How to Succeed in College You probably noticed that your learning outcomes not always depend on the time you spend studying. Sometimes hours of looking into the book and rereading mean nothing. In other cases, only half an hour of working with course materials makes a huge difference.

Mystery, nah? It's all about the mechanisms through which your brain functions. The key to success in college is not simply studying, but studying effectively. And here are 5 cool psychology tricks to boost your cognition and show you how to succeed in college without going insane.

5 Psychology Tricks Every Student Should Know


Recent studies have shown that traditional rereading and highlighting are ineffective.

Here's how to really succeed in college with minimum effort. Make your brain work better:

  1. 'SQ3R'. This method stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. In more detail it looks like this:
    • Survey – get the overall picture of what you’re going to study. Google it or check this topic on Wikipedia.
    • Question – ask yourself questions starting from 'why', 'what', 'how', and 'when'.
    • Read – try to be an active reader, answering the questions you’ve formulated; pay attention to tables, graphs and bold text.
    • Recite – stop reading for a while and try to recollect the main subheadings of what you’ve just read.
    • Review – look through your notes.
  2. 'Keyword mnemonic'. Instead of thoughtless highlighting, try to choose only a few most important words which will help you recollect everything. Create mnemonics to learn those important words.
  3. 'Imagery for text'. While listening to lectures or reading course materials, try to think of some imagery for your topic. Feel free to use any weird images crossing your mind – flying dragons or speaking hamburgers are just ok if they make some sense in your eyes.
  4. 'Self explanation'. It's the answer to how to succeed in college. Whenever you read something new, try to explain yourself how new materials are related to what you already know and how different parts of it interact with each other.
  5. 'Practice testing'. This strategy has proved to be the most effective study strategy. Instead of simply reading or simply taking notes, search for some tests or assignments to make sure you properly understand the topic. If you can’t find them in your textbook, search for them online.

Would you share your secret learning tactic to answer the question how to succeed in college?

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