The Study Method
18 min read
Method. noun (often method for/of) a particular form of procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one
How To Study In College used to be just a website with some simple study tips. It evolved into what it is today based on Petr’s experience as a project manager when he graduated from Harvard.
He had been working on a skyscraper project in New York. When he came to our house to visit he commented on how amazing it was that they could plan, organize, and execute such a complicated project on such a strict timetable and in such a tight space.
It didn’t take long before we were making comparisons to getting things done in college. Taking a big project, breaking it down into all of the smaller component pieces, and getting them all done on time at the highest level of quality.
We were both amazed how each contractor could estimate their time and materials and plan far enough ahead to have their part ready at the precise moment it needed to be done.
Construction really is the perfect metaphor for college. Your project is a class. Each class has a list of specific tasks – a mix of readings, papers, lab reports, quizzes, and exams. All of them have to be done on time and in the right order. Moving to the next one without the one before being perfect would cause the whole learning process to break down. Just like a building without a good foundation.
Building a skyscraper is way more complicated that getting an A in a college class. So why do students struggle so much when the project manager makes it look so easy?
The Answer Is Estimating Time.
Contractors make very specific and highly accurate estimates of how long things will take to get done. They are able to do that from experience acquired from previous projects and from learning every day on the current one. They learn and continually improve. The mistakes they make raising the tenth floor aren’t made again when raising the eleventh. Things continue to get faster and more efficient.
Why couldn’t college students do the same? Most never try. College students usually know how much time they have. They also know from their syllabus what they need to do. The problem is that they have no idea how much time they need. That is, they never know how long their studies will take.
Ask a few students how much time they need for lunch, class, or a hockey practice and they can tell you almost to the minute. All of them have a starting time and an ending time. Now ask them how long it takes them to read chapters 3 and 4 of their textbook or write a 10-page paper or study for the mid-term exam and they don’t have a clue. They don’t even know how many pages there are!
Students never bother making an accurate estimate of the time they need. They may think they know, but they are really only guessing. They just start when they start and finish when they finish. It might be an hour or it might be three. The problem is that they are usually wrong. They continually underestimate the time they need and the time they should begin.
Pretty soon they are getting behind and they have to cut corners. Stress goes up and grades go down.
So what if you could identify and plan your time just like a project manager? What if you knew the time you had, what you needed to do, and could make a very good estimate of how long that was going take?
Imagine if you could know exactly when you could start on any assignment and still have time to get it done.
Imagine if you wanted to go have fun and you knew that you had plenty of time to do the things you needed to do.
That’s what How To Study In College does.
We help students really know their time, understand their workload and how long it takes, and then show them how to get things done as efficiently and effectively as possible to get the best results in the least amount of time.
Keep It Simple
Every student wants to do well in college but they don’t always know how. They’re often just winging it. They shouldn’t have to guess what they should be doing each day. What they need is a consistent way of doing things each day that they know will deliver predictable results.
First a qualifier. It is impossible to cover every possible study method for every type of assignment in thousands of different classes. You already have enough to do.
Our goal here is to keep it simple and only give you what we think is most important. This is kind of the 80/20 rule of studying. That is, we identified what we believe are the 20% of study tips that we believe deliver 80% or the results.
When it comes to studying, there are certain fundamental principles that apply to every college student. We organize them into 5 main categories.
Here’s what you have to do to get perfect grades in college:
1. Know Your Time
Do you have time for college? Everything and I mean EVERYTHING starts with time. You can accomplish anything you want if you have enough time. Chances are you don’t. Students think they have plenty of time but their days are already filled with all kinds of things that that they have to do and want to do. It takes up lot of time.
Lack of time is the number one cause of problems with college students. Not for you. You’re going to know exactly how much time you have, how you use it, and most importantly, how much you have left to get things done.
Most students spend their time filling out a day planner that simply tells them when they have to do things. That’s useless.
The purpose of the time plan isn’t to identify when you HAVE to do things. It is designed to identify when you DON’T have anything to do, so you can put that time to use wisely. We’ll explain why that’s better and how to do it.
2. Know Your Workload
It doesn’t matter how much time you have if you don’t know how much time you need. You are going to really understand the workload that’s in your syllabus. That huge stack of books you have to read; the papers you have to write; the problem-sets you have to solve; the quizzes and exams you have to take. All the stuff that you actually have to DO to get an A.
It’s not good enough to just know what you have to do. You also need to understand the time it takes to get it all done.
Students honestly think that they have time to get things done. They are almost always wrong. They get behind and start cutting corners. Stress goes up and grades go down. We’re going to show you how to estimate how long things take so you get them done in time.
You’re going to know what you have to do and how long it’s going to take you to do it. No more underestimating the time you need to get things done. You’ll know it — in real time, every minute of every day.
3. Use Time Efficiently
Once you really understand your time, one thing will become very clear – you don’t have much of it left to waste. You are going to make every minute count. Ruthlessly. We’re going to show you how to remove distractions and study at the right times and places where you will get the most done with every minute you have. You’ll stop wasting precious minutes that can be better used for the things you really want to do.
4. Work Effectively
Efficiency is about finding and using every minute of time you have. Being effective is about getting the best result with that time. You can get better results in less time when you do things the right way.
We’ll show you how to take notes in class in a way that will increase retention and speed review. It’s simple, fast, and it saves hours of time later when studying.
We’ll show you the why and how of reading textbooks that will cut hours off of your exam study time.
Studying for exams will be easier than ever. In fact, it should be the easiest part. You will know the answers well before you ever sit down for the exam. You’ll never waste time studying material you already know. You will focus all of your time and attention on only the material that you don’t know.
You’ll never spend another night cramming for exams – ever. In fact, you’ll probably be drinking beer the night before the exam. I did, and I still got an A.
5. Make It Habit
None of this stuff will matter if you don’t follow through. You have to make sure that you keep doing things the same way every day until you don’t even think about it. We keep each step simple and repeatable so you’ll have no problem doing it every day.
When you use our program, we will follow up with you continuously so you never forget.
You will get an A in every class. Not the kind of an A that is just on paper, but the kind of an A that goes deep into your brain and sticks with you next semester, the rest of college, and through to that first job. After all, isn’t that why you decided to go to college in the first place – to learn stuff, make a difference and some bucks?
You’re investing a lot of time and money into college. You have a lot riding on how well you do.
So let’s get started.
Here’s the first question that you need to answer…
Time it took you to read this page