Study Tips from McGraw-Hill Education Help College Students Bring Their "A" Games in Time for Midterm Season

Oct 16, 2012, 15:58 ET from McGraw-Hill Education

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For college students, midterms can be incredibly stressful – especially for freshmen – but proper study techniques can enhance performance on these exams and mean the difference between success and failure in a class. McGraw-Hill Education college study expert Jay Chakrapani provides practical advice to help students retain and apply core knowledge and excel at the mid-semester mark.

  • Study Smart Tip #1: Don't Cram. According to a recent research study published by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), students who forego sleep to pull "all-nighters" and cram prior to a big test are more likely to perform poorly the following day. Ample sleep is critical for academic success. Students should keep a consistent study schedule leading up to their test and get a good night's sleep to ensure a great result.
  • Study Smart Tip #2: Seek out Effective Study Tools. Whether it's using flashcards or re-reading passages in a text or e-book, all students have their own way of assessing their preparedness prior to a test. However, there are tools available that make the studying process much easier, more engaging and more effective. McGraw-Hill LearnSmart™, an adaptive "digital tutor" that continuously assesses students' knowledge and skills and provides personalized recommendations that helps them master content over time. By helping students focus their study time more on learning what they don't know and less on what they already know, LearnSmart turns C students into B students and B students into A students. According to a recent survey, more than 95% of students using LearnSmart say that it has improved the effectiveness of their study time in mastering course material.

Another effective study tool is McGraw-Hill Tegrity Campus, a comprehensive lecture capture system that allows students to "relive" the lectures that aren't fresh in their minds. In a recent survey, 85% of students indicated that using Tegrity Campus increased the effectiveness of their study time and 70% said that Tegrity Campus helped them earn a better grade.

  • Study Smart Tip #3: Jump Around. A majority of students naturally review material for a test or a midterm in the order in which it was taught; that is, going through notes in chronological order. This type of studying, also known as "blocking," may be effective for some, but research out of the University of South Florida suggests otherwise. If you study "out of order," according to the research, you are more likely to retain standalone knowledge and are therefore able to recall information in a randomized way, which is how many tests are designed. Studying in sequence is restrictive, and forces you to remember content in the order in which it was studied.
  • Study Smart Tip #4: Power Down. The 21st century student is an avid "digital multi-tasker," capable of answering the phone, reading and sending a text message or email and listening to music all while preparing for a test. Though this might be considered "the new normal," these distractions might -- according to research by Stanford University -- negatively impact a student's ability to retain and accurately recall information. While collaboration and discussion are an important part of the learning process, when it's crunch time, students should opt for an environment that is quiet and void of any digital disturbances.
  • Study Smart Tip #5: Books, then Bed. A guide on memory issued by the Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth College recommends that students should review difficult material prior to bedtime, provided that a student is mentally and physically strong before hitting the pillow. This is because challenging information is oftentimes easier to remember after a good night's rest, as the brain typically consolidates facts in your memory that are freshly accessible the next day.

"We know that students learn differently and therefore study differently, but we also know that by taking the necessary steps to study more efficiently and effectively they can maximize their own potential and performance," said Jay Chakrapani, vice president of digital at McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "Midterms are a critical juncture for many college students because underperforming can result in their falling further behind in class, making it more difficult to build upon what they've learned to date. Whether it's creating a more suitable studying environment, or using a 'personal digital tutor' like McGraw-Hill LearnSmart, we hope that students walk into midterms this year well prepared and confident to succeed."

About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a content, software and services-based education company that draws on its more than 100 years of educational expertise to offer solutions which improve learning outcomes around the world. McGraw-Hill is the adaptive education technology leader with the vision for creating a highly personalized learning experience that prepares students of all ages for the world that awaits. The company has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 65 languages. For additional information, visit

Brian Belardi
McGraw-Hill Education
(212) 904-4827

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education