It’s never too early – or too late – for students to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study method, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve. Students who follow these methods learn more easily, retain material for longer periods of time, and save themselves hours of study time. Here are some study methods that will help you in your studies:
A study schedule is must.
Prepare a study timetable setting aside certain hours of each day for study just as you do for nourishment and sleep. Follow the same schedule faithfully every day. The amount of time needed for study will vary for each individual based on skills with the subject matter.
Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on the mark. Later in the year you might need to study more each day. This helps you understand things and get well prepared for your exams. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming before going for your exams.
Right place and time.
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. If concentration is your problem, then the right surroundings will help you greatly. Your study desk or table should be in a quiet place – free from as many distractions as possible. It should make you feel happy and inspired.
You will concentrate better when you study in the same place every day. It’s a mind set. Some students can study better in the morning while others better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don’t study much later than your usual bedtime – pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.
Developing the habit of studying in the same place at the same time everyday will improve your concentration.
Properly equipped study place.
Apart from your books & copies your study desk or table should be equipped with all the materials you might need to complete the assignment, e.g., pencils, pens, erasers, paper clips, stapler, dictionary, liquid refreshments, etc. Sometimes you may require a calculator or other supplies for some assignments. With your materials at hand, you can study without interruption. If you have a desktop Computer or laptop beside your study desk it would be an advantage during your study time.
You will require snack food and drinks during study breaks. So if it is available at the study location then it will eliminate those endless trips to the kitchen which break your concentration.
Manage your time effectively.
It is very necessary to have your study program to effectively get in motion so that you can make the most of your study time.
You should set alarms to remind you about your study timetable. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your course of action on track.
Your study timetable, calendar or wall planner should be properly placed up so you can see it whenever you’re studying. Important dates, like exams and assignment due dates should be marked.
At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
Your Learning process.
We all have our preferred way of learning. Here are some processes you can follow.
If you do best by hearing things, and can retain information that comes to you orally, you’re probably an auditory learner. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. Teaching the information to someone else is one of the best ways to learn. Draw diagrams/graphs, write out explanations, and teach concepts to each other to help each of you better remember them.
You can use verbal and listening repetition to help you remember the order of things.
Record yourself saying what needs to be memorized once, then play it back to yourself while you sleep. The repetition in your sleep can help you to reinforce concepts you have already consciously acquired.
If you are permitted to taping lectures then it help you to get your missed notes and also to hear the information presented again for a second or third time. This will be enough to cause the information to stick to your memory without much more effort.
Some of you might prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You can also try to remember some ideas as images.
Highlight important points while studying.
While studying look for important points or key words depending on what you have to memorize, highlight them, remember them, and then try to memorize the rest. If reading online PDFs, make use of the highlighting function for key points. This helps you to memories, as well as fast recovery of information when searching through the document again.
Revise again & again.
At least once a week you should go back over the notes you’ve studied in earlier. Revising things over again can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.
Frequently write and rewrite the notes. When you go to your note board, look at an item, rewrite it and replace the existing one. If you are having particular difficulty with one of the existing notes, take the old note and put it somewhere else, where you will see it more often. Replace that one occasionally, too. This way you learn it all twice, once when you make the study materials or notes and once when you use them to revise. In case of mathematics practice again and again to bring it to perfection.
Get a friend or family member to examine you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzing are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.
Breaks and refreshment.
It’s important to take breaks while you’re studying, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance.
When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical activity – even just a walk around the block – can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.
Always stay motivated.
When you’re studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.
You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you.
Take care of yourself.
The most important thing is that you will study better and perform your best only if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don’t take too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.
If you put forth the effort to study effectively, the improved skills will soon become a habit and be just as natural as breathing. The result can be better grades, greater knowledge, and higher self-esteem. These skills will also serve you well in your professional and personal life. Your motto should be, “I’m responsible for my success!”