How to study efficiently and successfully
Studying isn’t an action we all have to do the night before the exam; it’s a habit we all have to develop in order to get great marks constantly. But do you know how to study properly when we have so many subjects, projects, and assignments that also need to be done? Plus, we have other activities, commitments and a social life that we have to maintain. Pretty hard to keep a balanced life, right? Hard, but not impossible. Since we’re all in the same boat; I’ve decided to share with you some study tips that really helped me in my high school and college years. They’re fun and easy to follow, you’ll see! Hopefully, they will work for you as well!
- Make a study schedule
You know what they say: a successful study session starts with an organized plan. Time management is essential when wondering how to study best. The first step you should do is create a calendar of your activities. Remember to include everything in it, from the time when you eat, relax, read, watch TV to the time when you sleep. This way; you can clearly see how much time you have left to study and how you can make the most of it. Keep in mind to be realistic when organizing your time: 30 minutes a week isn’t enough to learn everything teachers taught you in a semester; just like learning 5 hours per day without a break won’t help you assimilate everything quickly. Instead, try to always keep the balance: 2-3 hours per day with a 15-20 minutes break could be a perfect solution for every student.
Have you organized your schedule? Good. This was the easiest part. Now comes the harder part: the struggle to stick to it. It’s important to follow the schedule because it’s the only way you’ll be able to learn everything in advance; and you won’t be stressed the night before the exam day. As a wise man once said, time is precious and it never comes back, so be careful how you decide to spend it.
- Pick a place and time
This is one of the most important study tips I’ll give you today, so make sure you remember it. First of all, find a study area that absolutely meets your needs. There are people who learn best when they are in a crowded and noisy place like a coffee shop. These people also prefer to study when the TV is on or when there’s music in the background. Others, instead, prefer a quiet place where they can hear their own thoughts and can read in silence. That’s why they choose the library or the study room. No one and nothing can disrupt them there. No matter the choice, assure yourself that it’s the ideal place for you and you feel perfectly comfortable while studying in there.
After you’ve chosen the perfect spot, pick the best time to study. As you already know, there are people who work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Try both options to figure out which suits you best and plan to study then. If you go for the second alternative, remember to take care of yourself and your sleep. Don’t study much at night, and don’t press passed your usual bedtime; pushing yourself can make you too tired to study and you might also get a terrible headache.
- Try different study techniques
Wondering how to study efficiently and successfully? Consider exploring different study methods and discover what works best for you. Here are some techniques that really worked for me. My advice is to try them all and pick your favorite. You’ll see that studying will become much more fun!
- Use flashcards – they can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. And the best part about them is that it’s easy to bring them with you. This way, you can study anywhere at any time – in traffic, at lunch or even while waiting on your doctor’s appointment
- Rewrite your notes – you can do this by hand or on the computer. I advise you to do this by hand; because you can stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.
- Make associations – this is a great way to remember things quickly. You simply relate what you want to learn with something you already know. For example, you can associate a sentence with a song verse or a name with a childhood friend.
- Learn by teaching others – when you teach someone you have to express the information in your own words. This action of repeating the information over and over again leads to better learning.
- Review and revise periodically
Develop a habit to revise your notes each day after class. Even if you feel tired or not in the mood for doing anything; remember that you’ll help your brain to store new pieces of information in long-term memory. And you’ll always be prepared for a pop quiz. The teachers will never take you by surprise. It will also be easier for you when the study session comes and you have to learn the entire subject in a short time. You’ll remember the things you learned and won’t panic right before the exam. This is one of the most useful study tips I can give you. It really helped me a lot, both in high school and college. Try it and you won’t regret it!
- Test yourself
If you want to learn how to study as best as possible, you should know from the start that it’s not all about the study per se; it’s also the part where you test your knowledge.
There are studies which demonstrate that students who learn something and then take a quiz on it have undoubtedly better long-term retention than students who read the text multiple times without testing themselves. One of the best options to test yourself is to have a study friend that asks you questions. You can also choose to test yourself by taking an online test. Don’t worry if you don’t perform brightly at first – the more you learn and practice, the better you’ll do. And only by quizzing yourself can you discover which are the subjects you don’t master very well and where you need to make improvements.
- Take regular breaks
Unquestionably, this is one of the most crucial study tips you’ll read today. There’s no successful study without some well-deserved breaks. You need to relax after 2-3 hours of study because your ability to focus diminishes over time and some short breaks will definitely help you re-energize and refocus. They will also boost your productivity level and they’ll get you in the study mood.
There are plenty of things you can do during your breaks. For instance, you could listen to a very peaceful song or talk to a friend. You can also go for a walk in the park to connect with nature, have a snack or simply relax in your bed. My advice for you is to not use your phone or laptop while you’re enjoying your breaks; because these devices prevent your mind from fully relaxing and you’ll feel tired and distressed.
- Stay positive and believe in yourself
As a final thought regarding how to study best and successfully; I highly recommend to have faith in yourself and always keep a positive attitude. It has a big impact on your study level and it will also increase the effectiveness of the entire learning process. If you keep saying that it’s too difficult for you and you can’t do it; you’ll put yourself down and won’t be able to retain information. You should rather focus on the positive outcome: the happiness that the exam is over, the pride of obtaining a great mark and the tremendous feeling to have some free time once again. No matter how difficult the subjects may seem, you can do it! You’ve done it before, and you can do it once again!
In the end, I would like to remind you that studying smart is much more effective than studying hard; so I totally advise you to take seriously into consideration these study tips discussed above. Knowing how to study efficiently and successfully will enhance your life. You won’t develop this habit very easily, it will require lots of time and patience, but you’ll succeed after all. Once you master the art of studying, you’ll knock every test out of the park!
If you’ve got some tried-and-tested study tips that are not in this list, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below! We’re curious to hear your opinion!