Relearning How to Study

Older students can use these tips to help fit studying into their busy lives

If you just went back to school after an absence, studying may seem like a foreign concept. One of the greatest challenges of an older student is finding the balance between other life priorities and school.    Don’t let the stress keep you from getting anything done—finding the right balance can lead to better success. Use these tips to help you improve your study habits, so you can get the most out of your school experience.

Take good notes

Studying will be easier if you have good notes. Studies have shown that writing helps you remember important information. You will start a step ahead if you spend your class time focused and take notes. Writing your notes becomes a way of practicing with the information you hear in class and helps commit it to memory better than just listening. Once you begin studying, you can apply the same theory and rewrite your notes. Some people find that the more they write the information, the more they remember it.

Figure out how you study best

With so many ways to study, you need to figure out what works best for you. Try some of these techniques:

  • Rewrite notes
  • Make flash cards
  • Use mnemonic devices – like HOMES for the Great Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior
  • Make a song
  • Tie the information to a personal experience
  • Study with classmates


You should always determine which of your assignments is critical; you may have a test coming or a paper due. But when assignments start piling up and you aren’t sure which to do first, you need to prioritize your tasks. Although you may want to start with the easy assignments, remember that time is a limited resource and you will get more tired as you study. So that you can give your full attention and the most time, start with the most difficult assignments and work your way down to the easier ones that won’t require as much of your motivation and creativity to complete.

Put study time on your schedule

It’s easy to procrastinate, especially if you have other distractions in your life. Dedicate time to studying and completing assignments. You should have a planner that helps you organize your schedule each day. Leave a block of time (two to three hours), or several shorter blocks of at least 30 minutes, to study. These tips can help you manage your time more effectively.

Review weekly

Cramming rarely works for younger students — it most certainly won’t help as you age. At the end of each week, save time for a weekly review by going over your notes and reading. This preparation will help you commit more to memory before you are tested on the material. When you have an exam coming up, use these tips to help you prepare for your test.

Find a good study spot

You may have a family, live with others, or get easily distracted. Finding the right study spot is important. The fewer distractions, the more you can accomplish in a shorter amount of time. Make sure you have a well-lit desk and turn off the electronics. If you study at home, make sure everyone knows that when you are in your study spot, you are not to be interrupted.

Get extra help

Taking notes is a skill. If you find during your review that yours don’t make sense or you are missing information, reach out to classmates or the teacher. Make sure you understand your assignments by asking questions. Ask the teacher for other resources if you need additional help.

When studying becomes overwhelming, take a moment to remember you career goals and why you are in school. If a study technique no longer works, be flexible and try something new. With a commitment to studying, you may not find that school is as overwhelming as it once was.

This post is part of the weekly blog of Seacoast Career Schools. We are dedicated to helping our students on their path to their new career. If you are interested in a professional training program, please explore our options, request information, schedule a tour at one of our campuses, or call to speak to a career advisor at 1-800-758-7679.

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