Have You Tried These Studying Methods?
Have you ever wondered what the best way to study is? Truth be told, you’d have a difficult time trying to find the answer to that question as there isn’t a definitive one; everybody has different preferences and therefore what works for one student, might not work for another. What we can do, however, is give you a list of the different types of stud methods and you can identify which one (or combination) is most effective for you. You never know, we might have a suggestion you’ve never thought of before!
- Repeated testing – this is perhaps the most well-known study method and is rather self-explanatory. A great way of identifying how much you know about a subject is by testing yourself and then working on the areas where you didn’t do so well. Once you feel more comfortable with those sections, you can test yourself again. Don’t forget to ask your tutor for practice papers.
- Visual aids – re-writing lines from your lecture notes may help you to remember information, but it can feel quite dull and draining at times. Give yourself a break and try relaying that information in other ways; you could make flash cards or draw charts/mind maps to help with mental associations, for example.
- Learn from others – studying by yourself, especially for long periods of time, can become a monotonous activity. By studying in groups or pairs you can keep motivated whilst picking up new information and identifying any knowledge gaps. It’s also worth trying to teach someone what you have learned to see how much you know about a subject. What’s more, if there’s an area where you’re really struggling, you can always ask your lecturer for some extra guidance.
- Set yourself goals – often, students don’t know how much time they should dedicate to studying. One way of making sure you’ve learnt a subject thoroughly is to break that subject down into modules. For example, if you have seven modules to learn and seven months before your exam, set yourself a goal to study one module each month.
- Be vocal – you might sound a little silly, but some people have found that speaking out loud rather than simply reading from your notes can help you remember more. Just try to avoid this technique in your local library – you don’t want any books flying at your head.
- Discover new ways of learning – Google, books and your notepad don’t have to be your only learning aids. Mix things up a bit and try watching documentaries or TED Talks. Perhaps you could even utilise your phone for the better and download a useful dictionary app rather than the latest Snapchat update.
- Be portable – it’s so easy to be comfortable with just one study space, but a change of scenery can have a big impact on learning and concentration abilities. Just moving to a different room could increase your retention levels.
- Reward yourself – this has to be one of our favourite studying techniques (because food’s usually involved). Tying in nicely with our 4th study method, choosing to set yourself a goal and then rewarding yourself once you reach it can be very motivating and satisfying. Our chosen reward would probably be something sweet, but yours could be anything from a 15-minute PS4 break to a quick Facetime call with your best friend.
- A musical mind – we’ve been brought up to study in silence, but listening to some peaceful music can help to put your mind at ease, reduce anxiety and elevate your mood. Remember, music can also be a distraction, so it’s important your selections aid learning not hinder it; songs with lyrics are a real no go.
- Use your nose – we’ve listed some straightforward study methods, however this one is perhaps a little outside the box. We’ve read that scents can be used to jog memory. Try spraying a particular scent whilst studying and then spray that same scent again just before your exam – it could help you recall information.
We’d like to finish this article with one last piece of advice: one of the most important things to remember when studying is to stay positive. A positive attitude can have an impact on your exam results or motivate you to complete that last piece of coursework when all you want to do is go to bed.
We all want to make the most of our study time, and usually that means studying smarter rather than harder. Remember there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to studying, so don’t be frustrated if the first method you attempt isn’t the right fit. Just remember that when you do find that ideal technique, it could save you bundles of time (and stress) and transform studying from a punishment into something enjoyable.