Student studying in front of a laptop

5 Study Tips for College Freshmen

Did you ace quizzes by memorizing answers in high school? Did you stand out from the crowd because you knew all the elements of the periodic table by heart? College is often a shock for standout students because they become small fish in a much bigger pond. High school was likely easier to breeze through, even if you missed class or fudged an answer every now and then. In college, the competition is heightened, and professors recognize students who develop good work ethics and study habits. You can stay ahead of the crowd — and develop more efficient and lasting study habits — with these easy tips and resources.

1. Check Out Study Briefs

Study Briefs dig deep into a subject and organize the critical info in a straightforward, easy-to-read manner. Our study briefs use color photos, succinct notes and bold print to help you grasp a subject. This type of online study tool can be used for multiple courses. Since the essential info is so well organized, you won’t spend hours locked in your dorm, poring over thick textbooks to cram for an exam. Here are a few more benefits of study briefs:

  • Relevant definitions, facts and equations
  • Applies to multiple courses
  • Accessible digital format

2. Use Online Study Tools

Since most of your social and academic life probably involves Internet, it makes sense that you should look to the Web to help you develop better study habits.

There is a wealth of resources online. For example, our Rush Solutions program offers an extensive selection of online study tools to accompany hundreds of textbooks on just about every subject — from accounting to the molecular nature of atoms. Here’s how the guides enhance your ability to study:

  • Focus on application, not memorization
  • Affordable monthly and annual subscriptions
  • Step-by-step solutions

3. Take Extensive Notes

It might seem like your professor drones on and on, and tells pointless stories, but somewhere in between all of that, there is a wealth of information that’s important for you to learn and retain. It’s tough to find the right balance when you’re taking notes because it’s tempting to take too many notes and miss the important points, or to take sparse notes and leave out critical information. Cornell University’s note-taking system has helped benefit Ivy League students and other degree seekers throughout the country. When you’re taking notes, there’s one important thing you should never do without: a highlighter for accentuating significant passages.

4. Make a Study Guide

You can compile the online study tools you’ve picked up in your study briefs with the notes you’ve taken in class to create your personalized study guide. Organizing a study guide is also an effective way to get familiar with important info from a class. Here are a few quick tips on how to organize a helpful study guide:

  • Highlight important points from your notes
  • Scan the textbook for bold and italicized phrases
  • Review the questions from previous quizzes

5. Join a Study Group

You’ve heard it before: there’s strength in numbers. That’s especially true for incoming freshman as they try to develop a healthy social and academic life. If you combine your study time with that of some peers, you can collaborate with people who process information differently and can recommend their unique study tips that can be useful to you in the future. It’s also a great way to make some new friends as you start the semester.

Freshman year can throw you off a little because there’s so much to get used to, but if you come with a game plan, and try these simple study tools and online briefs, you’ll find you’re mastering final exams and pop quizzes in no time.


About the author

Alison Blankenship
Senior Marketing Manager
I graduated Cum Laude from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with degrees in Marketing and Communications. I’ve been working in the textbook industry for over 10 years, and my work has been featured by College Confidential, Mercy College of Health Sciences, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Tribune, Montana Technological University, Oregon Live, and other organizations.

I’m an obsessive lover of dachshunds and a passionate reader of books. I’m an avid Pinner and poster, and I’m all over our Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Pinterest.