You did it again.
You waited until the last two hours before your big test or assignment to start studying and now you’re in a frenzy trying to memorize all the material or write down words that make at least some sort of sense.
Welcome to college student procrastination.
Whether you want to admit it or not, I’m sure you’ve felt the anxiety creep up on you at some point when you had to cram for a test because there was just never enough time to fit one more study session into your schedule.
I get it… Procrastination is REAL in college and I was a complete victim to it for awhile myself.
Although I haven’t completely overcome my procrastination (I’m trying!), I have found some great solutions for managing my time better.
In addition to that, I’ve also learned how to make the most of the procrastination situations I put myself in. I became a master at this as a college student and although I don’t encourage you to wait until the last minute on ANYTHING, I know that it’s going to happen and you’ll need some guidance to get you through.
So here it is – My college student procrastination tips for successful last minute studying!
P.S. I have a few different posts specifically about studying, so make sure you check those out and use those tips in the future!
Look for Hints From Your Professor
This one is simple. The hints could be in the form of a study guide, things they’ve emphasized in class, or definitions/terms they want you to know.
These “hints” are your cheat sheet for setting up a quick study session. Instead of trying to memorize everything, you’re going to stick with the main points and absorb as much of that information as possible.
Skim the Text the Right Way
So many college students procrastinate on their reading assignments and fail to get through the entire text by the time a test rolls around.
I know those chapters can be super time consuming, but they may be filled with really important material!
Since you won’t have enough time to read through the text word-for-word, try this approach:
- Read the first two sentences of a paragraph
- Read the last two sentences of a paragraph
- Make note of any bold terms or important keywords
- Jot down a quick summary and then move to the next
If you’ve REALLY procrastinated, then you might not even have time to jot down the quick summary, but at least you’ll have some sort of idea about what was talked about in the reading.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
If you know that definitions or key terms are going to be on your test, write down any relevant information and then read it to yourself over and over at least seven times.
Have a little extra time? Rewrite what you wrote instead… You’ll have a better chance of retaining the information for a longer period of time and should have a better understanding of it.
If you’re a visual learner, try drawing a quick timeline or chart to help you organize the facts and thoughts that will be questioned on your test.
By doing this, you’ll help your brain picture how various details are related, hopefully triggering something in your memory that allows you to accurately identify information once you’re taking the test.
For example, if you draw a mind map or chart, you would be a main idea in the middle and then branch out smaller ideas from that. So, if a psychology student is studying psychoanalysis and they use the branches to name related theorists, brain activity, and popular experiments, they now have a visual to recall rather than an entire chapter of reading.
Consider it summarizing with art!
Most Importantly – Get Your Head Straight
Look, you can’t take back how long you procrastinated.
The test that you’re about to take is going to happen whether you’re ready or not, so you might as well prepare yourself as best as you can.
Here’s how you can combat the negative impacts that college student procrastination has on your brain:
- Eat a healthy and nourishing meal (if you’re hungry when you test, odds are you won’t be focused)
- Practice taking an 8 count breath in and 4 count breath out (at least five times through)
- Tell yourself this: “I’m going to do my best. I can remember this information. I’m capable.” (Positive thinking goes a long way)
What are your biggest struggles with procrastinating?
It’s nothing to be ashamed of… We’ve all been there! If you don’t mind, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. You could share what struggles you have, how you’re dealing with them, or anything else!