Studying is not just for the night before the assignment deadline or the night before the exam. Developing good study habits is never too early—or too late. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be, and the more your chances of getting good grades will improve.
Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your studies.
Choose a Place And Time.
Everyone has their idea of the best place and time to study. Whether it’s your bedroom at night or the library after school, find a study space and regular study time that works for you and stick to it.
Set up your study space: Your study space should be quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions. You should feel happy and inspired. Decorate it with your favorite pictures or objects. If you want to listen to music or burn incense, choose a space that allows you to do so.
Find your best time: Some people work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Find out which time works for you, and then plan to study. Study at most your usual bedtime – cramming late at night can make you too tired to study properly.
Study Every Day
If you study a little every day, you will constantly be exploring things in your mind. This will help you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.
An hour or two a night early in the year can be enough to stay on top of things. Later in the year, you may need to study more every day.
If you find it difficult to find time to study, cut back on some (but not all!) of your other activities. Prioritizing your studies might mean spending less time online, cutting back on work shifts, or skipping weekend sports for a while.
Plan Your Time
It helps to have some plans in motion to make the most of your study time.
Set alarms: Set alarms to remind you of your study plans. A regular reminder will keep you honest and your plans on track.
Use a Wall Planner:
- Stick up a calendar or wall planner to see it whenever you study.
- Mark it with important dates such as exams and assignment due dates.
- Use it to block your regular study schedule.
Creating to-do lists – lists break down tasks into manageable chunks. At the beginning of the week, list things you need to do by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the beginning of each study session so that you are clear about what you need to do with your time.
Set time limits: Before you start studying, look at your to-do list and set a time limit that you can spend on each task. If you don’t do something in the allotted time, consider whether it’s the best use of your time to continue doing it or to start working on something else.
Discover Your Learning Style.
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Discover the learning style that suits you best and study how you learn best.
Note that these styles are just a way to think about different study techniques – they’re not hard and fast rules that say you should only study one way. Try each of them and see which methods you prefer.
Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading the notes out loud and discussing them with other people. You can record the key points and play them back.
Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using color in your notes and diagramming to help represent key points. You can try to remember some ideas as pictures.
Tactile/kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques such as role-playing or model-building to review key points.
Review and Revision
At least once a week, you should revisit the things you studied in class. Thinking things through can help you grasp concepts and help you remember when you need them most.
Quiz: Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzes are a great way to be sure of what you know and discover what you still need to learn.
Create your study materials: Come up with some practice exam questions or create your flashcards to help you study. This way, you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them for revision.
It is important to take breaks while studying, especially if you feel tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can reduce your performance.
When you take a break, ensure you get away from your desk or study area. A little physicality—even a walk around the block—can sometimes help you look at a problem differently and even help you solve it.
Ask For Help
If you’re stuck on something that needs clarification, you can always ask for help. Talk to your teachers or tutors about things you need help understanding. Talk to your friends and classmates too.
When you study, it helps to remember your reasons for doing all this hard work, such as the course or career you are working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.
You can also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to be proud of.
There are tons of apps that help students with all aspects of their studies. Talk to friends, teachers, or tutors and see which apps they recommend.
Take Care Of Yourself.
You will learn better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep, and exercise. Refrain from rewarding yourself with too many sugary or fatty snacks or pushing yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water while studying.
Now Come Up With Your Strategies
These tips are just some things you can do to get the most out of your studies. You may already have other things that work better for you. Find out what your friends are doing when they study. Your teachers may have some good recommendations too.
Whatever it is, whatever strategy you come up with, once you find something that works for you, put it into practice and go for it!
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