Schedule time to complete school-work

  • Before, in between, or right after classes tend to work best for students
  • Make ‘official’ time in your calendar to do your school-work
  • When does your mind work best? Morning or evening? Before or after eating?

Brain Hacks:

  • The brain must ‘earn’ information it retains. Study in ways that are slightly challenging to create a ‘desirable difficulty’ for the brain
  • Test yourself. You need to find what you do not know so you can focus on studying that, rather than using time going over information you are already confident on.
  • Play with information in multiple ways. For example, you can study a theory with a flashcard, writing it in your own words, explaining it out loud to someone, and listing examples of it in action.
  • Start early! The longer you give yourself to learn, the better. Studying a topic for an hour a day for five days is MUCH more effective than studying for five hours in one day.
  • Give yourself breaks. The brain must have time to absorb information, which only happens when it is not intaking more information. Two common time strategies: 25 minutes studying, 5 minute break. Or, 45 minutes studying with a 15 minute break.

Create a good learning environment:

  • Do you study best alone, with a group, or in a public place?
  • Does background noise or music help or distract you?
  • Should you turn off your phone?
  • Have all the supplies you need immediately at hand

Know your MSU Academic Resources

  • SmartyCats Tutoring
  • Academic Help Centers
  • Testing Center
  • The Office of Disability Services