Study Techniques – 10 Tips for You as a Student
Do you know why you need these study tips? Because to be a successful student, you have to be able to learn effectively. You should learn easily and retain what you’ve learned over a long period of time, and also save yourself hours of studies.
In recent times, many types of research have been conducted by educationists and psychologists to find the most effective study methods for students. Universities such as Stanford, Indiana, and Chicago, have conducted precise experiments using groups of students and were able to discover some study secrets that will help you succeed in school, at the workplace and any other part of your life that involves studies. This article describes 10 very important points about studying effectively that every student should know for their benefit.
1. Maintain a Study Schedule
Just like you have time to eat and sleep, you ought to also have a specific time for studies. And stick to that schedule strictly so that your subconscious mind adopts it and you feel less reluctant to get up when it’s time to study. Anything your subconscious mind learns automatically becomes a habit, and you’ll execute it without even being aware. The recommended duration of studies is at least two hours for every one hour you spend in class. Much of what you’ll learn and remember happens outside the classroom. The real study begins when you leave class and settle down to digest what you were thought that day.
People vary in their capacities to understand. Someone can absorb twice what another person does within the same timeframe. The reason for variation in people’s ability to learn fast depends on factors like your skill in the subject, how sharp your mind is, et cetera.
When making a study timetable, choose a time of day your understanding reaches its peak. Scientifically, it has been proven that your best study time is already hard-wired in your DNA in what is called Chronobiology. That’s why people understand best at different times of the day. But as a rule of thumb, the best time to study has been shown to be 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., or 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., because that’s when the brain is in acquisition mode. And again, the least effective study time is 4 a.m. – 7 a.m. Therefore, try to know when your brain is most alert and fix a study time accordingly. You may also adopt the scientifically proven study periods aforementioned.
Many have challenges concentrating, and sometimes the environment in which they study contributes to that problem. Being able to concentrate has everything to do with the mind. and studying in a familiar environment is very good for the mind. Choose the same time and place every day and make sure the environment is free of distraction. Resist the temptation to carry along your phone or computer if you find it hard for these gadgets. In fact, anyone can be distracted by a phone, like when someone calls texts you. You may also need to carry along your food so you don’t have to take endless trips to the kitchen.
The reason that studying is an activity of the mind is that when you sit at the kitchen table, you expect to eat; in an easy chair, you expect to watch TV, play computer games, et cetera. Train your mind to familiarize yourself with your study environment such that anytime you sit there, your mind keeps nagging you to study.
3. Equipping Your Study Environment
Some study materials and assignments require that you have other materials to help you study faster. For example, having a calculator, pencil, eraser, or a dictionary will make studying certain subjects easier. Realizing at the last minute that you have forgotten something important can be very demoralizing. And it’ll be a good idea to take along some liquid refreshments as well, cos it helps to be able to chill out when you feel like it.
4. Study with or Without Motivation
Sometimes you don’t feel like studying even though you have to. In most cases, there isn’t a good reason safe for laziness or procrastination. You must force your body to do exactly what is required at any given moment. If you find it difficult to do this, it’s because you haven’t developed a habit for it. But as soon as you practice being productive over and over every day, it becomes automatic, and you won’t even realize when you get up to complete things that need to be done. Being able to study at the right time is critical for good performance. Always force yourself against postponing things as this typically ends with you in a tight spot with tests and exams around the corner and you are under-prepared. So always study every day, do your assignments well, and when it’s exam time, you’d find there isn’t much for you to prepare for.
5. Get Organized
Science shows a correlation between orderliness and high grades. Keep your study materials where you can easily find them because precious time can be lost looking for a pen or a calculator. Use notebooks in an orderly style. Create a section in your notebook for every subject and a separate section for recording assignments so you don’t forget to do one. Randomly scribbling things across pages is inviting forgetfulness.
Note-taking is an art that has been around since ancient times. There is plenty of literature on the subject of the best methods to capture and organize information in a quick and effective manner.
You may choose to use traditional or digital methods of note-taking. Everything boils down to what you are taking notes for. For example, a novelist takes notes a bit differently than a university student, and that’s because of the different reasons for which they are taking notes. A student wants to retain information from lectures, seminars, and capture verbally delivered information that can easily be lost. A novelist may want to secure ideas and thought for use to develop a story later.
Nowadays, the digital method of taking notes has gained popularity. Two applications, OneNote and Evernote, take prominence in the way people capture volatile information digitally. As they are also cloud-based, it means you can access your notes from different devices anytime, anywhere provided you have internet access. This has great advantages over traditional note-taking where you have to consult a book to see what you scribbled down.
The reason you need to take notes effectively is that we humans forget things. You might think at a moment that you fully understand this information and won’t likely forget, then you get occupied by so much stuff on the internet or around you that when the time comes to recall the information you confidently mastered, it might be gone or come incomplete to your mind. With many lecturers giving verbal information that is critical to understanding a topic or passing exams, you can’t afford to neglect the art of note-taking.
6. Read Out Loud to Yourself
For some people, this is a highly effective way to memorize things. We differ in the way we respond best to learning. While others prefer to read silently, some understand faster and better with sound. If you are among such individuals, consider developing the habit of reading out to yourself aloud. If there isn’t a suitable place to do this – may be because you share a room with others or study in the company of other students, consider recording your voice and then replaying it anywhere using a headset. This way, you can study even in a class with many students, and no one is aware you are studying.
Sound is a pretty effective way to take in information because it augments our vision in helping us absorb and retain information.
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7. Teach It
A very effective way to understand deeper and memorize is to teach what you learned to others. If you are a serious student, you should be able to find junior students, your classmates, or even seniors that have difficulty with a study material you understand. It’ll help you further cement your knowledge to offer joint studies and teach these students. In the process, they are likely to ask you questions that force you to think deeper or research more. You’ll also likely realize other challenges the material present which you never knew of. You are more likely to think hard on an issue if someone else poses it to you than if you thought about it yourself. And solid thinking is good for memory and understanding.
Another reason why teaching others further enlightens you is that you are saying things out loud, like reading to yourself – both you and your study-partner hear your voice, and your desire not to appear like you don’t understand it yourself forces you to go further than you might be willing to in understanding the subject if you were studying alone.
8. Manage Your Time Well
Time management is critical to success in anything you do in life. Many feel that time manages them – not the other way round. They’re always trying to catch up, from attending lectures to working, attending to families and friends, etcetera, we often feel overwhelmed.
You need to break the habit of always being short of time. Plan your actives weeks or months in advance, and follow up diligently on the plan. Resist the urge to postpone study activities and plan your activities according to importance – where everything comes in chronological steps, like doing first things first.
9. Overlearn Study Materials
It has been proven psychologically that students who overlearn retain four times as much information as those who don’t. what this means is that you study the material intensively over and over again. Read it, think it, write it, say it, hear it, and if possible touch or feel it. Recite over and over again to imbibe it in memory and always tell yourself, “I know this thing”. Recitation is the best way to commit things to memory, especially in a short time.
10. Develop Concentration and Focus
No kind of trick will help you study well if your mind is in disarray. If you want to understand your university course as much as possible within the study duration, then developing the power of concentration is not an option, it’s a must. If you cannot control your mind to focus on a particular task at a time, you aren’t going to excel at anything. On the other hand, when you develop a sharp focus on studies, you’ll accomplish a lot in a short time.
But developing a concentrative mind doesn’t come overnight. No one is born with it. Your mind is like a muscle. You need to constantly exercise it to develop it to great potential.
There are plenty of mental exercises that develop the mind just like physical exercise does the body. You can read several articles on the net about how to strengthen your focus. They are easy exercises but can make all the difference in your life within a month of practice.
We’ve discussed some of the most effective techniques to learn fast and retain much of it. But we haven’t covered all everything about study techniques. Some people have discovered effective methods of studying that even the World’s community of scientists may not be aware of. If you know any study technique that has worked for you or someone, consider sharing in the comments.