“I wish I could simply learn through osmosis.”
Does this sound like you? Are you sleeping with textbooks near your pillow, or sitting with the smart kids in class, or just reading the same chapter multiple times, hoping that something will stick? Well then we have the perfect solution for you. Keep reading for tips on how to study smarter, and make the grade this exam season!
Set your space
Are you constantly concerned with the problem of how to study at home effectively? Well, the first and the most crucial step is to create environmental conditions that will help you learn quicker and also retain more information. What this means is to declutter your study space or simply organize it a little better. This will increase your concentration and retention power. Be sure to pick out a comfortable place that isn’t too relaxing, or else you might end up falling asleep!
Pick the right method
Flipping through the pages of your notes and textbooks and reading them mindlessly is not an effective method of studying. It does not help you process information. Instead, you should try scientifically proven methods to study, like:
SQ3R method: Enables you to think critically about a text.
- Survey: Skim through the text, focusing on headings and diagrams
- Question: Ask yourself questions on the topic
- Read: Read the text to find answers for your questions
- Recite: Repeat the answers to your questions
- Review: Review the material, rereading your text and notes aloud
PQ4R method: Helps you grasp what you read.
- Preview: Skim the text, focusing on headings and highlighted terms
- Question: Think through questions about the text
- Read: Read the text to find an answer to your questions
- Reflect: See if there are unanswered or new questions
- Recite: Speak aloud about what you learned
- Review: Look over the material once again
THIEVES method: Prepares you to read for information
- Title: Read the title
- Headings: Read the headings
- Introduction: Skim the introduction
- Each first sentence in a section: Take a look at how each section begins
- Visuals and vocabulary: Look at the pictures and highlighted words
- End questions: Review the questions at the end of the chapter
- Summary: Read the overview of the chapter
Study multiple subjects
It is always better to focus on multiple subjects in a day when studying rather than deep-diving into one subject. Now you must be wondering why? Well, if you learn too much similar information for a long time, your brain can start getting confused. Therefore, it’s better to spread out your study time for each subject in a day.
Set a timetable
School has a set schedule for different classes. However, you might often wonder how to study effectively at home? The answer is by having a timetable of your own. Divide your day according to the subjects you want to study in a day and the time that you will be devoting to each subject. You can easily plan and structure your entire day simply by having a clear schedule. You can stick it somewhere near your study space as a visual reminder.
Revise the information periodically
Cramming information right before your examination doesn’t cut it. Periodic revision is essential if you want to move information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This is how you can retain information and score better.
Write things out, don’t type them
Scientists recommend writing notes instead of typing them on the laptop. This is because when you make notes by hand, your brain processes and reframes the information. In contrast, when you use a laptop for note-taking you focus more on typing the words than processing the information. Writing your notes out by hand is a cheap and neuroscience-backed way of making stronger connections with your study material.
Test yourself frequently
Decades of research suggests that self-testing is crucial if you want to improve your performance. Study smart by testing yourself on the key concepts related to different subjects and chapters. Also, as you prepare for a test, do as many practice questions as you can from different sources, like the previous year’s question papers, sample papers, online tests, etc. You can also try testing and quizzing your friends, or try explaining concepts to them as it will not only help them learn but also help you revise.
Take regular study breaks
It isn’t a good idea to hide yourself away in your room for hours to study for an exam. Quite the contrary, as it will make you lose all your focus and concentration. It is suggested to take regular intervals while studying to refresh your brain. Research suggests that breaks help you study faster in the long run. However, remember the break should be 5-10 minutes long after every 40 minutes. Don’t start watching your favourite Netflix series or the break may never end!
Reward yourself after each study session
Before you start a study session, set a specific reward for completing the session. By doing this, you’ll be more motivated, which will help you learn better. The reward doesn’t have to be something fancy, it could be something as simple as treating yourself with ice cream or taking a warm shower.
If you are looking for more personalized information, a plan of attack, and tips on how to study smarter, reach out to LaunchMyCareer today and seek expert guidance from our career advisors.