When you get worn out on studying think about ways you can change your strategy. Sometimes taking a new approach can help you learn the material well and have more fun doing it. Try one of these five strategies to improve your study skills.
1) The Study Cycle
Using this strategy, suggested by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will set you up for success in any subject. The steps are preview, attend class, review, study, check. Do any assigned reading or preparation before the class. Listen closely again to the information given in class. Then, review your notes. Before you’ve started studying you have encountered the material three time already. After that, study the material that is more difficult to understand. When you feel like you have firmly grasped the material, do some practice questions to check that you really can recall the information in a helpful way.
2) Short Bursts
Schedule multiple short, focused bursts of studying. Keep the amount of time low such as 30-45 minutes, but keep concentration and focus intense. Eliminate distractions and study that one thing for the scheduled amount of time. When you can fully focus on a single subject, you are likely to remember more than if you are bouncing around between subjects and other distractions for a longer period of time.
Your parents are often a captive audience and they desperately want to know what you’ve been learning. Ask if you can teach them the material you are studying as though they have never heard it before. If you can teach the topic, you have learned it thoroughly. If they have questions you can’t answer, you may need to study a little more.
4) Make it Like a Game
When you are studying facts you need to memorize, think about it like a game. You can create a whole system that works for you. For example, every five flash cards you get right, you can power up and eat a piece of chocolate. If you miss three, you have to take a chocolate out of the stash. There are all sorts of rules and rewards to come up with to make the studying more thrilling.
Move the material from your mind to paper. Writing out key concepts, an explanation, an outline, or anything that reiterates the material will offer you another way to practice recalling and understanding the material. You will be aware of any holes in your recall if you can’t make sense of the material when you write it out.
The most important thing to do when it comes to studying is taking the time to do it. It can be easy to put off and then find yourself cramming before exams. Instead, use a strategy and stay prepared for your classes.