Top 10 Applying to college tips

Snack on Brain Food

A growling stomach can pull your mind from your studies, so feel free to snack as you work. Keep your snacks within arm’s reach, so you don’t have to leave your books to find food. Fuel your next study session with some of the following items:

  • Lean deli meat
  • Nuts
  • Grapes or apple slices
  • Dark chocolate Go for snacks that will power your brain and keep you alert. Steer clear of items that are high in sugar, fat and processed carbs.

Take Notes in Class

The things that your teacher talks about in class are most likely topics that he or she feels are quite important to your studies. So, it’s a good idea to become a thorough note-taker. The following tips can help you become an efficient, effective note-taker:

  • Stick to the main points.
  • Use shorthand when possible.
  • If you don’t have time to write all the details, jot down a keyword or a name. After class, you can use your textbook to elaborate on these items.
  • For consistency, use the same organizational system each time you take notes.
  • Consider writing your notes by hand, which can help you remember the information better. However, typing may help you be faster or more organized. Recording important points is effective because it forces you to pay attention to what’s being said during a lecture.

Make Your Own Flashcards

Another way to quiz yourself is to make flashcards that you can use for practice written tests. First, read the term on the front side. Encourage yourself to write out the definition or details of that term. Compare your written answer with what’s on the back of the card. This can be extra helpful when prepping for an entrance exam like the GRE, though there are a growing number of schools that don’t require GRE scores for admission.

Highlight Key Concepts

Looking for the most important information as you read helps you stay engaged with the material. This can help keep your mind from wandering as you read. As you find important details, mark them with a highlighter, or underline them. It can also be effective to jot notes along the edges of the text. Write on removable sticky notes if the book doesn’t belong to you. When you’re preparing for a test, begin your studies by reviewing your highlighted sections and the notes you wrote down.

Hit the Gym

To boost the blood flow to your brain, do half an hour of cardio exercise before sitting down to study. Aerobic exercise gives your brain a major dose of oxygen and other important nutrients, which may help you think clearly, remember facts and do your best work.

Quiz Yourself

Challenge yourself to see what you can remember. Quizzing yourself is like practicing for the test, and it’s one of the most effective methods of memory retention. If it’s hard to remember the information at first, don’t worry; the struggle makes it more likely that you’ll remember it in the end.


Do you have piles of handwritten notes everywhere? Once you’ve written them out, consider scanning them into digital form. ScannerPro lets you use your phone as a scanner. You can store your scanned files in this app or transfer them to Evernote or another organization system.

After your bed, bring in your rug, fridge and fan first.

While you are setting up your bed, have a parent bring in your rug, fridge and fan to get the ball rolling. The fridge will need time to defrost before you put any groceries in, and the fan will help to cool the stale space off.

Take advantage of in-store pick up.

Many stores offer a service for picking up on college move in day, which is helpful if you are going far away for school. Check out which stores are close to campus and order your dorm items ahead of time for easy pick-up.

Exercise First

Would you believe that exercise has the potential to grow your brain? Scientists have shown this to be true! In fact, exercise is most effective at generating new brain cells when it’s immediately followed by learning new information. There are short-term benefits to exercising before studying as well. Physical activity helps wake you up so you feel alert and ready when you sit down with your books.