Clean Up the Environment

If you’re surrounded by distractions, you can’t focus on your studies. Piles of laundry, a blaring TV and games on your desk are examples of things that draw your attention away from studying. Adjust your desk so it faces away from things that distract you. Clean the desk off so you leave only the essentials within reach.

Use the Clock

Block off specific amounts of time devoted to studying each day so it becomes a habit. Decide how long you’ll spend on each assignment or class, along with scheduling breaks.

Channel Your Inner Instructor

Textbooks cover a wide range of information, some of which never ends up on tests or assignments. Note the information that your instructor spends the most time on in class. He likely thinks that is important, so you can suppose it will appear on an upcoming test.

Become a Note-taking Expert

Notes serve as a resource when studying. Listen for key points and supporting facts to record. Review the previous day’s notes right before learning new information for better recall. According to the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University, if you wait longer than 24 hours to review, you may forget 50 percent of the information.

Break It Down

Break up the material throughout the semester to avoid being swamped. If you study for each class a little every day, you’ll better understand the introductory information. Later in the semester, that data you mastered on day one serves as a foundation for understanding the more complex material you learn.