Learning how to study effectively is difficult for many students, but it is also necessary for academic success. Learning and retaining critical information is far more difficult without good study habits. As a result, even the brightest students may find themselves struggling, simply because they haven’t devised a study strategy.
Fortunately, employing the proper techniques can make a significant difference in ensuring that every study session is efficient and productive. Here are some “study smarter, not harder” strategies to help any student succeed.
- Take Class Notes
- Purchase an Audio Recorder
- Make a Schedule for Formal Study.
- Schedule Short Intense Study Sessions.
- Create a Distraction-Free Environment
- Accept Organization
- Utilize Available Resources
- Take on difficult subjects first
- Examine Your Knowledge
- Try Mono-tasking
- Educate Someone Else
- Use “Easy Weeks” to your advantage.
- Don’t go overboard
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY STUDY
TAKE CLASS NOTES
Taking notes during class is one of the most important study tips. Students use two techniques to absorb critical information as they listen and write down information. Furthermore, students are creating a written record that they can refer to later to refresh their memories.
If taking notes is difficult for a student due to a disability or medical condition, they may be able to get assistance. Many schools have note-takers available for students who qualify for specific types of assistance, ensuring that every student has the notes they require to study effectively.
PURCHASE AN AUDIO RECORDER
Some students learn best when they hear rather than read information. By recording each lecture, students can listen to the audio whenever they want. This is especially useful in fast-paced, complex classes, as students can then listen to any of the more complicated sections as many times as necessary to ensure full comprehension.
MAKE A SCHEDULE FOR FORMAL STUDY
When it comes to how to study effectively for exams or other purposes, having a set study schedule can make all the difference because it adds structure. Furthermore, students can set specific times for each class, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
Students can use a study schedule to include breaks to ensure they have time to absorb what they learn. It can also improve study habits by incorporating the activities into a routine.
SCHEDULE SHORT, INTENSE STUDY SESSIONS
Short bursts of intense study are often more effective than long ones at a leisurely pace. Because they do not require prolonged attention, students can study when they have the greatest ability to focus and end the session when they begin to tire.
Furthermore, this method of studying quickly and effectively allows students to employ micro-learning techniques. They can essentially dive deep into a very specific niche, focusing solely on that topic. They can then take their time digesting the information before moving on to the next subject.
CREATE A DISTRACTION-FREE ENVIRONMENT
Having a distraction-free environment is often critical when attempting to figure out how to study effectively at home or at school. Turning off phone notifications and computer pop ups helps students avoid unnecessary distractions, making it easier to focus. Another must is to find a quiet place to study where students will not be interrupted by random conversations or interruptions from other students’ household members.
In many cases, studying in a library is the best option. The surroundings are naturally quiet. There is also quick access to supplementary materials. When combined with the available Wi-Fi for students who want to conduct research on their own laptop, it can be an excellent option.
For students who struggle with too-quiet environments, using headphones and listening to instrumental music could transform a library into the ideal haven. Simply avoid any music with lyrics or with an energy level that does not feel appropriate for the occasion, as this can be distracting.
Many students keep all of their school materials in a single large binder. While having only one binder to track information in is convenient, it can lead to information being misplaced.
Instead, students should organize their course materials and notes by categorizing each class. Smaller individual binders with attached notebooks and folders are a good option.
Along with allowing students to color-code their course materials, it reduces the likelihood that important study paperwork or notes will be mixed in with materials from another class.
UTILIZE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Many schools provide a plethora of resources to students who want to study smarter, not harder. For example, there may be free tutors or tutor-matching services available, allowing students to receive one-on-one guidance from a subject expert. Similarly, study group programs are worth investigating because they foster a collaborative learning environment in which students can learn from one another.
TAKE ON DIFFICULT SUBJECTS FIRST.
If a student wants to develop better study habits, tackling difficult subjects first is critical if they plan to attend more than one class per day. Often,more difficult courses frequently necessitate more mental energy while studying.
Students can go over those difficult topics when they have the most energy to give by beginning with the more difficult course. Furthermore, studying other subjects later may feel easy in comparison, providing students with a quick boost.
EXAMINE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Most study tips for students focus on reviewing the information that students need to learn, which is undeniably important. When students want to learn how to study more effectively, however, incorporating techniques that allow students to check their understanding is critical.
Students can determine what information they are retaining and what they are not by using quizzes in textbooks, question and answer-based flashcards, and other similar options. This can assist them in identifying strengths and weaknesses that will guide their future.
When a student knows exactly where they’re struggling, they can devote study time to that subject or seek help in that area. Furthermore, it ensures that they do not waste time reviewing material that they have already learned, increasing efficiency.
According to the evidence, multitasking is a myth. People rarely handle two tasks at the same time. Instead, they quickly switch between the two. There is a period of refocusing after each transition, making multitasking inefficient.
A mono-tasking approach is preferable for students who want to learn how to study effectively. Make sure that each study session is focused on a single course or even a single topic from the course. This allows for greater concentration, making any study session more effective.
EDUCATE SOMEONE ELSE
Explaining a concept or technique to someone else can help students gain a better understanding of the subject in many cases. Along with challenging students to think about a topic in new ways, the person teaching them may ask clarifying questions that lead to deeper knowledge as the student seeks answers.
While joining study groups may provide opportunities to teach others, it is not the only option. Students could, for example, plan a session with a roommate, sibling, or parent. What matters is that the topic is presented to someone else, allowing students to examine a subject from the perspective of an instructor rather than a student.
USE “EASY WEEKS” TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
The school year frequently has periods of high and low activity. When an easy week arrives, some students decide to take a complete break, causing them to schedule more of their academic activities.
While balancing school and life is important, easy weeks can easily be followed by periods of intense pressure. As a result, students who want to learn how to study smarter should take advantage of this downtime. It’s an opportunity to study when there’s less overall pressure. It’s also an opportunity to get ahead, which may make the more difficult weeks easier to navigate.
DON’T GO OVERBOARD
When it comes to studying effectively, less is sometimes more. Spending every spare moment on core material can be exhausting. As a result, even after reviewing the material dozens of times, students may not recall it as well as they would like.
Students should instead spread out their study sessions. This allows them to absorb what they learn, increasing the likelihood that they will remember it.
Furthermore, spacing things out allows students to participate in other activities. They can, for example, spend some time engaging in self-care, social activities, or other activities that leave them feeling rejuvenated.
Finally, maintaining a healthy school-life balance is critical for any student who wants to learn how to study more effectively. It enables them to maintain higher energy levels and a positive mindset, both of which can benefit students in the long run.