If you are a student how can you study in a smart way to get the best out of your university course?
We give some tips below:
Choose a distraction free space
It may seem completely simple to say but your study space is probably the most important area you need. Studies have shown that an environment that is peaceful and quiet can motivate students to help them focus on their lessons. Any area that has peace and quiet enables you to study to the best possible optimization.
Make sure you have got a table and chair
Once you know where your study area is going to be, it is all about focusing on the set up. Many students prefer studying in bed but we would recommend you use a chair during your study area.
Sitting for long hours can prepare you not only for lessons but allows you to make sure you don’t suffer neck and back pains. Studies have shown that body pain can again distract you from your studies.
A proper set up is absolutely critical.
Schedule your study times
You have got your space now comes the most important part a study timetable routine. Routines can be hard but are totally invaluable.
When you wake up from your sleep run the routine inside your mind and when you are going to be doing it on that day. It is all about planning your day out.
It may seem obvious but keep away from your mobile phone
Focusing on studies while you have got your mobile phone next to you is not going to work. It can be a consistent distraction and studies have shown that it just doesn’t work. Any other form of distractions such as video games should be removed from the study space to make sure that it removes any distractions.
Prepare a to-do list
It is best to prepare a to-do list at the beginning of your study time to make sure that you are dealing with any pending assignments. Wrapping them up in time can be essential and increase your speed with studying. It is the same as planning out your lessons.
Try learning the information in different ways
If you learn from one single concept you may find there are other practical ways to study in a smarter way. Research has shown that different media stimulates different segments of the brain. So, you may find there are other ways in which to study in a better way.
When learning a new topic you could refer to class notes, text books and online resources but try a different combination until you know which area suits you best. Applying different methods at different times can help you.
Studying in small segments
This allows you to concentrate so much better than doing it over a long period of time. If it is a complex subject it can always help you to study in small ways. This will enable you to ensure it is embeds in your brain better.
Make sure you are healthy
Drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water in a day allows your body to keep fluids and keep your concentration levels.
Get enough sleep
It seems simple but the most important thing is to get at least 7-8 hours a night in order that you are fresh for your lessons and your revision time.
You may find after reading a lot of text and doing some studying that any form of exercise could actually clear your mind. If you do it regularly then again you will get into a routine of fresh studying.
Reward yourself after every session
If you reward yourself while studying then you can sometimes set yourself little goals and have yourself a reward at the end of it. It keeps you fresh.
Study in the morning
Many studies have proven that getting up and doing your work in the morning is much more effective than later at night. However, everyone is different and it may not suit you.
Keep your notes in an organised manner
Trying to refer back to notes at a later date and not understanding what they are saying could be a massive problem. Make sure you use separate note books for separate subjects. Use highlighter pens and keep them all in one place.
Try to keep some weekends for revision
It is really important that you try and keep some weekends available for revision. Yes, we understand you want to enjoy yourself at university but at the same time you have also got to ensure you keep time to do what your main reason is for being at university – studying.
Keep your mind fresh before studying
Making sure your mind is clear of all distractions before you start studying can help you. Whether it is a short or long term session. Close your eyes and clear your mind before you start.
Keep a track of your progress
It is always best to keep a track of your progress and see how far you have got on. For instance testing yourself often to know where you are should be able to help you.
Take short breaks during study hours
If you take short breaks it keeps the mind fresh to ensure you are progressing well during your study time.
Learn the same information in a variety of ways
The more areas of the brain that are activated are more likely to retain the information.
Learn the specific topics, you could do the following;
- Read the class notes.
- Read the text book.
- Look up other online sources.
- Create a mind map.
- Teach someone what you have learnt and do practise problems with a variety of sources.
You may not be able to do all of these but if you do some it would help you.
Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects
It is more effective to study multiple subjects each day and helps you stay focus than to deep dive into one or two.
If you have upcoming exams in maths, history, physics and English, it is better to study each of a bit every day. This approach will help you learn faster rather than focusing on maths on a Monday, history on a Tuesday etc.
Review the information periodically, instead of cramming
Periodic reviews is essential if you want to move information from short term memory to your long term memory. This can help you with better grades.
The optimal review interval varies, depending on your own individual circumstances.
Sit at the front of the class
If you get to choose where you sit during the class, grab a seat at the front. Studies show that students who sit at the front tend to get higher exam scores.
By sitting at the front of the class it will motivate you more and help you keep focused.
Don’t multi-task when doing revision
Multi tasking makes you less productive and more distracted. Studies show that people who claim to be good at multi tasking aren’t actually better than the average person.
Turn off your notifications on your phone
Put your phone away or turn it onto airplane mode. Log out of all instant messaging programmes, turn off the internet access to your computer, close all internet browser windows that aren’t related to the assignment you are working on. Declutter your study area.
Takes notes by hand, instead of using a laptop
If you want to learn and study efficiently, write your notes by hand. It is noted by scientists that not only is it likely to give you less distractions than using your laptop but it helps you reframe the information.
In contrast, laptop note takers tend to write down what the teacher says word for work, without processing the information first. Obviously, each student does this in their own way.
Write down your worries
How will I do in this exam? What if I forget this key concept and equations? What if the exam is harder than expected?
You need to run through these types of worries before you take any exams. If you run through them then you can potentially get rid of your anxiety.
The clearer the mind the more likely the better result.
Test yourself frequently
There are decades of research that shows that self testing is critical if you want to improve your academic performance. You should therefore test yourself on a regular basis.
Read key information out loud
Studies of conduct, which demonstrate that reading out loud helps students learn faster than reading silently. When you read information out loud you both see it and hear it. On the other hand when you read it silently you only see it. It seems simple but it works.
Focus on the process, not the outcome
Students who succeed in school concentrate on learning information not trying to get certain grades.
Focus on the effort, not the result. Focus on the process, not the achievement. Believe you can improve. Embrace challenges. Define success as pushing yourself to learning something new not getting straight A’s.
Always set yourself a goal that is achievable
Your performance goals are for your personally and to help you with your learning.
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