College x

End the stress over how, where and when to study. Your sign has all the answers.

Your study habits are among the stars (Image via Chandra X-Ray Observatory)

There are many time management techniques, but do you know what really works for you? Many schools emphasize creating lists and schedules, taking adequate notes and sufficient breaks, yet it seems a little more complicated than that because everyone is different. The habits that work for some students won’t work well for others.

In addition, a lot of students know there are ways to deal with the pressure of college demands, but don’t know what study style works best for them, while others couldn’t care less about things like scheduling and just aim to pass their classes. No matter what type of student you are, look no further than your zodiac sign for clues on the best way to maximize your studying potential.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

You are naturally very motivated, so if you’re taking a course that doesn’t appeal to you as much, try relating it to your career goals, or an activity you enjoy. You’d be surprised to see how much required coursework has to do with your new favorite hobby or the passion you’re pursuing. Not only will it make the work easier, but also help commit to personal interests.

Because you have a lot of energy, and can get easily frustrated with a huge workload, taking a lot of breaks is ideal. The pomodoro technique requires you to take a break every 25 minutes, increasing your focus and allowing you to get more work done in less time. More significantly, it can be fun to try to beat the clock as you alternate between 5-minute breaks and 25-minute work periods.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You are known for being conservative, committed and down-to-earth—to you, there’s no reason to not do the work expected of you, the way it is supposed to be done, and on time. You have respect for your fellow classmates and professors and expect them to be the same. A quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed, like the library, a secret hiding place on campus, or your own room are your best places to study, as well as very early in the morning or late at night when there is little to no ambient noise. Where you study is also important to tactile learners such as yourself.

Once you start a project, you like to finish; break up each assignment into smaller parts that you know you can complete within a given amount of time. This will avoid last-minute stress and aid in earning the grade you actually deserve.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Sociable and communicative, you study best with a group of friends you can share ideas with and learn from. Even if you don’t need much help, a friend or two whom you can do homework with, side-by-side, taking a break every few minutes, will keep you motivated and focused. Music and background noise are also useful to you, as they will keep you from getting bored—and we all know how boring some of those assignments are. Classical music for studying is a preferred choice when reading if you’re finding Beyoncé a little too distracting in moments like these, and there are various Mozart symphonies for concentration and creativity.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You can be quite emotional and sensitive, so comfort is your greatest priority when you have a lot of coursework to manage. Planning where you will study and for how long, and what exactly you can accomplish in that time is your best study regimen. Pick a spot, like your room, where you can go regularly for reading, and the quietest time of the day such as early morning when you know you’ll be able to focus, and stick to it. You value security and assurance, and therefore need a plan you can rely on. Helping others also makes you happy, but studying alone until you have a strong grasp on the material or have completed your own assignment is most beneficial. Do it for yourself, and then share your knowledge and understanding with a group.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

It can be hard to find motivation to do the work, especially if you’re taking general education requirements, or something you don’t have much interest in. When studying, completing assignments or taking notes in class consider the big picture rather than the boring, minute details. College work is usually about finding the main idea anyway and you have no patience for the complexities. In class, listen for the main idea and write it down in just three or four words, then when you’re studying just read those notes over. The same goes for assignments—find the point and understand what’s required to be understood, but avoid unnecessarily bogging yourself down in the details of the material. Keeping it simple will allow you to feel in charge of your studying demands and give you more room for the activities you really enjoy.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

You study best through listening. Before a test, vocally record your notes using your phone or other handy, portable device, and listen to them for a few minutes in between classes or during a break. Your practice of constantly thinking and analyzing will help you retain the details you hear and be prepared to perform during exams.

Avoid trying to complete numerous tasks at once; the best way to get everything done is by focusing on one project at a time. Also consider joining an art club or class through which you can make things. Practicing pottery-making or building the set for a play are the types of activities you find enjoyable, and can satisfy the regular need for a break from class and assignments.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Balance is everything for you, so “work hard and play hard” is probably your motto, but don’t forget to make time for friends and family, as well as for yourself. The more organized you are, the greater your ability to focus on one task at a time, and do your best in each area of your life including school. Keep a planner, journal your progress in staying balanced but remember those plans are just guides, they’re not set in stone. Switch things up every now and then in terms of where to study, for example. You may also enjoy studying with a friend.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

You work best in an environment in which you can figure things out on your own. This doesn’t mean you’re not friendly, but that you simply are better able to understand and complete assignments when you focus by yourself, unlike other signs which may thrive in a group. Your sensitivity and joy for problem-solving also add to this need to work alone. No one can help you study better than you can by yourself.

Consider setting goals when planning how to tackle the bulk of assignments. You are good at laying the ground plan for what you will accomplish, so be sure to plan your day and if that works well, go on to the week, month and then year. If you can make it easy on yourself and get through a short list for the day, you’re on your way to success for the school year.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Avoid making a schedule you’re not sure you can follow, or giving yourself too much work to accomplish in small amounts of time. You enjoy dreaming big and making big plans, but when it comes to coursework, it’s best to divide assignments up into small tasks you can complete daily or weekly.

You are naturally quite curious and very smart and you enjoy learning new things, so follow that curiosity when it comes to course material, questioning everything. Just avoid getting ahead of yourself. Strive for perfection, but don’t stress yourself out. Use a timer to make sure you’re not spending too much time on one assignment or task. Plenty of calendars and other planners to keep you organized are among what you’ll find most helpful.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Competition is your greatest asset. Keep track of how you’re doing in each of your classes and see if you can do even better than the last time. Or, opt for some friendly competition by aiming for a higher grade than your classmates. You are goal-oriented and driven, but if you’re having trouble with a particular class, try relating the material to something that interests you; it’s the only way! People born under this sign usually take their career goals very seriously and turn out to be incredibly successful leaders, so don’t worry. No matter what your study habits are, you’re practically destined to be great in the future. You are sure to enjoy the article “How to Be the Top 10% No Matter What You Do.”

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

You do best working on problems and assignments on your own, but you’ll also easily work well with a group. Stick to quiet environments when you have to do individual work, although complete silence isn’t always necessary for you to concentrate. A little bit of background noise will do you good. You enjoy working with others to achieve a common goal, so keep that objective in mind to avoid distractions and so you and your teammates can earn the best grade. Freedom is important to you, so plans that aren’t too rigid are ideal.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

You tend to procrastinate quite a bit, thinking that projects and assignments are much further in the future than they actually are. As soon as you get a particular assignment, just work on it for 15 minutes, and then plan how often you’ll continue to work until it’s complete. Luckily, you’re also very dictated to your goals, so setting something achievable should work quite well for you. You usually need total silence to complete your assignments.

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