College life is a must-have experience for nearly everyone. It’s just the ideal place to stimulate one’s intellect and make connections that could last for an entire lifetime. But despite the thrilling novelty of it, college life comes with its own peculiar challenges and when you consider the mammoth academic workload and numerous adaptation students have to make, life can be pretty hellish for amateur first years. That being so, the really smart students do manage to come up trumps, thanks largely to their remarkable reading habits and a clever application of notable college life hacks. While regular class attendance is an obvious hack for college success, however, since so much store is set by one’s class rank even at job interviews, merely doing this alone won’t turn you a top student any more than frequent trips to the bank makes anyone wealthy. The top students at college are usually an infinitesimal percentage of the regular class population. And that alone should tell us something about them – they possess the right blend of study techniques that their peers could only dream of. But if you are desirous of becoming one, you must be ready to follow in their footsteps. Here are 16 life hacks for outstanding college triumph.
(1) Be An Active Reader.
Don’t just passively read materials you are given. Actively test them by posing questions like “why was this conclusion reached?” Develop hypotheses and actively test them as you read along.
(2) Avoid The Giant Killer “Procrastination”
The best time to do something they say is “today”. Don’t pile up your misery by delaying things until an indefinite date. Kill every urge you have to post-pone tedious work. Act fast as tasks present themselves. Don’t keep saying “Ready, ready, aim, aim, aim, aim!” You might as well take the shot!
(3) Accept Constructive Criticism
Never take criticism personal. The aim is to make your work better by spotting out potential exam blunders. Take everything in good part and just when it stings learn to ask yourself “what’s with you?” Always works just try it.
(4) Don’t Be a Night Owl
Work during the day and let night times be sleep times. Don’t play pranks with sleep it can boomerang on you.
(5) Be Consistent In Your School Work
Little loads they say make light work. You certainly don’t need to be in arrears with your school work. You can’t foot the interest rates charged. You pay with crippling last ditch anxiety. Early kick off works best trust me!
(6) Do Your Assignments and Turn Them In Early
Your lecturers may give irrelevant assignments which sometimes you may be unwilling to do. Ensure you do them every time since they can take retroactive effect on your GPA when your lecturer labels them “assessment test” in anger because only a handful of class members went to all the bother of doing theirs. Don’t tempt fate.
(7) Be Attentive In Class
Tweak your hearing antennas now for optimum efficiency, that way you’ll not miss any class transmission from HQ. Let all learning originate from your class room. Your test books can settle for second best.
(8) Stay Calm Before an Exam.
And what is the use of worrying again? Oh I remember! It multiplies your troubles and divides your effectiveness. No exam-venue last ditch cramming. Your mind has already had enough, why not give it a breather already.
(9) Ask Questions When In Class
Don’t play spectator in class. Participate by asking questions. At least that will give your lecturer the semblance of following. Fear not, you won’t get snapped at asking a little harmless question.
(10) Practice Before Exams.
You don’t want surprises? Then try solving past questions. That way you’ll have enough experience under your belt and nothing will unsettle you as you skim down your question paper on the D day. Good practice they say makes perfect. That goes for you too.
(11) Learn Before Going To Bed
Psychologists say we should learn right before going to sleep as this will allow our brains put the information in our long-term memory right away. Convert those short periods before bed time for reading and watch your amazing retention.
(12) Teach Others What You Learn
One of the most effective ways to memorize faster is to teach others new things you’ve learned. You retain 10% of what you read, 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 50% of what you hear and see, 70% of what you discuss with others and 80% of what you learn from personal experience. But the real game changer is teaching others what you learn. When you do that, you retain 90% of what you learn. I’ve seen teachers who can tell you word for word the content of a text book off hand. But that is a cinch after teaching students from the same text book every semester for maybe 10 years running
(13) Stick With Rote Learning
The subject of repetition as both a study and memorizing technique has been a little belabored of late but you can ignore it at your own peril. Repetition is by far the most effective memorizing technique on offer. The more time you pore over an information, the better your retention of it. Recite the information for maximum stickability.
(14) Know When You Enjoy Reading Best
Don’t just copy someone else’s reading time. Take time to find out when you enjoy reading best. Times when your reading really flows and your rate of assimilation is very high. It could be in the wee hours of the morning, during the afternoon or at night. Only you can tell when that is. But early morning is regarded as the most productive time.
(15) Do Your Reading In Bits
If you haven’t noticed the mind prefers short terms goals to long term. Set eight hours of continuous reading and see where that will get you. Nowhere. The reason is because you’ll constantly be thinking about how you could keep up your reading for the next eight hours and that will get you very discouraged. Instead split that time into short intervals of reading, say reading for straight one hour at first and then making additions as you go along.
(16) Observe Short Breaks When Reading
Don’t be the sort who wants to remain sat in one spot reading for endless hours. You may succeed doing that but I’m afraid you might not recollect much from your reading. The human attention span is at 30% after 45 minutes of focused reading and this decreases the longer you read. So take breaks at intervals during the course of your reading to help you regain about 90% of your attention span. Get your blood flowing by walking around or go grab a bite after about an hour of focused study.
If you can just master these hacks and find a way to integrate them into your study routine, you’ll have a real crack at excelling in both your exams and in class. Now go forth and conquer!