Have you been struggling to pass an exam or just want to hit your next one out of the ballpark? Trust us, every University of Missouri student that earns stellar grades studies smarter not harder. You just have to learn how to identify key points from lectures and mix them with some good study habits to do the same. The following article is a list of the best study tips we at the Grayson Cottages have gathered for MU students.

Pay Attention

Far more important than anything else is paying attention. You can’t expect to go far without knowing what topics your professor has covered and will cover throughout the course. Make sure you set your phone and any conversations to the side when you’re in class. You don’t want to miss out on the key topics.

Ask Questions

Don’t forget to ask your professor any questions you may have. You don’t want to go into an exam with uncertainties and unanswered questions. Besides, asking questions is always a great way to grasp a topic and ignite some thinking in other student minds.

Take Great Notes

Don’t forget to take some good notes while you’re in class. There will always be times when your professor covers an advanced topic that requires you to be prepared to jot things down in your notebook or digital device.

We suggest that you try to stick to computers and tablet devices when you’re taking notes. They tend to be easier to search and organize during your study sessions. But don’t get too used to your electronic devices! You don’t want to be unprepared in case you have technical problems or your professor doesn’t allow digital note-taking.


Digital devices are advancing and so are the teachers on campus. You can try asking your professors for permission to record an important class (reviews) so that you can later replay the recording. This can help you pick up on sections you may have forgotten or even missed during class.

Get Organized

After you get settled with your in-class activities, make sure you organize your study routine. The way you organize your semester is key to how well or how bad you’ll do in class. You’ll want to set up a balanced schedule to help you focus on all of your classes as needed. Some classes may require a bit more dedication than other, so don’t be alarmed if you find yourself dedicating more time to the most difficult course.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at organizing your study schedule. You should always start by choosing a flexible time frame that can easily be adjusted by a few minutes in case you ever have to adjust your schedule. All you really have to do is set about 30 minutes of your day aside to dedicate to each course you’re taking. This should give you enough time to do homework and go over any topic you may need to practice on. You should also set up a calendar to remind you of important due dates and upcoming exams for the semester.

Start A MU Study Group

Every successful student knows how to use their resources wisely. You may not be an Albert Einstein but you can definitely work with others to compete! Even if you’re not struggling in class, setting up a study date with your classmates is a great way to bounce off ideas and pick up better ways to remember key terms. You will also be able to make new friends that might be taking other courses with you. Grouping up can also help you put your knowledge to the test when you discuss class topics. You can even divide different study tasks within the group and determine what you will review the next session.

Study Ahead of Time

A great way to reduce test anxiety is through preparing for the big day with plenty of time. If you take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for a test, you can avoid trying to cram everything the day before. This will also help you get the correct amount of rest you need without feeling tired the day of your exam.

Review Your Study Guides Thoroughly

Make sure you show up to class during review days. Professors tend to give some great insights on upcoming tests, which will help you gain some serious points. There are also plenty of occasions when professors cover questions that will be on the test, giving you part of or all of the answer. Whatever the case may be, study guides help you get a good feel of the difficulty level of the upcoming exam. You also never know when your professor can hand out extra credit for showing up on these important dates!

Find What Works Best

You should experiment with your study techniques after analyzing how others study. You can try mixing up different techniques or coming up with your own new method. Whatever the case may be, make sure you choose the best study methods for you. Try adding music into the background, it can help you remember important details in areas you usually have troubles.

Find A Tutor at the Learning Center

Even the best need some extra help sometimes. The University of Missouri Learning Center offers Help Sessions, NetTutor, Private Tutoring, Study Plan Consultants, and a Writing Center in case you ever feel lost in class. It is always an excellent idea to visit the learning center for about a week before your next big test. You can also stop by for reviewing, ask questions, and discussing problems. Learning Center tutors have great knowledge in almost every subject and are ready to help you get the most out of your tuition with this free service.

Find the Perfect Study Spot

You don’t have to study in one spot. Finding the perfect study spot can help you beat stress and do things in a calm manner. For some, the perfect spot is a quiet reading room, while others prefer the bustle of a coffee shop. Feel free to explore any of the following study spots around and off campus a try:

Ellis Library

The Ellis library is the University’s most popular study spot, offering plenty of room for students to get comfortable. This library also allows you to reserve a study room in case you’re looking for a quieter spot to study with a small group. It is southeast of Jesse Hall and southwest of Memorial Union on Hitt Street. Just be prepared for heavy traffic during midterms and finals when it’s the busiest.

Mizzou Market

This popular sandwich spot is a great place for you to enjoy a meal while you study. It’s also open 24/7 and offers free wi-fi for you to get your study on. So head on down and grab a sandwich while you’re there.

Benches Around Campus

How about giving mother nature a try? Feel free to find a great spot around campus where you can read your books and catch some sunlight once in a while. You might find the nice Missouri weather soothing for you to study.

Give Yourself A Study Break

Everything has its limit. Don’t beat yourself up too hard or overstudy. These things tend to have some negative effects on your productivity and morale in the long run. As much as we’d like you to stay strong throughout the semester, you have to accept that you’re not always going to feel motivated enough to study. That is why should give yourself a deserved break from all the studying. Take some time out of every day to dedicate to your mind and enjoy your college years and your friends. Even if you don’t go out, take advantage of your break to take a nap or listen to your favorite music.