Studying well for an important exam or for an upcoming test is not always as easy as it may seem. Despite what many of us may think about how we study, far too often we end up putting in the hours, put not necessarily studying effectively. Personally I have often spent hours upon hours staring at the same piece of text, and simply not absorbing in the way that I should. The key then, is to be strategic and tactical about how you study, and here are some of the things which you should be doing to ensure that your study time works for you.
There is a romantic notion that staying up all night studying somehow helps you but doing so is actually counterproductive. In order to be ready to study, and absorb large amounts of information, your brain needs to be running on all cylinders and in order for that to happen, it needs plenty of rest. Unless you have an emergency and you need to study for tomorrow’s exam, make sure that you grab those 8 hours each night.
Breaks and Rewards
It can be easy to feel like taking a break is somehow cheating on your studies but as long as you do it right, and for an appropriate length of time, this can greatly enhance how well you study. In order to give yourself a further inspirational boost, use rewards to keep you going. The key to both of these tactics is to be regimented and set out your break times before you start. Aim to study in 2 and a half hour blocks, followed by a 30 minutes break with a treat of some kind.
Phones can be great for studying on the go with flashcard apps or voice recordings but when it is time to actually sit down and do some hard studying, you need to leave the phone at the door. If you want to study effectively then you need absolute concentration and zero distractions. With this in mind, you simply can’t have the phone near you or before you know it you’ll be playing games, checking social media and wiling away the time.
Change of Scenery
Studying in the same location all of the time can actually prevent you from studying to the best of your ability and it is important that you switch up your study locations. Try to pick 3 or 4 places where you can study and alternate between them for the best results.
Review, Review, Review
We can all read textbooks, but how much of that information is actually going in? In order to find out, and reinforce what you have already learned, you must make sure that you review your studies. The best time to do this is the day after you have studied a particular unit or area of your topic, doing this the following day will help you to understand what you have learned, and what you need to go back and study again.
What are some of your favourite ways to study? Let us know in the comments below.