CNN – The CNN 10: Hacking College: Study Skills

It’s a simple fact of college and life: There are only so many hours in the day.

Between classes, work, family and fun, finding the time to study can be tough. But, if you want to do well and graduate, you’ll have to hit the books.

Enter: help.

There’s a new wave of resources for students looking to make the most of their study time — from apps that manage your schedule to techniques proven to boost long-term retention.


To connect with your peers, try StudyBlue, a crowd-source app that allows you to create and share study materials like flashcards.

The app covers everything from bartending to biology and includes a library of some 250 million entries. It can track your progress, helping you to hone in on what’s hardest.

It’s about “being prepared, so that when you do dedicate time to study, you have the right material,” says StudyBlue CEO and founder Chris Klundt.

Even if you just have a few minutes, maybe waiting for a bus — he says — you can pull out the app and study. It’s an idea that was echoed by Katherine Rawson, a professor of psychology at Kent State University. She says if she could give students a single piece of study advice, it would be to space out their learning.

Last year, Rawson co-authored a paper that looked at various study techniques.

Simply put: “The worst strategies are the ones students use the most and the best strategies are the ones they use the least,” she says.

Cramming, re-reading and highlighting are not good for long-term retention, Rawson found, while using flashcards or other memory prompts can help cement whatever you’re trying to learn.

As time is limited, she advocates those techniques that give students the most “bang for their buck.” Speaking of which, study break is over! Go hit those books.