Reading a book is as simple as ABC and everyone can pick up a book to read. However, not everyone remembers what they study.
In this guide, I am going to reveal to you the best study habits and tips on how to remember more when studying.
I have seen a lot of readers who struggle to remember everything they read just a few hours after.
Why is that? Simple, they failed to study effectively.
Listen, it is not the amount of time you put in that determines what you have in your head at the end of the day. There are more important things that matter, which I am going to walk you through in this article.
Now, let’s get started.
Plan your study
It is important for you to have a clear study plan before you begin. Here’s what your study plan should look like:
Where to study
You may think this is not important, but it really is. Where you read can determine how much you assimilate.
While some people can only read in very silent places, others love places with background noises.
Personally, I found out that I am very dynamic and any environment works just fine for me as long as the noise is not too much.
You need to discover this yourself before you can answer the question. If the library works for you, go to the library, and don’t do what doesn’t work for you.
When to study
When do you study best?
If you ask me, there are three types of readers when it comes to that:
- Day readers
- Night readers
- Those who can do both
Some people have argued that the best time to study in the morning is between 4:00 am to 10:00 am. In the evening, the best time is between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
- You are going to have more energy to study very early in the morning after a good night’s rest.
- There are fewer distractions at night.
- The natural light from the sun is better for your eyes if you study during the day. It also keeps you alert and active.
Personally, I read when I need to read but I study best when I feel like reading.
In any case, the most important thing is that your chosen schedule works well for you.
Other things you should plan ahead of include:
- How much time you have
- What you want to cover
When you know how much time you have and how much you have to cover, you should be able to break it down.
After doing these, gather your study material, relax, and dive right into the act of effective studying using the techniques below.
Familiarize yourself with the material
Before you go deep into the material, it’s a good idea to know what you actually want to study first. It’s an excellent way to begin your study session.
You can do this by skimming through the material. Know the sub-topics and check the questions and their respective answers at the end of the topic. Through this, you’ll know more about what you’re about to read.
After you start, you will be more conscious of the answers to the questions skimmed through earlier. In fact, you are less likely to forget them.
I have never met someone who claims that taking down note does not work. I love this strategy and use it every time I study.
But, there’s one thing.
Don’t write down the lessons in the exact same way they are laid out in your textbook. The best way is to write it the way you understand it in your own words!
Use mnemonics to remember
If you have not been studying with mnemonics, you are missing out a lot.
Believe it or not, using mnemonics has helped me remember a lot of things for years. It is like cramming except that you are never going to forget it. In fact, a time will come where you will be able to remember the material even without the mnemonic.
So, if you want to put something in your long-term memory, this is what you should use.
How does it work?
The secret is to form a sentence with the first letter of each word. It is most effective when you want to remember an ordered list.
For example, it is easier to remember the seven articles of the United State Constitution if you use Mnemonics.
A. Without Mnemonics: Legislative, Executive, Judiciary, Supremacy, Amendment, Statehood, and Ratification.
B. With Mnemonics: Large Elephants Jump Slowly And Sink Rapidly
Representing the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet) with ROYGBIV is another type of Mnemonics.
This time, you don’t have to form another sentence. You just use an acronym that is cute and easy to recall. Hence, they are called the Acronym Mnemonics.
Here’s one mistake you shouldn’t make:
Do not overuse it in the same context. You might mix it up.
Use mnemonics especially when the urge to cram comes in and make sure they are easy to recall.
Visualize and connect
Visualization is a very powerful learning tool. If you can visualize, you can actualize an effective study. As a matter of fact, research has shown that people suffering from aphantasia (the inability to form images in the mind) experience difficulties with learning generally.
Below are some tips that can help you visualize better and remember more:
- Read the material one sentence after the other. Try to visualize it while staring at no particular person or place.
- Consider each sentence to be a movie or documentary. Try to watch the video of what you understand in your head.
- If you can’t visualize properly, consider rereading it until something comes up.
- Make it as simple as possible. Don’t visualize the impossible.
- Connect it with pictures, materials around you or anything that you know very well.
Try active recalling
After reading for a while, do you try to recall everything you have read before moving on?
I do this many times and it works very well.
Read a part, close your textbook, and try to recall what you have read. If you are able to remember all, then move on. If you missed any part, go over it again before you move on to the next part.
This will help you actually remember what you are reading rather than giving yourself a false green light.
Go over your notes
If you take down notes the right way while studying, that will be your best material to review. Just make sure that you take down notes in a way that you’ll be able to understand everything you’ve written.
Take advantage of group study
Scientists have proven that group study can make you remember far more than when you study alone. I have also tested it and I confirmed it to be true. You can start out by forming a study group with your friends.
This technique is most effective when each one has read the material ahead of the group discussion. That way, everybody gets to contribute and also learn something from the others.
If you use the tips on how to remember more when studying, you will definitely be able to retain more information.
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