1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best Studying Habits?

  1. Jan 27, 2015 #1
    Anyone care to share a particular study habit that helped them gain success? Personally, I know of none lol thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2015 #2

    Quantum Defect

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Depends upon the person.

    When I studied science in college, I just did all of the work that was assigned (we were assigned a lot). If I didn't understand how to do something, I would talk to my peers, until I found someone who could explain it to me. I also reciprocated -- I found that I would learn material much better when I had to explain it to someone else. I found that if I kept up, I really did not have to do any "cramming" for an exam.

    I think that tutoring is actually very effective to help the tutor gain real facility with a subject. If you can, see if you can tutor for classes that you have taken. You will relearn material that you didn't quite learn the first time, and you will likely have several "aha" experiences where you finally understand something in your bones, that was just barely sticking in your head the first time that you learned it.

    I personally worked well in a quiet setting (library or my dorm room). My cousin (now a pediatrician) needed some finite level of ambient noise to study, and he found that he could do his best studying at a place like a coffee shop.
  4. Jan 27, 2015 #3
    For exams, do the past papers (where appropriate).
    Unless the lecturer has changed, the style of question will generally be the same, and in some cases the questions will be identical but for the numbers used.
  5. Jan 27, 2015 #4
    Yea, I find it pretty annoying to move from place to place when studying; however, sometimes it must be done in order to meet my social obligations. My dorm room is by a staircase, and that is the place people decide to communicate with each other for some odd reason... Anyway, I also find myself needing to accommodate for my friends and thus waste more time.

    Advice: I try to focus for long periods on certain task before switching over to a new one.
  6. Jan 27, 2015 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Read the textbook and lecture notes carefully before starting the homework. There may be a lot of subtleties you won't catch right away that will help you do the homework and understand the broader picture.
  7. Jan 27, 2015 #6
    When you get tired of reading or working out problems take a jog. It helps relax the body and mind. I had alot of moments where I was stuck on a topic, only to understand it during a jog. Ditch your friends. One does not go to college to be cool, but rather to learn.
  8. Jan 27, 2015 #7
    Never has there been a better statement directed towards me. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with close friends and the necessity to conform has been overlooked by many people my age. Thank you.
  9. Jan 27, 2015 #8
    How old are you by any chance? During my teens and early 20 I was trying to get every girl that moved. At one point I had 3 gas at the same time. Did not turn out so well. Ask yourself where do you see yourself in say 5 yrs. Do you want to just wing through school and get a job. Or would you rather have the pleasure of finding things out and actually knowing things.

    The best adevice my calculus 1 teacher (he is a hard az and teaches graduate school), was to not have a gf but rather friends to take care of nature's calling. Ditch tv if you have not.
  10. Jan 27, 2015 #9
    @MidgetDwarf I am 18. Honestly, trying to speak with women is quite bothersome. Specifically, they often try to talk about what Jenny in her sorority told Brad about Nick (get my point?). Also, they only discuss things that are completely irrelevant to myself. This is not to say that there are some women out there who are much more superior than I am, but the majority, at least with my experience attending a "great" school, has been as I stated previously. In terms of TV, I only allow myself 30 minutes on Thursday nights to watch Naruto. Additionally, I occasionally watch a YouTube video here and there (TedEducation). I have noticed it is hard to do well when you are bothered. For example, I secluded myself from my "peers" and have been quite stress free due to the reduction of constant blabbering and hypercritical statements.

    -- Ha, your calculus teach understands very much. However, it is quite difficult to convince the opposite sex (it would probably be easier for a female to convince a male) to have the occasional intercourse in order to satisfy my biological urges.
  11. Jan 28, 2015 #10
    What I found to be most useful is having a positive attitude towards the subject and being interested in it.

    Sleep is vital. Everyone says this but that is only because it is true and important. Ever since I started getting enough sleep, everything changed. If you have an exam in the morning, start planning your sleep before hand, for example, wake up at 7am the day before so that you can sleep at night early. It is usually difficult to fall asleep on nights of exams.

    I find that being arrogant and fooling yourself into thinking that you understand the subject is a big mistake because you will mess up the simplest things in the exam, which you neglected and thought are trivial.

    I find that setting a goal and achieving it gives you great confidence and helps you work more efficiently and effectively and reduce procrastination. For example, if you know that the final exam will have 20 questions in two hours, then try to do 5 practice problems in 30 minute then take a break for 10 minutes.

    I also find it very important to know the theory VERY WELL before doing practice problems but don't fall into the trap of spending too much time on theory and thus not doing the practice problems.

    Also, research your subject, read about what kind of research is going on in what you are studying, how these concepts are being applied, etc. to give studying more joy and purpose. I really like the way MIT do their lectures because they always show examples of how the concepts are applied in industry and they don't just say "concept x is used in industry y", they actually go in depth, which makes things challenging and interesting.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook