Most of us can agree that we are always studying at almost every chapter of our lives. If you are a current or intending college student, or you are considering taking some courses online, you will find that there really is no substitute for studying. While most people study hard, though, they do not get results equivalent to the study time and effort they put in.
As it is essential for obtaining good grades and internalizing whatever we’ve learned, studying has to be smart and effective. Understanding yourself as a person is key to effective studying, and with these few tips we’ve gathered, you can up your study game tremendously.
Understand Reading Versus Studying
Many people often mistake reading for studying. Reading is just what it is, even if you do it over and over again. Surely, it is a part of studying, but it does not help you grasp the full meaning of the material you intend to study. Studying requires that you actively engage in whatever material you are trying to learn.
To absorb information during study, you should be able to relate to the material, create your own questions and examples, and also drill the entire information into boiled down points. A simple technique, such as using Cornell notes while you study, can help you achieve this in no time.
Try Spacing Your Studies
We often tend to fall into the trap of cramming information when it’s a few days before a big test or examination, because we haven’t taken time out to study. While it is never a bad idea to study a day before any test, it is very beneficial to space out your study time.
Even if you cannot start before your semester begins, you can start as soon as you resume a new semester. This way, you can take your study materials in small bits and not get overwhelmed. Spacing out your studies into small bits over many days and weeks is also known as distributed practice.
In fact, studying tiny bits increases your chances of learning them faster, which is beneficial for your mental health. Also, smarter studying methods like these have been proven to be essential for achieving healthy and well-developed societies, so it’s a smarter idea all around!
Employ Various Learning Options
Taking time out to learn a particular information in different ways is a sure way to achieving mastery. While you are trying to understand a specific topic, you can try reading your class notes, studying from your textbook, watching online videos for the same topic, and other options. You do not necessarily have to try all these options at once, but approaching the topic in different directions at each study session helps.
Practice What You’ve Learned
Complete knowledge comes with practice. All skilled musicians and professional athletes got to their zenith through constant practice, so why shouldn’t we? The best way to remember information is by practicing. You can always get practice tests or mock examination templates online, or from your teachers.
With these, you can understand how tests will be structured, as well as find your best approach to each solution. Also, this is an opportunity to test and quiz yourself. If you do not feel comfortable structuring questions for yourself, you can ask a friend or family member to help you draft up possible questions that you can answer and review.
Solve Practice Problems
While practicing, touching on problems that relate to each topic is vital. Technical courses like mathematics and economics always have real-life applications, and solving such problems familiarizes you with the materials you are studying. For more effective studying, solving problems is as important as reading the material. When you solve them, always note and remember the steps you took to answer each question.
With the tips mentioned above, we are certain that you can boost your study output. Studying is not as hard as it may seem, as long as you maximize all the resources at your disposal. We always encourage students to go a step further and try to teach others, as this helps you see the topic in another light. Moreover, you gain mastery over a topic when you can successfully teach it to others!