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New city, new friends, new classes — college is a big leap from the familiar halls of high school.

Gone are the days of study hall and mom telling you to get your homework done. Whether you’re at a small college close to home or a Big Ten university miles away, you alone are responsible for your studies. Here’s what college students have to offer as their favorite study tips.

Write It Down. Twice.

“Rewrite. Everything. I take thorough notes in all of my lectures, but the way I remember the material is by sitting down with a blank notebook, starting from the beginning of my notes or study guide, and writing ALL of it down again.”

— Lexy Marie Moscinski, Aurora University, communications major and psychology minor

I handwrite notes in class and read back over what I wrote.

Jaclyn Barr

 Or Even Three Times

“This ensures I soak up all the info: First, I handwrite notes in class and read back over what I wrote. Then I type up a study guide from those notes and read back over that. Then I write it out all over again on paper. Rereading it a few times helps me pick up on keywords. On the third go, I’m better able to visualize my notes. All in all, this helps ensure I don’t forget anything.”

— Jaclyn Barr, Bellarmine University, psychology major

Break It Up

“The study habit that works best for me is to take breaks during my study period and work on other tasks. If I study for hours straight, I lose focus altogether. Instead, I pause my studying to wash clothes, talk to a friend, eat something or even take a short nap.”

— Asia Terry, Walsh University, education major

Map It Out

“First, I set a reasonable goal for the day. I get up at a good time and get dressed before working. I use an app to stop me from using my phone as a distraction. I take short but regular breaks through my study period, and I always go to sleep at a reasonable time the night before an exam. I use resources like past papers to make mind maps so I can chart the main themes of my course, since that’s what exams are testing.”

— Chloé Osmond, Rhodes University, journalism and linguistics major

Make It Social

“My favorite way to study is to get a group of friends, regardless of major, to do homework individually while all sitting together. Seeing my friends do their work motivates me to do mine. In addition, if I get distracted or have a question, they’re there to keep me focused or help me figure something out.”

— Richard Vo, Eastern Mennonite University, nursing major and psychology minor

Set a Schedule

“As a peer mentor for students, one study tip that really helped with planning and accountability was to have students schedule study hours into their week, just like any other activity. So, if you had a test one week, you would block two hours of study time on your calendar each day leading up to the test. We also created schedules for the two weeks before finals and designated which subjects would be studied on which days based on the order of the final exams.”

— Caroline McNally, Chapman University, English major

Interviews for this article were conducted in 2017.

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