We all need to learn and study in some part of life. Life is learning, studying and learning again even if you don’t realise it. Whether you’re studying for your Bachelor degree, Masters or simply expanding your knowledge base, these tips will help you get the most out of your study time. We uncover that it’s not necessarily about working harder, but how to study smarter.
1. Set Study Goals.
I make a list of study goals and tick them off when I complete them. Not only will it motivate you and give you a sense of achievement, it will help you feel in control and reduce any study stress. This I found to be very good. It gave me a feel good feeling when I completed a topic. The feeling allowed encouraged me to keep going and learn more.
2. Get good partner
Make sure you get on with the person and they’re motivated to learn. Ideally get someone who is good at the topic or you know picks things up quickly. This is one of the best things I did when trying to study. Naturally we picked up different things when reading the material so we were able to teach each other afterwards. I cannot recommend this enough. I found it great for breaking down complex information into plain English. This is the only way I learn.
3. Study in short intervals
Short and sharp intervals are the best I have found. My brain is able to process information much better than lots of information in long sessions. I always break the sessions up into 30 minutes ‘studying’, 15 minutes review/chat about the topic afterwards and then 15 minutes rest. A short walk or cup of tea is great for this. I find it best to get the blood flowing though as I feel it awakens my body and get my senses going for learning again.
4. Get moving and get in the zone
I like to exercise before I get down to some serious study as I believe it works for me. Its important to create the ideal study space where you are comfortable and have a place to write and talk in peace. That is why i don’t like to study in libraries, I believe it is so important to discuss the topics being studied to embed the knowledge into your deeper consciousness. You’ll be more likely to recall something in an exam if you have discussed it beforehand whereas for me if I have just read the material I may not recall it all. Make sure you have everything you need – correct books, pens etc. Also, limit distractions – leave your phone alone and stay off social media!
5. Sleep well and Eat Well
This is key for live in general but a lot of people don’t do it. I found that I take on more information when I’m alert, have eaten correctly and have had a decent amount of sleep – and of course I perform even better after I’ve exercised. I find that it’s important to make sure you’ve eaten the correct foods to get your brain fired up and ready to learn – food such as fish, nuts, berries and yoghurt. It also pays to stay hydrated so get at least 2 liters of water into you per day studying. Also don’t forget to get up to move after every your 45-minute session.
6. Write Notes on the topics
My brain stores information better when i take notes after have read or heard it. Have you ever understood something in the moment but then later on find it hard to recall what was said? Just write it down. An interesting system I have used is the Leitner System. This system utilises the ideas of spaced repetition and increasing intervals. Give it a go and see if it works for you.
7. Connect with Other Topics or Ideas
I found that making connections between different topics allows me to better understand the subject i am covering. When I understand it I find it a million times easier to remember. I also try use Word Association technique to learn a list. The best example I have for this is Silly Old Harry Caught A Herring Totally Over Arabia. SOHCAHTOA! If you don’t understand what I mean google SOHCAHTOA. If you need to remember 7 names/principles/titles etc, take each name individually and associate it with a random word and make up a funny sentence that you won’t forget. The when asked about the principles you will be able to say your sentence and associate each random word to the principles and therefore learning the principles asked.
8. Test yourself with your partner
There are always questions in text books or the slides you’re studying. If not you will find some online. With you study partner test yourselves. Practice tests are a good way to see where you’re at, and where you might need to focus. I found if you come across something complicated when studying, make a note of it and remember to test yourself later for a challenge. Your partner may be able to help you out with the problem.
9. Teach it
If you really know something you an teach it. Tests have shown that people who study material to teach it to others, absorb the information more logically than those who are merely studying for themselves. So therefore try and teach a topic to your study partner. This will in turn reinforced it and develop your understanding of the topic.
10. Read aloud and recall
Read your notes allowed. Get away from the computer screen and whether it’s by yourself or with your study partner, read your notes out loud. Repetition is the key here. Say it over and over again and try to visualise what you are saying. If you can see it in your mind you will be able to recall it.
11. Get away from the computer screen
As said in my last point, GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! Not only re here a million and one distractions but it has been proven in England at the University of Leicester that it’s harder to remember what you’ve read when reading from a screen, rather than a book or piece of paper. So therefore I would say buy the book or print out your lecture notes or online articles, and give those eyes a rest! It will stand to you in the long run.
Let me know what you think of the article below. I hope it helps you guys when studying. 🙏