keep some sticky notes available to write down your homework tasks and color code to prioritize.
  • Plus, don’t forget to review your syllabus’s often.
  • Try creating lists of tasks and estimating the time needed to complete each one. Having a list you can cross off and visually seeing your tasks abscess the time needed helped immensely and keeps you on track.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to complete each task, over estimating then allows for breaks, or other things you need to do in between like cook, shop, dishes, cleaning, or doing laundry etc.
  • Plan for study time between classes, use every minute to make the most of your time.

2). Take notes of everything. Use good note tactics to make them effective.

At attention! This means writing fast and making sure you are thorough. Here are some great other tips to read on taking notes.


I don’t usually use short hand as it can be hard to review after the end of the semester and you rely on them for final exams. Instead, take notes carefully:

Even re-write, summarize, bold key words, highlight main info, and draw pictures. Use these note taking tactics to study effectively.

Yes, you will go back and use every note so make them count.

Handwriting notes can be hugely beneficial to learning.


Make your notes neat so they’re easy to read. Also, I don’t know how many times I have caught clues from professors as to what will be on the next test by paying close attention to the lecture or by highlighting information that seems significant. So keep your whit’s about you.

3). Ask questions and find answers, it’s the best way to studying smart.

Don’t worry about sounding foolish when asking your professor a question. Really, chances are if you ask there are a few other students wondering the same thing.

If you aren’t sure go the extra mile and find the answer.

The big thing to remember is you may not be asking your teacher. That’s right, you can find the answers for yourself. Sometimes you do extra footwork to figure out what’s what. Time consuming, dreaded, you bet; but it will payoff in the end.

4). Review and study as much as possible.

Review in small chunks of five to seven items. It’s proven methodology. Always before a test for at least three hours or more punish your brain to gain. Look over your notes and really focus on what you think is key information. Reading is separate from studying, so reviewing is essential to learning.

  • When studying you can say or read notes aloud this helps you remember easier.
  • For some things you want to re-write to really memorize them well.
  • Reviewing keeps everything fresh in your mind, so spend the time to do so.

5). Study avidly.

Did you know 30 to 45 minute chunks are proven to be the most effective way to study. Don’t play around, really buckle down for that time period and stay focused. Find a good comfortable and quiet area to work. Then once you max your time, simply take a break to let it all sink in.


Trust me you’ll need as much time as possible to study, eat, sleep, and read, read, and read some more.

In college you are a reading machine.

Of course we are not all speed readers, but tips on reading effectively and fast can help when you have piles of it. Oh, in case you didn’t catch that, it’s a big heads-up for you. So check out this article for extra tips.

Link: How To Get Your Reading Done Effectively

This is basically how college life is, you’ll have to make the best of it, and you will. You will survive and strive. Learn lots of great stuff and finally feel like you are getting somewhere. That’s the liberating part.

Studying is fun and it’s hard work, no sugar-coating it. You just need to know how you can master it. I hear groans. Nobody said you can’t have fun too, yet keep yourself driven. It’s the only way to prove yourself as an individual and excel in your studies. This is a huge gratification you can’t put in words, and it keeps on giving back to you throughout your life — if you just push hard now.

Since the leap from high school to university often asks you: what do you want to do? what do you want to be? Don’t worry if you find yourself lost, you will figure it out, just go for it. It’s okay to change and that you do in many ways when you start university, but it’s all worth it ten times over.