Many people tend to have trouble when it comes to studying, not because they are not smart (because they are), but rather because they don’t know how to study, or what study style suits them. Speaking from personal experience, I have never benefited from using flash-cards to study. It felt as if I was wasting my time writing in small pieces of paper, and then I would loose them all. However, many people rely on flash-cards because they are proven to be really good and effective for studying, just not suited for me. My point is, everyone has different study styles.
Here I outline my ULTIMATE study tips, that I have learnt thought my high school experience, and that have been directly related to my academic success. It was a learning process, but I have finally discovered them!
1) Be consistent
After every class, or at the end of the day, try to sit down and review all that you have learnt in a certain subject, and connect the dots between what you wrote last week and this week. This will help you make connections (which is EXTREMELY useful for exams), and also help you remember important terms.
2) Study even though the teacher didn’t instruct it
This relates a lot to the previous tip. This will make you more confident in the subject, and you will become that expert student that all your peers seek to ask questions to.
3) Use various sources to study
If you are studying for an economics test, try to rely on more that one text book. This will probably mean that you will be reading the same thing but in different words, and you will have a better chance at remembering it. Also, some books tend to explain better than others, so do not limit yourself to only one source of information. These days there is so much content out there for every subject (videos, online tests, etc), so diversify your studying.
4) Take notes in class
I personally suggest you write down your notes in your own words so you remember them. If you use simple language, use simple words. If you tend to use a more sophisticated language, use sophisticated words. Also, VERY IMPORTANT: try to try to manually write down your notes, instead of using a computer or any other electronic devices. This will help you memorise your stuff well, and then when you’re doing a written test, you will be like “I remember writing this down!!!”. And that’s an A right there.
5) Highlight in different colors
This will not only keep things more entertaining and colourful, but it will help you associate different pieces of information with specific colors. Also, something I tend to do is write little notes on the side of a text that I have to study and understand, and this helps me translate what I have read into my own words, or associate the information with a particular term that is important in the subject. In other words, MAKE THAT PAPER YOUR WORLD. Color it, write all over it, transform it into your own.
6) Read your revision notes more than once
Pretty self explanatory, innit?
7) Talk to yourself
Ok, so you may or may not think that this one is a bit odd and ridiculous, but it is (no joke) the MOST EFFECTIVE STUDY TECHNIQUE I HAVE USED SO FAR. So basically you speak out your revision and notes as if you are explaining it to someone else, or to yourself. The reason why this is so effective is because are speaking it AND hearing it, so it is double benefit for you. You could even use a white board and pretend you are a teacher to yourself and explain yourself something, as if you are your own student. Believe me, talking to yourself is so worth it.
8) First study alone, and then study with a group
Studying my yourself is the first step into memorisation (if it is needed), and to learn contents that you don’t know yet. Studying with a group is to make sure you know everything, so you can all compliment each others knowledge, as well as testing each other. That is something that works out for me. Some people prefer to start studying with a group and then studying alone, or studying alone all along, and all of these options are fine too. Just make sure that you are being benefited by whichever option you opt for.
This is a great time to be alive, not only because Harry Styles released his first solo album, but also because Post-Its exist. They are great for sticking tiny summaries on book pages, or just to remind you of important concepts, words, etc. Rely on them. Make Post Its your religion.
These are my ULTIMATE tips for revising and studying. I honestly apply all of these strategies to my studying and feel so secure and confident with my learning experience.
Also, I would like to say: while studying for an exam, you are bound to feel stressed and as if the entire universe is hating you, but believe me, being stressed can be an ignition to study, as well as as a device that will make you blank. People response differently to stress, and it is because of that that we should know how to avoid it. My best advice is to study in advance so you don’t feel left behind. Also, treat yourself because all that studying is exhausting, so either watch a movie or go out with friends and eat a ton of food.
I hope this has been useful to you!! Stay tuned for my next post, which will be about how to destress or what to do after an exam as a way to relax. I am really looking forward to writing the next post! Thank you for reading!