For most, college is anything but easy. Sure, there are loads of social events and opportunities to meet new people and hang with friends; however, the academics require a lot from students! One thing is certain, college students are often bogged down with more homework than they know how to handle. Here are 4 effective homework tips that can help any college student get a hold of the curricular workload.

1. Schedule a regular study time

Often times college students neglect to make regular time to study for their classes. Instead, they try to finish large assignments or study for big tests in the wee hours of the morning, or in the time between social events. Scheduling a regular study time keeps you organized, and gives you routine. Improving this area of your homework studies can have a dramatic impact on what you learn, and the GPA you earn at the end of each semester.

2. Minimize distractions

Minimizing distractions means doing everything possible to eliminate them entirely. While each person knows individually whether or not television or music seriously distract them from critically thinking, these things are often linked to lack of focus and productivity. Take a critical look at the things that keep you from achieving flow during homework study time, and remove them from your scheduled learning time.

3. Make a plan—flashcards, read strategically, etc.

Making a plan can be as simple as determining that you will highlight important words in your textbooks or annotate your class notes. One thing is for sure, you need to have a homework plan in place. Some effective methods to consider including in your homework plan include creating flashcards for important vocabulary terms or concepts in a particular subject area, or making an effort to read strategically—e.g. reading to acquire the most important information and not reading every single word.

4. Go to class—read, participate, etc. in class

Many college students feel that they can miss class as they please, but one of the most effective study tools is being present and participating actively in your classes. By completing the course readings, asking questions, and making comments in class will help you internalize the information you need to prepare for all those big exams you take each semester.

Implementing these 4 strategies will have a profound impact on your homework study time, and ultimately on your academic pursuits. Good luck!