How Studying Changes From High School to College

Studying changes when you transition from high school to college

Flickr user Ian Aberle

There will be a lot of changes as you head to college from high school. You’ll probably have a roommate, may be living on campus away from home, and you’ll have half the classes you are used to. Even with fewer classes though, studying is one big change that many freshman aren’t quite ready for as they head into their first course of the semester.

You May Not Have Had to Study in High School

Many high schoolers pride themselves on not having to study to achieve 100s or 90s on their test scores. And many of these students are in for a shock when they don’t study for their first test in college.

Even if you don’t have to study now, don’t let that become the norm for your college education. Tests and projects in your freshman year may require more information that is more in depth than previous years. You can only benefit by working a bit harder in college. And if you did study in high school, expect more in-depth studying and longer study periods for college.


Work Has to Be Done Quicker

In high school, you may spend an entire semester on a particular subject (The Revolutionary War, human biology, basics of chemistry). In college though, information will come at you a lot faster. It’s a lot to take in in a very short amount of time.

Reviewing the information that’s presented to you, regularly as well as before a test, can help you take in what you’re learning. If you’re relying solely on the class time to review a subject, you’ll find you don’t retain everything you need from the lessons to achieve good grades and actually learn the subject matter thoroughly.

Reading is a Must

Many seniors skim over the reading they have to do, whether it’s a chapter in a history text book or a book for English class they don’t particularly enjoy. A few even turn to the internet to look up summaries.

Skipping the reading though in college can be costly. A professor may not cover a particular aspect of a lesson in the class, but test you on it since it was in the required reading. If you’re simply skimming through, thinking you hit all the major points, you could be hit with a failing grade if you miss the minor, yet important, details.

Tests are Worth More

Since classes are shorter and work has to be done quickly, tests and projects are generally worth more in college than they were in high school. A failing grade or even a low one could significantly affect your overall grade and even your GPA.

Because these tests are worth more, you could benefit by taking a bit more time to give each subject and lesson the time it deserves.

These are only a few ways that studying and work will be different as you head into college. However, don’t think you can get by with the minimum in college or you can approach classes in the same way as you did in high school. The first grade can be a harsh lesson on how college is different, but knowing how to approach your studying before hand could benefit your habits and grades.

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