Student Stress Strategies

Studying Vs. Homework

What is Homework? 
Homework commonly consists of assignments that instructors assign to be completed at home by students. The general purpose of homework assignments is to reinforce the knowledge that you learn in the classroom. These assignments allow for extra practice, so that you can refine your skills and knowledge in a particular area.

What is Studying? 
Studying, on the other hand, refers to the time spent going over material you learned. Many of you may think of studying as what you do to prepare for an exam; however, it is best to set aside regular time to study to be sure you understand all the concepts you are learning  so you do not fall behind. Studying includes making flashcards, taking detailed notes, making outlines, and reading.

SO HOW DO I DO THIS? First you should ask yourself, "What is it I really do not understand?"


Tip #1: Choose a quiet place to study – It is important that you find a quiet space where you can do your studies. Find a place that is not distracting to you. For example, if you are easily distracted you should not study near a television or in a crowded location. Instead, choose a quiet room, a library, or a bookstore where people study instead of socialize.

  • Also, while many students choose to listen to music as they study, this can also be a distraction.
  • Assess your preferences and try different settings to determine what study environment is ideal for you.
  • Once you feel that you have grasped the context try to change the place you have studied.  Perhaps go on a walk and try to remember the information.  

Tip #2: Set a specific time to study –Just as you would for any other appointment or commitment, mark a time in your calendar dedicated exclusively to study time.

  • Choose specific days and times that work best for you to study, and stick to your commitment. (Morning times are are most alert, so try to set your times for the morning.)
  • It is also helpful to create a study timeline, and you will see how to go about this in greater detail later on.
  • Also, reward yourself with breaks. Grab a cup of coffee or sit back and close your eyes for a minute if you need to clear your mind.

Tip #3: Make sure you have all the study materials you need – Be sure that you have all the materials you need to study before you begin.

  • Gather any textbooks, notes, and flash cards you will need to help you study.
  • Remember not to bring things to study that you do not need or that can be distractions.
  • Leave your cell phone behind, or turn it on silent and place it in a bag.
  • If you are using a computer to study, do not get sidetracked by social media accounts, music or games.
  • By bringing only the materials you need, it will be easier to stay on task.

Tip #4: Keep a positive outlook about studying
 – Many students dread studying, perhaps because they aren’t doing it right or they feel it isn’t helpful to their success.

  • Approach your study time with a positive outlook. Even if you are tackling a challenging subject, staying positive will make your study time less burdensome and will help you grasp the material.
  • Take all the time you need to learn a topic, and don’t beat yourself up if you are having difficulty with the subject matter.
  • Also, take the time to learn what study methods suit you best. You’ll explore study methods in detail further on and learn important studying skills that will make it easier to stay positive. 

Tip #5: Do not procrastinate
 – You have undoubtedly been warned about procrastination, but you might not understand the reason why this practice is detrimental.

  • Not only does waiting until the last minute leave you with less time to study, but it also puts you in a stressful situation in which it is difficult to recall the material.
  • Although cramming at the last minute can help you get a slightly higher score on a single test, this method won’t help you retain information for midterms and final exams, let alone for use in your career after graduation.
  • Also, remember that is it more effective and less daunting to study for shorter periods of time but more often than to study during one long, exhausting session.