How to Study Effectively: 12 Secrets For Success
Quizzing yourself is a highly effective study technique. Make a study guide and carry it with you so you can review the questions and answers periodically throughout the day and across several days. Identify the questions that you don’t know and quiz yourself on only those questions. Say your answers aloud. Apr 19, · Designate a study area. The best study spot is one that is quiet, well-lit, and in a low-traffic area. Make sure there is a clear workspace to study and write on. Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important you find a spot that works for you. Study in short bursts. For every 30 minutes you study, take a short minute break to recharge.
Do you wonder what you could be doing to perform better in class and on exams? This is understandable, as college is quite different from high school. The professors are less personally involved, classes are bigger, exams are worth more, reading is more intense, and classes are much more rigorous. Fortunately, there are what happened to justin barcia active, effective study strategies that are shown to be effective in college technique on how to study. This handout offers several tips on effective studying.
Implementing these tips into your regular study routine will help you to efficiently and effectively learn course material. Experiment with them and find some that work for you. Simply reading and re-reading texts or notes is not actively engaging in the material. It is simply re-reading your notes. It is simply doing the reading for class. Re-reading leads to quick forgetting.
Think of reading as an important part of pre-studying, but learning information requires actively engaging in the material Edwards, Active engagement is the process of constructing meaning from text that involves making connections to lectures, forming examples, and regulating your own learning Davis, Active studying does not mean highlighting or underlining text, re-reading, or rote memorization. Though these activities may help to keep you engaged in the task, they are not considered active studying techniques and are weakly related to improved learning Mackenzie, Organization and planning will help you to actively study for your courses.
When studying for a test, organize your materials first and then begin your active reviewing by topic Newport, Often professors provide subtopics on the syllabi. Use them as a guide to help organize your materials. For example, gather all of the materials for one topic e. Label each pile with the topic and study by topics. For more information on the principle behind active studying, check out our tipsheet on metacognition.
The How to grow mushrooms at home step by step Cycledeveloped by Frank Christ, breaks down the different parts of studying: previewing, attending class, reviewing, studying, and checking your understanding. Although each step may seem obvious at a glance, all too often students try to take shortcuts and miss opportunities for good learning. The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.
The total amount of time spent studying will be the same or less than one or two marathon library sessions, but you will learn the information more deeply and retain much more for the long term—which will help get you an A on the final.
The important thing is how you use your study time, not how long you study. Long study sessions lead to a lack of concentration and thus a lack of learning and retention. In order to spread out studying over short periods of time across several days and weeks, you need technique on how to study over your schedule.
Keeping a list of tasks to complete on a daily basis will help you to include regular active studying sessions for each class. Try to do something for each class each day. Be specific and realistic regarding how long you plan to spend on each task—you should not have more tasks on your list than you can reasonably complete during the day.
For example, you may do a few problems per day in math rather than all of them the hour before class. In history, you technique on how to study spend minutes each day actively studying your class notes. Thus, your studying time may still be the same length, but rather than only preparing for one class, you will be preparing for all of your classes in short stretches.
This will help focus, stay on top of your work, and retain information. In addition to learning the material more deeply, spacing out your work helps stave off procrastination. Rather than having to face the dreaded project for four hours on Monday, you can face the dreaded project for 30 minutes each day. The shorter, more consistent time to work on a dreaded project is likely to be more acceptable and less likely to be delayed to the last minute.
Finally, if you have to memorize material for class names, dates, formulasit is best to make flashcards for this material and review periodically throughout the day rather than one long, memorization session Wissman and Rawson, Not all studying is equal. You will accomplish more if you study intensively. Intensive study sessions are short and will allow you to get work done with minimal wasted effort.
Shorter, intensive study times are more effective than drawn out studying. In fact, one of the most impactful study strategies is distributing studying over multiple sessions Newport, Intensive study sessions can last 30 or minute sessions and include active studying strategies.
For example, self-testing is an active study strategy that improves the intensity of studying and efficiency of learning. However, planning to spend hours on end self-testing is likely to cause you to become distracted and lose your attention.
On the other hand, if you technique on how to study to quiz yourself on the course material for 45 minutes technique on how to study then take a break, you are much more likely to maintain your attention and retain the information. Furthermore, the shorter, more intense sessions will likely put the pressure on that is needed to prevent procrastination. Know where you study best.
The silence of a library may not be the best place for you. You might find that you concentrate better with some background noise. Some people find that listening to classical music while studying helps them concentrate, while others find this highly distracting. The point is that the silence of the library may be just as distracting or more than the noise of a gymnasium. Keep in mind that active studying is rarely silent as it often requires saying the material aloud.
Working and re-working problems is important for technical courses e. Be able to explain the steps of the problems and why they work. In technical courses, it is usually more important to work problems than read the text Newport, In class, write down in detail the practice problems demonstrated by the professor. Annotate each step and ask questions if you are confused. At the very least, record the technique on how to study and the answer even if you miss the steps.
When preparing for tests, put together a large list of problems from the course materials and lectures. Work the problems and explain the steps and why they work Carrier, A significant amount of research indicates that multi-tasking does not improve efficiency and actually negatively affects results Junco, In order to study smarter, not harder, you will need to eliminate distractions during what is the peninsula where spain and portugal are located study sessions.
Social media, web browsing, game playing, texting, etc. Research is clear that multi-tasking e. Eliminating the distractions will allow you to fully engage during your study sessions.
Use apps to help you set limits on the amount of time you can spend at what inspired wassily kandinsky to paint sites during the day. Turn your phone technique on how to study. Reward intensive studying with a social-media break but make sure you time your break!
See our handout on managing technology for what makes up crude oil tips and strategies. Find several places to study in and around campus and change up your space if you find that it is no longer a working space for what is cobalt chloride paper. Know when and where you study best.
It may be that your focus at PM. Perhaps you are more productive at a coffee shop with background noise, or how to apply for florida medicaid the study lounge in your residence hall.
Perhaps when you study on your bed, you fall asleep. Have a variety of places in and around campus that are good study environments for you. That way wherever you are, you can find your perfect study spot. Try to explain the material in your own words, as if you are the teacher. You can do this in a study group, with a study partner, or on your own. Saying the material aloud will point out where you are confused and need more information and will help you retain the information.
As you are explaining the material, use examples and make connections between concepts just as a teacher does. It is okay even encouraged to do this with your notes in your hands.
Creating a quiz for yourself will help you to think like your professor. What does your professor want you to know? Quizzing yourself is a highly effective study technique.
Make a study guide and carry it with you so you technique on how to study review the questions and answers periodically throughout the day and across several days. Say your answers aloud.
This will help you to retain the information and make corrections where they are needed. For technical courses, do the sample problems and explain how you got from the question to the answer. Re-do the problems that give you trouble. Learning the material in this way actively engages your brain and will significantly improve your memory Craik, Controlling your schedule and your distractions will help you to accomplish your goals. If you are in control of your calendar, you will be able to complete your assignments and stay on top of your coursework.
The following are steps to getting control technique on how to study your calendar:. This is the calm before the storm. Lighter work weeks are a great time to get ahead on work what is the difference between motels and hotels to start long projects.
How To Study Effectively
This comprehensive guide covers everything from studying for exams to the best study apps. Rather, you have to be intentional about planning set study sessions.
On your calendar, mark out chunks of time that you can devote to your studies. You should aim to schedule some study time each day, but other commitments may necessitate that some sessions are longer than others. Harder classes require more study time. So, too, do classes that are worth several credits. Do you digest content quickly, or do you need time to let the material sink in?
Only you know what pace is best for you. Instead, through trial and error, find what works for you. Just remember that slower studying will require that you devote more time to your schoolwork. Exhaustion helps no one perform their best. Your body needs rest ; getting enough sleep is crucial for memory function. This is one reason that scheduling study time is so important: It reduces the temptation to stay up all night cramming for a big test. Instead, you should aim for seven or more hours of sleep the night before an exam.
Limit pre-studying naps to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Upon waking, do a few stretches or light exercises to prepare your body and brain for work. Interruptions from your phone are notorious for breaking your concentration. You can also download apps to temporarily block your access to social media. Research shows that stress makes it harder to learn and to retain information. For some people, that means working at a desk. Others do better on the couch or at the kitchen table.
Your bed, on the other hand, may be too comfy. Surrounding yourself with peace and quiet helps you focus. Some people do best with instrumental music playing in the background. Songs with lyrics may pull your attention away from your textbooks. However, some folks can handle listening to songs with words, so you may want to experiment and see what works for you. If you do your best work in silence, then feel free to turn your music player off.
If song lyrics are distracting, just imagine what an attention sucker the television can be! Serious studying requires that you turn off the TV. The same goes for listening to radio deejays. Hearing voices in the background takes your brainpower off of your studies.
Soft background sounds are a great alternative. Some people enjoy listening to nature sounds, such as ocean waves or cracks of thunder. Others prefer the whir of a fan. A growling stomach can pull your mind from your studies, so feel free to snack as you work. Fuel your next study session with some of the following items:.
Go for snacks that will power your brain and keep you alert. Steer clear of items that are high in sugar, fat and processed carbs. Instead, you should use a proven study strategy that will help you think through the material and retain the information. Ask yourself thought-provoking questions as you work through these steps.
After completing them, read the text. Although these three study strategies can be useful in any setting, studying online has its own set of challenges. Not only does he highlight the importance of paying attention to course design, but he also offers helpful tips on how to choose the best online program and manage your course load.
Looking for the most important information as you read helps you stay engaged with the material. This can help keep your mind from wandering as you read. As you find important details, mark them with a highlighter, or underline them. It can also be effective to jot notes along the edges of the text. One good way to get information to stick in your brain is to tell it again in your own words.
Writing out a summary can be especially effective. You can organize your summaries in paragraph form or in outline form. Stick to the key points. Consider using different colors on your paper. Research shows that information presented in color is more memorable than things written in plain type.
You could use colored pens or go over your words with highlighters. After writing about what you read, reinforce the information yet again by reading aloud what you wrote on your paper.
For an easy way to quiz yourself , prepare notecards that feature a keyword on one side and important facts or definitions about that topic on the reverse. Writing out the cards will help you learn the information. Quizzing yourself on the cards will continue that reinforcement. Slip them in your bag, so you can pull them out whenever you have a spare minute. This is a fantastic way to squeeze in extra practice time outside of your regularly scheduled study sessions.
As an alternative to paper flashcards, you can also use a computer program or a smartphone app to make digital flashcards that you can click through again and again. Creating imaginary pictures, crafting word puzzles or doing other mental exercises can help make your material easier to remember. Think about how you memorize a phone number: You divide the digit number into three smaller groups.
You can use this strategy when studying by breaking a list down into smaller parts. Work on memorizing each part as its own group.
Condensing your most important notes onto one page is an excellent way to keep priority information at your fingertips.
Furthermore, the act of typing or writing out the information will help you memorize the details. Using different colors or lettering styles can help you picture the information later.
Just like flashcards, a study sheet is portable. You can pull it out of your bag whenever you have a spare minute. To teach information to others, you first have to understand it yourself. Wrestling with this concept will help you gain a better understanding of the topic.
In fact, you can even recruit a friend, a family member or a study group member to listen to your mini-lesson. Reciting your presentation aloud to someone else will help the details stick in your mind, and your audience may be able to point out gaps in your knowledge.
Yes, you really can get too much of a good thing. Studies show that too much time with your nose in the books can elevate your stress level , which can have a negative effect on your school performance and your personal relationships. Too much studying may also keep you from getting enough exercise. This could lower your bone density or increase your percentage of body fat. Study sessions will be more productive if you allow yourself to take planned breaks.
Consider a schedule of 50 minutes spent working followed by a minute break. Your downtime provides a good chance to stand up and stretch your legs. You can also use this as an opportunity to check your phone or respond to emails. At the end of a long study session, try to allow yourself a longer break — half an hour, perhaps — before you move on to other responsibilities.
The things that your teacher talks about in class are most likely topics that he or she feels are quite important to your studies. Would you believe that exercise has the potential to grow your brain?
Scientists have shown this to be true! There are short-term benefits to exercising before studying as well. Physical activity helps wake you up so you feel alert and ready when you sit down with your books. If your notes are incomplete — for example, you wrote down dates with no additional information — take time after class to fill in the missing details.
You may also want to swap notes with a classmate so you can catch things that you missed during the lecture. You may be able to set up a meeting or communicate through email. After rewriting your notes, put them to good use by reading through them again within the next 24 hours. You can use them as a reference when you create study sheets or flashcards.
If you want to do things the smart way, save your least challenging tasks for the end of your studies. Get the hardest things done first. That can cost you unnecessary mental energy. Furthermore, if you end with your favorite assignments, it will give you a more positive feeling about your academic pursuits. To really understand a subject, you have to know the words that relate to it. Vocabulary words are often written in textbooks in bold print.