15 Hacks to Improve Your Studying Techniques

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Like it or not, studying forms a rather large part of a student’s life. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the process of studying is made more effective? If yes, then make the most of your study time using these 15 hacks.

Understand the topic: Make an effort to understand the topic as soon as you can. Seek a mentor/teacher/tutor to help you follow any incomprehensible part. If you understand the topic, you’ll love studying it.

Pick out key words or phrases: Instead of memorizing large chunks of data, identify key words or phrases around which sentences or descriptions are built. It’s easier to reconstruct them later.

Freshen up: An understated fact, but very effective. Take a shower or at least wash your face and hands before you start studying. It helps enormously.

Set targets: Study in one hour sessions. Pick a section or topic that can be studied in about 45 minutes.

Review: Do a review or a short test on that topic for 15 minutes after the session. This helps to remember what you just studied. Thus your one hour session should be 45 minutes of study plus a 15 minute review.

No distractions: This means no TV, no Facebook tabs open, no WhatsApp or any other distractions. Carry what you need. Don’t break the session to look for pens, pencils, geometry instruments etc. Your mind needs to be focused on only the topic.

Convenient time: Identify your Maximum Productivity Time. Early mornings work best for me. It’s got to be at a time when your mind is fresh. Never on a full tummy or near bedtime when you are sleepy or exhausted.

Quiet place: A cool, quiet place with sufficient lighting works best. Some students prefer ambient instrumental music. Whatever works!

Practice, practice, practice: Especially for Math and Physics problems. Instead of reading through problems, solve them. Solve as many as you can. Like learning the lyrics of your favorite song by repeated listening, practice also helps you remember formulae and order of steps efficiently without making a big effort to memorize them.

Use images if you can: A picture is worth a thousand words. This line is especially useful for studying Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geometry. Making mind maps helps to organize information for easy revision later.

Study, revise, revise: On an average, we retain only about 20% of what we read once. Reading it twice increases retention to about 50%. Reading the same passage for a third time helps you retain about 85% of the information.

Light exercise: Some light stretches, a short walk or a light physical activity keeps the brain sharp.

Timetable: Make a timetable in advance and stick to it. Don’t make ambitious ‘18 hours a day’ schedules if you know you can’t stick to them. Also, it’s not the hours you put in, it’s what you put into the hours that count.

Small blank margin in your notes: While writing your notes in class make a small margin on the side of your page for a summary of what’s on that page. Helps to remember important stuff too.

Memory aids (Mnemonics): Memory aids like ‘SOH CAH TOA’ to memorize Trigonometric identities or ‘My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nachos’ for the planets in the Solar System, are very effective. Make your own Mnemonics (Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall). Maybe even a nonsensical verse!

Sometimes a combined or group study works for some students. In this case
Select students who will be least likely to distract you.

Thinking positive thoughts, being around people who want the best for you and getting sufficient rest are also factors that surely influence the way you approach studying.

Wish you the very best. Hoping that the process of study is fun, yet effective.

Posted by: Hubert John D\'Mello. in General , Learning & Studying Tips | Date: 17/08/2016

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