Tips for Studying Psychology – Be Active, Take Notes, Be Prepared

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So you’re studying psychology, and it’s starting to take its psychological toll on your brain – which is surprising considering the reason you chose this field in the first place. Realizing that the subject covers a huge range of diverse material, you feel overwhelmed, stressed out and are starting to lose sleep.

Remember to study regularly

Adhering to the 2-hour rule will undoubtedly help you to retain more information than you would otherwise. What is the 2-hour rule, you ask? It’s a general rule that states that you should study for at least 2 hours for every 1 hour that you spend in class. That’s a lot of studying but is essential for those studying such prestigious fields such as psychology and medicine.

Make a schedule

Your parents have probably been telling you this from the beginning, and while you were probably able to blaze through high school without one, college is different.  You will need to plan out your time if you want to be successful in college. Many students learn this the hard way.

Study Actively not Passively

Term critical thinking usually sounds rhetorical, but it’s not. You will need to start thinking critically if you want to be successful in college. That means more than just answering the questions you are asked in assignments. Give real-life examples and cite your sources – especially if it’s not the textbook everyone else is using.

 Take Notes

Sounds obvious right? Wrong. Many students just show up to class, listen to lectures, and expect that they will be successful. This may work for those special few but doesn’t work for everyone. Don’t think that you can get away without taking notes just because a select few can. You’ll regret it later when you’re studying for your tests. You’ll need to devise a systematic approach to note taking so you don’t end up with an unstructured mess of information.

Be Active in Class

Participate when your professor asks for participation. They will notice you a lot more and give you a lot more leeway in their class if you’re always participating in class discussions. This is hugely important in college and often accounts for a good deal of your grade. Don’t be nervous about speaking, people will probably be relieved that someone else asked the questions they were too nervous about acting. You’re spending way too much in college to be too nervous to ask questions.

Once again, TAKE NOTES!

When you’re not asking a question in class, you should be taking notes. Write down as much as you possibly can – and why not? You’re there. Even if the materials aren’t cover in the exam, you’re in college to learn, not to pass tests. And while that pretty little degree is there to prove that you made it, your primary reason for going to college should be education.

Show up Prepared

Do you know what sucks? Being called on in class when you’re not prepared. Not only is it embarrassing, but it’s also a good indicator to your professor that you don’t care. Don’t ask for deadline extensions unless there was an emergency.

Study Alone > Study in Groups

Before you start studying with others, it’s best to solidify your understanding of the materials. That way you have something to bring to the table when you meet up with your group, and you’re not leeching off of others. You always learn more by teaching than you do being taught, and while it seems counter-intuitive, it’s all too true. Learning how to effectively explain a concept to someone whose understanding is different than your own will give you a new perspective on it and will help you to understand it more.

Now, get back to work, kids!