Where’s the best place to study on your campus?

Finals are here! (That statement is exclaimed more in sheer panic than happy excitement.) Around this time of year, finding a good spot to review your materials before heading into that final exam or finishing that paper looming over your head is as difficult as imagining finally being done for the term.

Remember to ask yourself a few questions when choosing a study spot:

  • Can I easily get help if I get stuck on a problem or concept I’m studying?
  • Is it quiet and easy for me to concentrate on my work?
  • Am I comfortable here?
  • How far away is this space from where I live? From my next class? From snacks? (That last one is especially important.)
  • What resources are available to me here? Do I have access to whiteboards, computers, books, etc.?

We asked two of our Student Ambassadors what their favorite study spots are on their campuses. Take notice of where they choose! We hope you have a similar place to which you can retreat for some last-minute studying.

From Kayla at Navarro College:

This is the QEP Teams Center, where I work at on Navarro Campus. It’s a place where you can get help with a specific class and use your time to study here. While working here, I’ve had students tell me that their one-on-one time with me has helped them tremendously because I can easily break down each problem with them individually. I also find it useful studying here as well. I am here three to five times a week studying.


From Austin at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania:

Sometimes finding the right spot on campus to study is a challenge. The perfect spot that I have found for myself, though, is our project room. Located in the same building as the professors’ offices makes it a perfect place for being able to step out of the room and ask your professor a quick question. The project room is also for upperclassmen, so normally it is a quiet place to study away from distractions. With white boards all around the room, it makes it easy to write up ideas or even write out some long problems.

A computer lab with a long table in the middle and a white board on the furthest wall is shown.

Perhaps these favorite study spots from peers have inspired you to find a great place!

10 Habits to Help You Succeed in College – FREE PDF Included

The title of the document is Reading Environment Assessment. It asks you to one: list three places you usually study in order of frequency. Then, two: Circle the response that applies to each of these places (T for True and F for False). Statements are Other people seldom interrupt me when I study here; Little of what I can see here reminds me of things unrelated to my studying; and I don't hear a TV or radio when I study here.

Getting a college degree is no easy feat. Fortunately, you and your fellow students have access to a plethora of tips and tricks to make the most out of your class time and study time. One such source is provided by Opportunity International, which lists out habits to help you succeed in higher education.

Here’s a taste of Opportunity.org’s 10 Habits of Successful Students, which includes my favorite three habits they’ve listed:

  1. Sleep. You don’t want to overdo this one and miss class, of course! However, you can’t pull all-nighters to finish projects and study for tests all the time. (Trust me. I’ve tried and learned the hard way.) Get your rest so you can think more clearly, retain information more easily, and be a more pleasant person to be around.
  2. Ask questions. You should use this tip inside and outside of the classroom. If you’re confused by what your instructor is saying, do your best to speak up during class! If you’re extra shy and don’t want to talk in front of all your peers, don’t miss the opportunity to ask your instructor during their office hours or right after their lecture. Make sure you ask friends for help with studying too.
  3. Maintain a study space. Sometimes, your dorm room or home isn’t the best place to get your work done. Take the time to locate a spot that’s quiet, easy to get to, and conducive to studying.

Need help with that last tip? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Reading Environment Assessment here. It asks you to evaluate three different potential study spots by answering a few true-or-false questions. It will help you identify your best environment to get your work done. Plus, it’s free and quick to complete!

Check out more habits of successful students here. Let us know what your best habits are in the comments below!

“10 Habits of Success Students.” Opportunity International. Opportunity.org, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.

Common causes of test anxiety and how to solve them

In “Text Anxiety: Causes and Remedies,” Dr. Maryellen Weimer addresses the issue of test anxiety and how it affects students from kindergarten to graduate school. She presents a study that confirms the general idea that those with test anxiety have lower cumulative GPAs at the college level, but reminds us that although this is the case, tests are not going to disappear from the college landscape. Thus, she focuses on the causes of test anxiety, summarized below:

  1. Students who don’t have good study skills resort to memorization, but in turn cannot apply that to the “big picture.”
  2. Students who engage in negative self-talk can answer the questions after the test; however, the testing experience provokes such a high level of anxiety that it clouds their judgment.
  3. Students who think they know how to study—but actually do not—spend a great deal of time going through the motions such as highlighting and recopying notes, but they end up retaining practically nothing.

Weimer suggests that teachers combat test anxiety by providing examples of how to study and discussion about test-taking amongst peers. She also presents findings of teacher behavior that increases test anxiety for their students—namely walking around, peering over shoulders, or talking during the exam.

Read the original Faculty Focus article here or below, and let us know what you think is the main cause (and best remedy!) of test anxiety.

Weimer, Maryellen. “Test Anxiety: Causes and Remedies.” Teaching Professor Blog. Faculty Focus, 27 April 2016. Web. 3 May 2016.

Location, location, location: This app helps you find the perfect spot for getting work done

I don’t think I could have survived grad school without the local cafes I frequented to work on projects, put together lesson plans, and pretend I was working on projects and lesson plans while I was busy drinking caffeinated beverages and adding songs to my Spotify playlists. However, sometimes these cafes were too busy and noisy to get work done, and I was at a loss for where to go. (Sit in my office outside of office hours? Venture to the library and circle the claimed study desks in the hopes that a student would leave for a final so I could swoop in and set up my laptop and books? No way.)

Needless to say, I wish I had the WHA (Work Hard Anywhere) app to help me find nearby areas that are perfect for studying and getting work done. The app is free and gives you important information like WiFi access and parking. Check out more from the article here.

Brit + Co. “This App Helps You Find a Workspace Anywhere You Go.” Career Advice. Levo, 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.

Midterm Tips from a Student Ambassador

Here’s a guest post from UNC Charlotte’s Student Ambassador, Valeria! She provides some study tips during stressful midterms. Take it away, Valeria!

Study Tips for College Students from a College Student

Valeria Suárez

Hey, guys! Here are some study tips that will help you do better in school. Sometimes, it’s good to try new things if you aren’t getting the results you wanted regarding your grades. So, what’s better than trying a few tips below that have worked for others? Probably nothing. Just try them out and see the results:

1. Have study groups! For me, studying with my friends is one of the most helpful things for all my classes because you can help them, and they can help you. It’s a win-win situation, and it’s also fun!

2. BE ORGANIZED. This should be your mantra if you are a college student. Have calendars, a planner, and schedules. Do your best to keep them updated and accurate.

3. Create a study plan. When you feel that your week is too full and you are overwhelmed, write down everything you have to do and all the places you have to be in and make some kind of special schedule for that (or those) week(s). This will help you feel less stressed and will also give you the chance of making sure that you didn’t miss anything!

4. Find your study place. It is hard to study if you are in an environment that doesn’t suit you. Some people study in their rooms, while some people study in the library or in public places. It all depends on where you feel more comfortable/ Once you have found that spot, you will see the difference.

5. Feel confident when you start an exam. Some people say that if you get into that classroom thinking that you will get a score of 100, the probability of actually getting a good grade is higher.

6. Don’t study 10 minutes before the test. It won’t help you because you know what you already know and you won’t learn it 10 minutes before staring the test if you didn’t learned it before. So, prepare yourself to start studying with enough time before your test.