It’s time to study. The problem you have is that it seems to take hours of effort to retain just a little bit of information. You’re not alone. Many students complain that they work hard at studying, but don’t get the results they need in order to be successful. You might be studying hard, but are you studying smart? The following 10 tips will make help make studying significantly easier and more effective.
- Incorporate as Many Senses as Possible
The more senses you incorporate into studying, the more likely you are to retain that information. So, don’t just read the material you need to learn. Look up videos on the topic, and watch those. Draw pictures of concepts, and read questions and answers out loud. You can even record important facts onto your phone and then replay them while you take a walk. This will help you to maintain an interest, and to receive the information you need to learn in multiple ways.
- Find The Connections Between Facts
If you can connect what you are learning now to what you have previously learned, you will find it much easier to incorporate that information into your current knowledge base. For example, if you are studying American presidents, you can use your existing knowledge of American history to understand why a particular president’s decisions were popular or not.
- Figure Out What You Need to Know
The worst thing that you can do is try to fill your brain with unnecessary information. Instead, make study easier and more streamlined, by knowing what you need to know. The best way you can do this is to pay attention to the following:
- End of chapter and unit questions
- Text that is in bold print or otherwise highlighted
- Titles and subtitles
- Your instructor’s indication that something is important to remember
- Vocabulary words
- Join a Study Group
If you join a study group, you will very likely find it easier to learn new concepts, and to retain them. Here are a few reasons why this might be the case:
- Actively participating in discussion helps to keep your mind alert and on task
- You’ll feel a bit of peer pressure to pay attention and participate
- Another student’s insights might make a concept clearer to you
- The camraderie of a study group simply makes the process of learning more enjoyable
Just be selective about the study group that you join. Sometimes, study groups start out well-intentioned, but evolve into social groups.
- Take Refueling Breaks
Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to power through an hours long study session. Instead, take plenty of breaks to refuel yourself both physically and mentally. Remember that you have to maintain a decent work life balance, even when you are studying. Take breaks to get something healthy to eat, to get in a little bit of exercise, or to focus on a simple task that you enjoy. You will feel reenergized and ready to start working again when your break is over.
- Review Information Throughout the Term
Don’t wait until you have an impending test or exam to study. Instead, review your notes on a regular basis throughtout the semester. After all, if something was included in a quiz or a test, chances are it will be included in your final exam. Work subject reviews into your regular study schedule so that you retain all of the information you need without having to cram or pull all-nighters.
- Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are so many apps, websites, and utilities that you can use to make studying easier. Take some time to look around and figure out what works for you. For example, if standard not taking methods aren’t very helpful for you, check out a mindmapping app. If you have information to memorize, a flashcard app like StudyBlue might be just what you need. You can even access online learning websites like Khan Academy to increase your knowledge of important subjects.
- Give Your Memory a Workout
If you keep your memory sharp and focused, studying becomes much easier. The trick is to find ways to challenge yourself and put your memorization skills to work. For example, if you are at the grocery store, put your shopping list away. Instead, try to grab as many items as you can from memory before relying on your list. When you are studying, you can challenge yourself to recite as many facts and figures as possible before referring back to your notes.
- Create a Study Booklet
Only study what you need to know. You can do this by taking your study notes and condensing them down into a single study guide. Your other option is to use Pinterest, Evernote, or some other solution to gather up, organize, and store the information you need to know. Then, you can study from that material, rather than your textbook.
- Look For Real World Examples
If you are studying a particular subject, try to find a real world connection. That will help you to learn the information that you need to know. For example, you can look into case studies to help to bring a real world perspective to what you are studying.
If you start using these tips, you will find that you spend less time studying. You’ll also find that your results are much more effective.
Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. You can find his articles at Resumes.Expert