If you’re about to head into another semester of college—or even your first— you need the right tools and mindset to hit the ground running for academic success.
Success in college will depend on your intellect and hard work, yes, but time management might be the most crucial piece to high academic achievement. Balancing five or six classes, finding the time to study, and getting enough sleep can be difficult—but with these time management tips from the CLEP study guide experts at SpeedyPrep, you’ll be prepared to succeed in your courses and finish your work with time to spare!
Go to class.
This is, for some reason, the most difficult part of college for some students. If you skip out on class to sleep in or hang out with your friends, it’s going to take you much longer to learn course materials than it would if you made it to the lectures—and if you skip a class more than once, you’ll fall behind and do damage to your attendance grade and overall grade.
Even if you’re running on a half-hour of sleep and didn’t complete the assignment that’s due, go to class. You can’t learn and your professors can’t give you a merciful due date extension if you don’t show up.
Block your classes.
When it comes to your day-to-day class schedule, some people spread classes throughout the day, giving themselves breaks between each class. But what do these “breaks” really accomplish? If you give yourself short breaks between classes, it will be difficult to study and easy to hop on Twitter or grab a bagel at the coffee shop.
Blocking your classes together in the morning ensures that your mind will be fresh and active during class time, and it’ll allow you to devote larger blocks of time to studying in the afternoon or the evening. Plus, when you want to ditch studying for a day to have a little fun, you’ll be off in the late morning or the early afternoon with the whole day ahead of you.
Know your body.
Do you always seem like you need a nap around 2:30? Or do you start fading fast around 8? When it comes to studying and time management, it’s important to know how your body works so you can work and study at optimal times. Most people are either owls or roosters—they either thrive during the wee hours of the night or get work done first thing in the morning. Some people are neither owls nor roosters, and those people should probably should keep their college coursework on a 9-5 schedule.
Whatever the case, find the times that your body is most energized and prepared to study, and stick to those times. Don’t forget to put your sleep pattern on a schedule as well—there’s nothing that dooms college students more than sporadic sleep and excessive caffeine.
Break big projects into small chunks.
You’ve been there before: It’s 5 in the morning, and you’re three hours away from the deadline for your five-page research paper. You’re grinding through research and throwing words on the page, and you have… one paragraph. Your adrenaline kicks in, and a sense of urgency and despair overwhelms you. You curse the sky, and think to yourself “How did I get myself in this situation?”
When you procrastinate and save big projects for the last minute, you’re causing yourself undue stress and putting your other coursework on the back burner, which can negatively affect your academic success on multiple levels. But if you break up your big projects into smaller chunks and spread them out across a few weeks or months, you’ll avoid this stress and ensure that you’re not falling behind in other classes just to finish the project. You’ll probably end up with a better finished product and a better grade, too. Easier said than done though, right?
Maintain a balance between classes.
Some professors can be incredibly passionate about the classes they teach, and they can make it seem like their class is the most important one on the planet. This is a great mindset to have as a professor, but it doesn’t always make sense to the students. If you’re balancing five or six courses during the semester, you can’t spend 80 percent of your time working on one class—it just doesn’t make sense for your academic success.
Be sure to strike a good time and effort balance between all of your classes. This will keep you on track in each and every course, which keeps your GPA healthy. Wouldn’t you rather have a couple of A’s and three B’s instead of one A+ and a bunch of C’s?
Take advantage of CLEP exams.
College is about learning—but it’s also about completing college credits as efficiently as possible. CLEP exams are a great example of streamlining your college experience—you can save thousands of dollars and shave semesters off of your college career by using CLEP exams to meet your general education requirements. Now that’s an efficient use of your time!
But CLEP course material isn’t learned overnight; it takes studying and discipline to pass a CLEP exam. That’s where SpeedyPrep can help. Use our CLEP study guides to accelerate and streamline the CLEP studying process, and pass your courses with flying colors. Get started with SpeedyPrep today!