College classes at the University at Buffalo can be rough, especially when you have to find time to study everything. Here are some tips that will help you maximize that time and ace that test.

It’s best to review the material right after class when it’s still fresh in your memory.

Sometimes the material you receive in class can be so overwhelming that your brain can’t process everything at once. Reviewing your notes or the professor’s lecture after class will help your mind organize everything that was just thrown at you.

Have all of your study material in front of you: lecture notes, course textbooks, study guides, and any other relevant material.

Cross-referencing information helps your brain make connections between the different things that you’ve learned over the year. If you bring your computer to class, it can be a valuable resource to expand on the information that you’re learning. Just make sure that you don’t get sucked in to social media!

Don’t study later than the time you usually go to sleep.

If you do, you may fall asleep or be tempted to go to sleep. Instead, try studying in the afternoon or early evening. If you are a morning person, try studying in the morning. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep drastically improves your short-term memory, making sleep an essential part of your studying habits.

Take notes and write down a summary of the important ideas as you read through your study material.

Sometimes, material in the classroom can come out fast and furious — you won’t have time to think about what you’re writing. Once you’ve collected as much information as you can from class, take the time to go through your notes and restructure them in a way that makes sense to you.

Start out by studying the most important information.

Before you down that Red Bull and start cramming for that big test, take a second to organize your notes from most to least important. If you can nail down the big questions, missing a few of the smaller ones won’t have such a big impact.

Don’t worry about learning the details until you have first learned the general concepts.

Your brain can only process so much. While there can be a lot to learn in college, understanding the most important, overall concepts first can help categorize and explain the other information that you receive.

Take short breaks frequently.

Your memory retains the information that you study at the beginning and the end better than what you study in the middle. Give your brain a second to comprehend what you’ve been reading.

Listening to relaxing music, such as classical or jazz, on a low volume can relieve some of the boredom of studying.

Studies have shown that this kind of music not only helps you focus, but actually improves your memory, as well.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to be diligent and study. However, if you can use these study tips, you’ll be more likely to succeed at the University at Buffalo.

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