Tackle this Semester with 5 Game-Changing Study Tips
by Christina Nagler
Your brain is a muscle—and it’s about to get worked. Prepare for your most successful semester by mentally suiting up like a pro-athlete. Consider these five tips as a playbook for the conditioning, team building, and commitment required to achieve your academic goals.
1. Start with a game plan
Procrastination is the sprained ankle before the big game, taking you out before you even step on the field. Avoid dallying by creating a plan for the semester.
Start by using a calendar to highlight dates of major assignments and tests. Anticipate busy periods, block off study times, and work backwards—giving yourself enough time to prepare for key deliverables.
2. Change up the playing field
It was once believed that finding a quiet and consistent place to study led to better learning. But that’s an old play. Current research suggests that students who change up the places they study—moving from a quiet library to a busy coffee shop, for example—actually train their brain to focus on the consistent concept, not the varied setting.
3. Cross-train your brain
Research has shown that studying a range of subjects in one sitting actually leads to higher retention than focusing on one area of study. Think of it as a total body workout for the mind. You’ll have better results by mixing it up.
4. Build a team
Not only will you gain the benefit of your classmates’ know-how, team learning also creates more individual accountability (after all, you don’t want to let the group down). It also helps refine your communication and critical thinking skills—powerful moves that will serve you well beyond the classroom.
5. Maintain your physical conditioning
Take care of yourself this semester by sleeping, eating well, and exercising. Don’t think you have the time to squeeze in self-care? Try cutting back on hours lost to social media distractions. By doing so, you’ll have more focus and endurance when it comes to game day ... er, finals.
Ready to test out these tips?
Harvard Summer School courses, running three to seven weeks, provide sprint conditioning for your fall season.