Studying for hours on end every day doesn’t help you if you can’t remember what you have been studying. In addition, if you have been studying that much, you probably haven’t been making time for other important activities. You need to get exercise, spend time with friends and family, and get plenty of sleep to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. Too much studying, without much progress can heap on stress and anxiety. This is why you should study smart instead of hard.
Studying in the right ways will improve your productivity and efficiency so that you have room in your schedule for other things. So how do you study smart?
Don’t Just Read
Just reading notes or texts isn’t likely to help you remember important concepts. Most exams won’t simply ask you to regurgitate facts. Instead, you need to know how to synthesize material, explain connections and engage with content. As you read, write out questions and answers. Make mind maps of intersecting concepts. Practice sample problems. The more ways you find to engage with the material, the faster you will be able to understand it and commit it to memory.
Chunks of Time
Block out a chunk of time that you can fully devote to studying. Using a few unfocused minutes here and there can work to reinforce concepts and is great when you are on the run, but it is better as a supplement than a study strategy. Focused time will help you work toward your goals, prioritize your time and improve concentration. Eliminating distractions will help your studies become more productive.
Nourish Your Brain
To function at its best, your brain needs plenty of sleep, exercise, exposure to nature and healthy foods. Taking care of your body and your brain will help relieve stress and improve your brain function. Your concentration and memory are likely to improve when you are taking care of yourself.
When you just can’t understand the material, get help. When you have practiced over and over and still can’t produce the results you want, get help. A tutor, a test prep course or even your parents may be able to help you look at material in a new way. Fresh eyes may be able to clear up any misunderstandings or offer important insight. Never be afraid to use all of your resources ; you don’t have to go it alone.
Study smart so that you can do your best. When it comes to excellent grades and performing well on exams, it’s not always time that counts. Quality and productivity will help you excel.