Have you ever sat down at your desk and tried to study endlessly, simply to realize that you are not registering any of the information you are reading? Indeed, it happens to the best of us. Keep reading for my tips on good study habits to overcome this problem! I have been using these for many years, they may perhaps also work for you.
Avoid last minute cramming! Cramming is like throwing random things in an empty box to then look for them in a hurry. It doesn’t allow your brain to design internal mind maps. Creating connections between blocks of information requires time and organization. Using a free mind mapping software can help with doing so. Your brain doesn’t only link new concepts together; it also connects it with the knowledge you already possess. Among good study habits, one would be to find memories related to the new material.
To sum it up, cramming is not a productive studying technique. Actually, it might even be misleading you into feeling you understood the material. However, chances are the brain did not have enough time to form necessary connections to, for example, answer essay questions. Giving your brain a well-deserved break by spacing your study sessions over many days or even weeks is a better way to study effectively.
Forming study groups is usually a good strategy to share the amount of work with other students. After finding good study partners, break down the material into sections, then assign one or more parts to every member. Every member then has to summarize an article or a section and prepare questions for members of the study group. Start early in the semester. Organizing regular meetings with your group is one of many good study habits. Then, as a way how to study effectively, maximize your meetings by reviewing and discussing the material orally with other members of the group. Summarize your sessions using mind mapping software and PowerPoint presentations.
Using Summary Sheets and Summary Cards
Improve your study skills using summary sheets or cards. To summarize an article or a module, use each subject in a section, main ideas, facts, or important details to structure your summary. Then, expand your summary by searching for and including other relevant sources of information such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Podcast, and so on.
Prompt your Brain
The brain is constantly looking for answers. One good way to improve study skills is to use this natural tendency to your advantage. Before or even while reading or studying, build a list of questions related to your material. Among good study habits, you may write question marks in the margin as you move forward through the material.
Use courses syllabus, outlines, or tables of content to find prompting questions. But, the brain also has its limits. Thus, a list of 5 to 7 questions at the time might be a good way to approach it.
Talk to your Teachers
One good way to improve study skills is to talk to your teachers about the material. Never underestimate the power of conversation. Actually, reviewing out-loud is also amongst good studying techniques. Speaking allows the brain to organize and produce an intelligible stream of thoughts. Thus, it’s also a good way to verify your level of understanding and readiness to write exams or academic essays. Use every opportunity to talk with your teachers: review classes, revisit tests, exams, or assignments making sure you understand every bit of information.
I hope the tricks I have listed above are useful to you. Good Luck!