Do you want good grades? It may seem like a trick question. Of course you want good grades, right? So, how do you get good grades? What exactly does it take? You may be surprised to find out that your study habits eventually do not yield the same grades as they did in high school. This is how it should be. Your classes at UC Davis are meant to push you academically, if they did not, what would be the point in coming? Developing good study habits early in your college career is definitely important. Even if you think that classes are not that hard now, trust me, they will get harder! Here are some study tips to help you excel in all your classes:
- Time Management- You have probably heard about it year after year in your academic career, but trust me managing your time has never been more important. You may not be in class for very long during the week, but that just means you have to study more outside of class. It is recommended that students study an average of 3 hours outside of class per class unit. So, if you are in a 4 unit class, the amount of time you spend studying for that class should be around twelve hours per week. With a recommended workload of 15 units, you should expect to spend 45 hours studying per week. Remember that this is an average and that you may have to study more or less than suggested depending on you as a student and the class. Also, the amount of time studying is not as important as how you use your time. You want to make sure that you are maximizing your time.
- Concentration- By being able to stay focused while studying, you will be spending your time wisely. Now, you don’t have to lock yourself in your room while you study. Everyone is different; some are more easily distracted than others. You know yourself the best. Find a study spot where you will be able to get the most done. Figure out what time of the day you can concentrate the most and schedule time to study then.
- Take Breaks-I love learning about biology, but even I cannot read a biology textbook for hours on end. Take a short ten minute break after studying for fifty minutes, you deserve it! Besides, it is a lot better to review material every day for shorter periods of time, rather than the whole day before the midterm. Don’t try to cram three weeks of material in one night, your brain will thank you!
- Form a Study Group- It is easier to make sure that you get enough studying done when you promise to meet up with other people to study. In groups, everyone can help each other understand concepts and quiz each other. You may like it more than sitting all alone in a library. If you want to find more people to study with, use Mailtool on Smartsite to contact your fellow classmates.
- Ask- Go to office hours to make sure you understand the material. Checkout the Student Academic Success Center‘s workshops. Go to the tutoring offered at your residence hall’s academic advising center. When you ask for help, you save time and study effectively.
Good luck on midterms!
College of Biological Sciences Dean’s Office