Many students struggle with studying. They may lack the necessary skills, be distracted by distractions or simply be unaware of how best to proceed. Luckily, learning to study effectively is an acquired skill which can be learned.
Don’t leave all your studying to the last minute: plan active studying sessions into your calendar in advance. Be sure to eat well and take regular breaks!
1. Be prepared
Cultivating patience is one of the keys to academic success. Cultivating patience requires focus and self-discipline – something students should practice by reading syllabi and study plans, setting personal sleep/exercise plans, etc.
Do not attempt to study for an exam or assignment the night before it, according to research. Cramming does not lead to long-term learning; short, focused sessions without distraction are more effective. Quizzing yourself (or having someone quiz you) helps with retention.
2. Take notes
Not taking notes allows students to organize their information, while helping them recall it later. Notes should be written as concisely as possible, without digressions and unnecessary details; direct quotations should also be copied accurately.
Students should jot down notes after reading each article or chapter they encounter based on what they remember from it, to use as references later and avoid having to reread the same articles over and over. They should study in short but productive sessions.
3. Ask questions
Asking questions in class and before exams can help students get more out of each lesson and prepare better. Students should remember that their teachers want them to succeed and are happy to answer any queries. Furthermore, study groups comprised of classmates learning similar material are an effective way to quiz each other and explain concepts.
Research in conversation shows that asking lots of questions helps open learning pathways and strengthen interpersonal bonds. Asking “would you rather” questions can make conversations more entertaining and intimate.
4. Read the textbook
Textbooks are essential tools for students. They contain all of the topics and subtopics necessary for understanding a subject quickly, while simultaneously helping form critical associations which promote memory retention – key ingredients of many learning techniques.
When reading your textbook, make sure you pay special attention to any key concepts which may be highlighted by bold or in summary sentences at the end of each section. Also take notice of any diagrams or charts which may help convey ideas more efficiently than written text alone.
5. Study in a variety of ways
Studying requires more than just cramming on exam night: it involves reading and reviewing material; attending class; studying in short sessions with focus and practicing test questions.
Study breaks are an excellent way to aid memory retention. A short walk, cup of coffee or even reading an engaging story may all serve as useful brain stimulators and boost your focus.
Finding an optimal study spot doesn’t need to be limited to one location – explore different places as you study to identify those which help you focus more easily and quickly.
6. Study with others
Students often struggle to stay on track with the best study tips when studying with others, especially when working together in groups. One effective solution to this dilemma is choosing suitable people as members of your study group and eliminating distractions like social media from it.
Contact your classmates and see if any are willing to form an effective study group. Studies with friends can reduce procrastination, speed up learning and provide new perspectives.
7. Don’t be afraid to fail
Fear of failure prevents many from even trying something they would like to achieve, which shows lack of courage rather than strength, usually being fueled by homesickness.
Failing at something can teach us what doesn’t work and motivate us to try harder next time, making us even more eager for success.
Fearing failure is a telltale sign that the outcome matters more to you than what actions are taken towards it. Instead, focus on developing effective study techniques and increasing test performance to reach success.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Reaching out for assistance can be challenging, but it’s essential to remember that everyone needs assistance at some point in their lives. People are usually more willing to assist than expected if they understand your difficulty first-hand.
Care must be taken not to insult those you approach for help; people may turn down requests for many reasons that have nothing to do with you and your request. Always remain courteous when asking others for assistance and once it has been provided thank them profusely!