5 Study Hacks for College

Posted: August 15, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT

5 Study Hacks for CollegeThe start of fall semester is right around the corner at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. We are here to remind you that studying doesn’t have to be as hard if you can study smarter. Nothing can beat hard work, but there are many methods to simplify your study approach—and every tip helps to improve time management and efficiency.

It’s true: not all study methods found online will work for every person. Studying is a process that comes with a bit of trial and error. When you find something that works for you, stick with it and see what else you can do to improve your study process.

Consider these study hacks as you get started in your new semester at UNK:

Listen to (the Correct) Music

Music can lead to a more productive study session by elevating your mood, motivation, and focus level. Keep in mind that it is important to select the right type of music. Music with lyrics can be distracting and could interfere with your ability to complete tasks. Try classical music at a moderate to low volume level added to a playlist.

Try to create a playlist beforehand that lasts at least 30 to 40 minutes. This will help so you won’t have to search for a new song every five minutes—and when the playlist ends, it’s a good reminder to take a short break. 

Use Scents or Gum

This may sound strange, but unfamiliar scents and flavors are shown to serve as a “brain-booster.” Spray a specific scent for each area of interest you are studying. When the time comes for you to take the exam, spray the scent again. This can help you recall information. If you don’t want your house or classroom lingering with different smells, the same works with chewing gum flavors.

Search Online

Use the web to your advantage. Everyone’s first thought when they don’t know something nowadays is “Google it.” Do the same when it comes to studying. There are great resources online, including practice quizzes, tests, videos (YouTube), and websites. One search can lead you to a surplus of reliable and credible sources.

Pro Tip: Search “site:edu [your subject] exam” on Google. Some colleges post past exams, which can be great practice tests. Don’t think they’ll be the same as your upcoming test, though; they won’t be.

Get Moving

Students who engage in light aerobic activity before or during studying have shown a greater ability to retain and recall information. So next time you are studying, try going for a quick walk or hop on a stationary bike. You might see vast improvements.

Teach What You’ve Learned

Teach someone else the material you’re studying. Doing this will help determine whether or not you know the key concepts. If you’re teaching others the material and you find yourself having trouble to remember certain aspects or can’t answer basic questions, then you know you need to review again. It’s a simple process, but highly effective.


Find information about UNK services to improve study skills and prepare for your upcoming exams through UNK Learning Commons.

By: Dylan Munson

Category: General, eCampus

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