The art of studying is something that students should master, as it is crucial to their success in school. Whether they are studying for an exam or for new course material, a good study strategy can help a student to be focused and organized to get the most out of the time they have. Luckily, study skills can be improved and there are plenty of study tips that can help students improve their concentration and efficiency. These tips are designed to stimulate multiple parts of the brain and engage them in a fun and effective way.
Setting Goals and Creating a Study Schedule
Goal Setting: Good study habits start with clearly identifying goals. A student needs to know what they’re shooting for. Start by identifying your overall academic goals for the semester or academic year. Then break down those larger goals into smaller, more specific and achievable tasks. Once you know your goals you can create an effective study strategy to reach them.
It is also important to set deadlines for completing tasks and milestones. Putting a timeline on specific goals and tasks helps to track progress towards completing your larger goals.
Time Management: Good study habits begin with dedicated study time. Set aside at least an hour or two each day to study. It isn’t always easy to do, but we make time for the things that are important. Start by assessing your schedule and commitments to determine available study time. Take into account your preferred study times and common energy levels at different times of the day.
It is helpful to make a weekly schedule of study time. Color coding each block of time to indicate which course material you are studying is also helpful. For example, if you are studying math, you could divide your time into five 25-minute blocks. Make sure to incorporate breaks and time for self-care into your schedule. After each block, you should take at least a 5-minute break. Doing this allows you to focus on the material and refresh your memory. It is also important to leave some flexibility in your schedule for unexpected events or changes.
Dedicated study time is important because multitasking is a bad idea. While it is important to use different techniques for learning, taking on more than one task at a time is not efficient and can be a distraction. Instead, change up which study method you use at any given time to keep it fresh and challenge yourself in different ways. Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding study schedule:
- Set reminders or alerts to help you stay on track
- Use a planner or calendar to track your progress and stay organized
- Avoid overloading your schedule or trying to do too much at once
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to make adjustments to your schedule – it’s okay to be flexible as long as you are staying on top of your work.
Importance of Active Learning and Engaging with the Material
Effective studying involves more than just reading through your notes or textbook – it requires actively engaging with the material and finding ways to make the information meaningful and relevant to you. Here are some effective study strategies:
Practice active learning: This study habit involves engaging with the material and not just passively reading or listening. Try to relate the information to your own experiences, ask questions, and summarize what you have learned in your own words.
Take effective notes: Good notes should be organized and concise, and include the key points and main ideas from the material. Use a variety of note-taking techniques such as highlighting, underlining, or creating mind maps to help you understand and remember the information.
Organize your study materials: Keep your notes, textbooks, and other materials organized and easily accessible. Consider using a study guide or creating a study outline to help you stay focused and identify the most important information.
Practice with practice tests or quizzes: The best test preparation is actually taking a practice test. Testing yourself on the material can help reinforce your understanding and identify areas where you need more review. Consider creating your own practice exam questions or quizzes, or using ones provided by your instructor. Getting comfortable taking tests can help ease test anxiety.
Try out the Pomodoro Technique: This study technique involves studying for 25 minutes in blocks of four. After four blocks, you should take a 15 to 30-minute break. It is a great way to study in short bursts.
You should also create a list of study questions and practice problems. You can do this by referring to your professor’s demonstrations or by reading extra material about the subject. This will allow you to gauge how well you are understanding the material. You can also use a study app to keep track of your study tasks. For example, MyStudyLife helps students stay on track. In addition, putting your gadgets away during a study session can be a good way to refocus and recharge.
Choose a Suitable Study Environment
The study environment plays a crucial role in your ability to focus and retain information. Here are some tips for finding a suitable study space:
Find a quiet and distraction-free space: Avoid studying in a place where there are lots of distractions such as noise, people coming and going, or screens that you might be tempted to check. Look for a quiet place where you can focus and minimize distractions. If you don’t have a dedicated study space, tell your family and friends when you are studying and when you aren’t. This will help you minimize distractions, and it will also reduce the chance of misplacing assessments.
Make sure the space is well-lit and comfortable: A well-lit space can help improve your focus and energy levels, while a comfortable space can help you relax and stay comfortable while studying.
Consider studying with others: Studying with others can be a helpful way to stay motivated and on track. Consider finding a study group or studying with a friend who is also committed to staying on top of their work.
Take breaks and switch up your study location: It’s important to take breaks and give your brain a chance to rest and recharge. Consider switching up your study location from time to time – for example, you might study at home one day and at a library or coffee shop the next.
Avoid studying in the same location you sleep: While this can be tempting, it can be hard to focus on studying when you are surrounded by the comforts of your room and bed.
Mackler Associates is Here to Help!
While study tips are helpful, many students need further academic coaching or tutoring. Mackler is here to help guide students on their learning journey, from developing good study habits to personalized tutoring sessions. Contact Mackler today for guidance toward academic success!