Some students study constantly and still struggle to perform well, while others seem to barely study and always do well. If you struggle, even though invest time into studying, you may not be studying productively. These four easy tips will help you improve your study skills so that you can be successful without costing so much time.
Highlighters offer a false sense of security. Highlighting notes or books makes you feel like you have thoroughly studied that material. You have found useful points or important information and drawn attention to it. Unfortunately, the act of highlighting doesn’t help you memorize or understand material. Instead, write a summary of what you read. Write down important themes and topics. Make flashcards with dates or equations. The more you do with the material, the more likely you are to remember it. Highlighting requires very little engagement.
Reading or skimming your notes or a chapter in your textbook is not likely to help you study for an exam. Often, text books will have summary questions or practice problems at the end of chapter. Try to do those first, if you don’t know the answer, go back and look for the relevant information. You can also create your own questions or problems and work to solve them. Again, writing summaries, or making mind maps can also help. It is easy for your mind to wander or fail to make important connections if you simply reread material.
Incorporating another sense into your study can help you remember material. Say key concepts out loud. Explain what you are studying to a parent or sibling. Teach a classmate something you learned. The simple act of speaking learned material will help you remember it.
Find ways to make real life connections. This is when the material becomes significant to you. When you see why it is important for life, it makes it easier to remember. Synthesizing how you will use the material in everyday life or what makes it significant right now demands that you engage with it.
Try Something New
Don’t just keep studying in the same old ways. Try some new methods that will engage your mind and help you remember material. Not only will you perform better, but the material will become more useful in your daily life.