At Rice, you
have unlimited potential to achieve academic success. Learning and implementing
strategic study skills will help you effectively act on that potential, by
managing your time and study habits on a consistent basis. Figure out what
works for you, and stick to it. Consider some of the following tips as you make
your study plan:
Time Management Tips
- Prioritize – decide what’s important for you to get
done, and how soon. Break up things that aren’t as urgent into smaller chunks
of time, and stretch them out, so that you don’t find yourself frantically
cramming to get the entire project done in one night.
- Learn to say “no” to things – it’s tempting, and so easy, to agree to
help out and do everything everyone asks you – especially if you genuinely want
to! However, this is oftentimes detrimental to your ability to prepare
adequately for your academics, as well as take care of yourself. If you’re
afraid that committing to one more activity may jeopardize your academics or
overcommit you, be honest. Tell the person you would really love to help out,
but you’re afraid that you don’t have the time. If there’s someone else you
could recommend for the role, suggest that person.
- Use a calendar to make a plan – and post it in a very visible place
- Break things up into manageable chunks
- Don’t cram – though cramming may seem like the
stereotypical academic experience at college, it’s not necessarily effective or
- Get enough sleep – studies consistently show that getting
eight hours of sleep is crucial to performing optimally. Reduce or eliminate
sources of stimulation before you go to sleep, such as caffeine, exercise, and
being on your computer.
- Take effective notes
- Prioritize – Decide what
assignments or projects are most important to have completed now, and which can
be completed at a later date. Of the most important assignments, prioritize
based on urgency as well as time it will take you to complete it.
- Set your own
make your assignments and projects “due” before the actual deadline, and strive
to get them done by then. That way you have a little more time to revise and
finish them if you do run late.
- Make a calendar
outlines your study plan for the week or month, and put it in a prominent place
in your room, where you can glance at it often
assignments and projects up into manageable chunks
- Make it your
– interpret and re-imagine what you’re learning into a format that you easily
understand, whether that means making it more visual (flow charts, color
coding, etc), or kinesthetic, or saying it in your own way – without changing
its core meaning.
- Try to teach it
to someone else – try to explain an important concept to someone else, or even
- Review the
material – including
reviewing the returned assignments and making review materials for yourself if
that would better engage you in a productive, active review process make
- Engage with the
– synthesize your understanding of the material by interacting with it. There
are many ways to meaningfully engage with the material, whether through
discussion, diagramming, or marking up your assignments. Check out the works
cited or research online to find out more about any particular strand of the
topic that you’re interested in. Think of ways that the material is applicable
outside of class.
patterns and find relationships.
- Go to the TA
the TAs are there to help, and they’ll probably have review sessions outside of
class. Don’t be afraid to attend and ask questions, that’s what they’re there
- Review the
honor code in the class’s syllabus – this is essential not only to make sure
you’re within the guidelines of the professor’s expectations, but to make sure
you’re not neglecting the use of any resources either. If you’re unsure about
whether or not something violates the honor code, check with the professor
before you do it.