Finding the best way to study is an ongoing process. It isn’t something that can be left until the night before the test.
You should be constantly improving your study skills to better understand what works and what doesn’t.
Learning how to study better helps avoid panic and frustration the next time a big test is coming up. After all, you are more likely to do well and be less stressed before a test when you have had time to properly review and practice the material!
1. Pay Attention In Class
It’s important to concentrate and avoid distractions when the teacher is speaking. Practice active listening by concentrating on what’s being said and taking notes in your own words. This will help make sure you hear and understand what is being taught in class.
The things that your teacher talks about in class are most likely topics that he or she feels are quite important to your studies. So, it’s a good idea to become a thorough note-taker.
The following tips can help you become an efficient, effective note-taker:
- Stick to the main points.
- Use shorthand when possible.
- If you don’t have time to write all the details, jot down a keyword or a name. After class, you can use your textbook to elaborate on these items.
- For consistency, use the same organizational system each time you take notes.
- Consider writing your notes by hand, which can help you remember the information better. However, typing may help you be faster or more organized.
Recording important points are effective because it forces you to pay attention to what’s being said during the learning!
2. Study In Short Bursts
For every 30 minutes you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time or study at your own pace.
Do you digest content quickly, or do you need time to let the material sink in? Only you know what pace is best for you.
There’s no right (or wrong) study pace. So, don’t try matching someone else’s speed.
Instead, through trial and error, find what works for you. Just remember that slower studying will require that you devote more time to your schoolwork.
3. Rewrite your notes by hand.
Studies show that when you take the time to rewrite them by hand, you learn more effectively than when using your computer, tablet, or laptop. You can also make a cheat sheet you’ll never use.
Though you’ll obviously never use a cheat sheet during an exam or quiz, it can help to create one. In doing so, you’ll need to sift through all of your notes and materials to find the key items and rewrite them on your sheet.
This helps you recognize what you need to learn, and rewriting helps you remember it.
4. Switch settings.
Vary your study settings. Studies show having a dedicated study area no longer works in your favor. When you gravitate toward the same spot each time, your mind makes a subconscious pairing between your atmosphere and the material.
This means, if you are constantly in the same space, you would perform best taking the exam in that space. If you change up your space, your mind will adapt more easily to your test-taking surroundings.
Teach someone else the material you’re trying to learn.
Teaching someone else is such an effective way for you to better understand the material, Plus, you’ll earn karma points for helping out a classmate! Teaching is the best test to learn whether you know the concepts. Why do you learn through teaching? If you’re teaching someone the material and you find you cannot answer basic questions about it, then you know you need to go back to square one.
In short, knowing how to study effectively is hard, and a skill that will benefit you for life. Developing those skills required time and patience. Just know what works best for you!
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