While you attend CSUF, we want you to know the best practices for studying to make sure you are equipped to succeed academically. Transitioning from high school or other institutions to major courses and labs, you will notice a difference in course expectations and time spent in and outside of class. A good place to start is to study at least 2-3 hours per unit you are taking per week. For example, if you are taking 12 units this semester, try dedicating at least 24 hours in your week to studying (12 units x 2 hours = 24 hours study time). Use a calendar or agenda to create monthly and daily schedules that include study time. Prioritize, set goals, and plan accordingly.
Below you will find useful study tips to help you stay on track through the semester.
At the start of the semester:
- Read your class syllabi closely.
- Schedule all assignment due dates in each class. Start at the end! You can work your way back from finals week so you can plan out your whole semester at a glance.
- Find a regular place to study which is free of distractions. Create a space that is conducive for you and your learning. If on campus you can use spaces like the library or the NSM Student Success Center.
- Create a routine that works for you and stick with it. Remember to prioritize and be realistic with your goals.
Actions to take weekly/daily:
- Do at least a little bit every day. Studying is cumulative.
- Review class notes before class and rewrite them after class.
- Pay attention when you study. Minimize distractions. Setting aside separate times for studying and for socializing is better than trying to study and socialize simultaneously.
- Attend class, participate, ask questions.
- Try to make sense of the material you are learning. Relate the material to your every day life and try explaining it to your friends and family.
- Attend tutoring sessions, SI, and office hours. Research shows that students who engage in these ways achieve higher grades than those who do not.
- Work in study groups if they are productive for you.
- Aim to complete assignments 1-2 days in advance.
- Rework problems missed on tests.
- Complete additional problems.
- Get help right away. Semesters go very fast and you want to avoid falling behind.
- If you are not doing well in class, try something else. Talk with your professor, seek tutoring, study with classmates. If your current approach is not working, try a new one.
You can find more helpful study tips at the University Learning Center website.