How To Study Most Effectively
The first step in achieving success after high school is to figure out which learning styles work the best for you. In order to reach this step, you first need to establish good habits, namely, effective study habits. Here are a few to consider.
Studying is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’ve ever procrastinated studying for a test until the last possible moment, you know that anxiety and pressure may cause a poor outcome. If you have several chapters of information to get into your head, don’t try to learn it all at once. Once you know the date of an exam, create a study schedule. Something like 2-3 chapters at a time or one hour of studying a night is a good starting point.
Make a Schedule
Be sure to stick to your schedule. Include review time at the end to go over all the material at least twice. This applies to general studying as well, in that blocking out a few hours every week will help establish good studying habits when important exams and projects come around. Treat these hours just like you would an actual class and include this study time in your weekly routine.
Find a Friend
There is strength in numbers and that applies to studying effectively. Have a friend quiz you or work with a tutor to talk about the material. Hearing and speaking information, in addition to having previously read it, can help you retain the material.
Use Your Resources
Don’t forget tools like mnemonic devices, color coding, flashcards and audio recordings. The use of a couple of these methods at a time can break up the monotony of studying and keep your brain sharp as it ingests information. For example, using flash cards for vocabulary words and a mnemonic device for their meaning can separate the study session into more manageable parts.
Take a Break
The best way to maintain study habits is keeping a healthy lifestyle outside of your academics. Marathon hours of studying without breaks, proper nutrition or exercise will be less effective than if you gave yourself some time off in between sessions.
In addition to scheduling the components of a study session, include a break or two. Take a brisk walk, drink plenty of water throughout, enjoy a music break or spend some time with a pet or a friend. Create a study/life balance, which will be beneficial to your academic and social life.