As you went through high school you probably learned a good deal about your own personal learning style. If you were lucky, you learned how to study in a way that minimized your practice time while allowing you to score well on tests.
Maximizing grades in college can be exhausting, especially when you consider the workload involved in full-time courses. A strong work ethic will help you do relatively well, but it is possible to get good grades with less work if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are a few tips to help you bring your “A” game to the classroom.
1. Get to Know Your Professors
Even though your professors can be harsh at times they want you to succeed. Even though they may seem to maliciously throw a C on your paper, they became teachers because they enjoy helping students learn and grow.
Rather than just attending their classes, set up meetings during your teacher’s office hours. This is a great opportunity to discuss upcoming papers and projects. It will also show them you have initiative and want to do well in their class.
A good relationship with your professor can be very helpful if you need a hand later in the semester. From extensions on assignment deadlines to letters of recommendation, when professors are on your team they are more likely to pull strings.
2. Understand Your Learning Style
Understanding how you learn is the first step towards efficient study habits. Find out which learning style suites you best, and then tailor your study habits accordingly. The three styles of learning are visual, auditory, and tactile.
If you are a visual learner, make sure to pay attention to textbook info-graphics and class slides. Also make sure to visually connect new concepts to old ones. Auditory learning often warrants a study group that allows you to discuss class material and learn through dialogue.
Tactile learners want to physically experience new information. Acting out different ideas as well as taking frequent breaks from long stretches of reading will help keep a tactile learner engaged.
3. Learn to Love Your Bed
Believe it or not, the most important part of the learning process happens when you sleep. In deep stages of sleep your brain is highly active, archiving important information and eliminating irrelevant material.
In addition to helping your brain record memories, getting ample sleep has other benefits that will help you do well in class. When you sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is released into your brain. This fluid circulates around brain cells, sweeping up cellular waste along the way. The result is a clear head without mental fog. This increase in mental acuteness will keep you focused in class so you can remember the details of your next big quiz.