There are a number of techniques that you can engage when you are studying to get the maximum outcome for your effort!
Top 10 Study Tips
1. Study Space
Find a place that works for you and stick with it e.g.:
Do you study better in a group?
Do you study at home, at school or at the local library?
Do you like silence or prefer to study to music?
Make sure you have everything you need to commence studying in one place so you can be focused and concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Know what is important
Don't waste your time on superfluous information or information that you already know – challenge yourself and know what is essential to learn. Knowing your syllabus is vital and studying with a checklist of topics keeps you on track.
4. Plan your time
Planning your study times and what you will study keeps you focused. Use a calendar and/or study schedule to keep track of the BIG events such as exam dates and assignments, but also of the small ones too – such as what topics you want to study outside of the classroom and when. This will help you cover the entire curriculum and organises you so no last minute cramming is required!
5. Set reasonable goals
Don't overdo it – no one can study 24 hours a day! Make sure you are reasonable and realistic when you set your goals.
6. Understand your style
There are a number of methods that students use to retain information – these are great shortcuts – but there is no "one-size-fits all" – so know what technique works for you!
Taking your text book chapters or class notes and summarising them into your own words. You will retain more information than simply reading it. Making summaries of your summaries is a great way of soaking up more and more information and also allows you to become more succinct in your writing style.
This technique involves putting the subject matter into your own words. This can be either said out loud to yourself, a friend or even taped so you can replay it and assess yourself afterwards. Each time you say it to yourself – you learn it a little bit more and also get better at explaining the concept!
Mind maps are diagrams used to represent words, ideas and concept linked to and arranged around a central key theme or idea. By representing concepts or ideas in a pictorial/graphical manner a mind map encourages a brainstorming approach to learning.
An acronym is an abbreviation of several words in such a way that the abbreviation itself forms a pronounceable word. This technique allows you to retain a series of concepts or ideas in one simple word. For example TIC – trade, investment, corporations.
8. Test yourself
Give yourself mini tests or exams at the end of each study session to make sure that you have retained the information just learnt. These could be full exam questions or even reproducing mind maps or diagrams which are important to your topic. Check your answers against your text book or teacher's notes when you have finished to ensure that you are right.
9. Don't dwell on what you can't understand
If you don't understand a concept or have questions – write it down on a list – don't sit there and hope that the answer may "come to you" when you have a brainwave, move on and focus on something that you can understand! Save your questions or queries up and ask your teacher or a friend to explain where you have some gaps.
10. Guilt free breaks
When you are having a break – enjoy it! Let your batteries recharge and your brain too!