Studying is a crucial skill for students but it’s one that’s not explicitly taught in school. Instead, it’s something you have to figure out on your own. It can be a trial-and-error process to find exactly what works for you.
To help you out, here are a few tips on how to study effectively.
Take Your Notes by Hand
Typing on a laptop may be quick but writing out your notes by hand helps you process the information better. Since you can type faster than you write, you can probably jot down almost everything the lecturer is saying.
Writing forces you to choose only the important information. If you take written notes in your class, you’re actually getting a bit of a head start on studying. The same goes if you’re taking notes from a class reading.
Put away your laptop and take out your old spiral-bound notebook. Laptops can be distracting whether you’re in a classroom or inside your dorm. It can tempt you into logging into your social media accounts and checking out your friends’ profiles.
Study At Your Best Time
You may think you’re a master at cramming but you’re retaining a lot less than you think. Cramming is only good for remembering information short-term which you can lose quickly.
This means that if you have to recall the same information for a homework or test, it’s unlikely you’ll remember much of it.
Cramming also usually means giving up sleep so that you can study. This can have a negative impact on your health and memory. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing to study instead of sleep, but sleep is something that’s necessary for remembering things.
So, pick the right time to study and know when your mind is clearest. Take distractions into consideration, too. If you know you have a chunk of time before your roommate gets back from class and you’re alone, that’s probably a good time for studying.
Make Sure to Test Yourself
Testing yourself throughout your studying process can make information stick better. This method also makes it really clear what information you have to work on before the actual test comes.
If you’re studying solo, try making flashcards. You can also have friends test you out.
These days we pride ourselves on being able to multitask. Studying while checking texts and social media is pretty common.
However, distractions can definitely hinder your ability to recall information. Studying with no interruptions is the only way to ensure you’re retaining all the information you need.
And that’s not limited to your phone. Having access to the Internet when studying can also be distracting.
As a solution, you can install website blockers. This way, you won’t be tempted to open your social media accounts while you are preparing for an exam.
If your dorm is too noisy, try the library or a study room on campus. If you learn best alone, don’t invite friends to study with you. Make sure you’re setting up an environment that allows you to focus completely on your work.
It’s a lot easier to study like a pro than you might think. Try these methods and make yourself the best student you can be.