Going to college or university is a big and important event for many young people. This new life chapter is quite exciting and filled with possibilities, a period when one can have fun and independence.
However, the reality of it is that it can also be very stressful, especially during exam season and knowing how to strike a good balance between classes, studying, and free time is essential. What is equally significant is knowing how to learn properly.
Many believe that studying hard is the most important, yet more often than not, it proves to be ineffective. There are many things one can do to achieve great results without having to put so much time into preparing for exams.
Now, you must be wondering how so? Well, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can study effectively so you can have a bit more leisure for some of your favorite pastimes.
1. Learn to Take and Use Notes Properly
This should go without saying, but you should have separate notebooks for each class you are taking. Make sure you write down everything your professor is writing on the board since it is probably something they consider important, meaning that it is something you should know.
Subsequently, write down things they are saying and what you think is of significance. Since you will probably have to take notes fast, consider copying them in another notebook once you get home. This way, everything will be neat and organized, but it can also act as an initial review of what you have learned during that day.
Take time to read through all your notes every day because it can greatly increase your retention of the material. Reviewing before your next class is also advisable since it will refresh your memory and make it easier for you to follow and understand the new lecture.
2. Don’t Always Study in the Same Space
Although you might have a favorite spot for learning, studies suggest that altering locations can do wonders for your memory. Moreover, spending too much time in the same place and repeating the same actions over and over again can get boring, making it harder for you to concentrate. Make sure you find several great spots so that you can always perform at your best.
3. Avoid Distractions
Today, we tend to get easily distracted by our smartphones and social media. Turn off all notifications as well as the sound on your phone so you can fully concentrate on the task at hand. Choose a place where there is no noise such as a library or your dorm room and block out any noise you can.
On the other hand, playing some relaxing music might be beneficial. It can help you focus, so play it quietly in the background as you are working.
You can make a playlist or you can listen to the radio since today, many great online ones play songs specifically for working, studying, and relaxing. If you are interested in trying it out, you can check one such great station over here.
4. Get Quality Sleeping
This might be an obvious tip, but many individuals still overlook its importance. Being tired and sleepy will make it impossible for you to focus and concentrate, meaning that you will only waste time trying to study. Set a sleeping schedule and stick to it, no matter if you are a night owl or an early bird. Just make sure you get the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
5. Create Flashcards
As mentioned above, writing notes more than once can help you memorize them easier. Flashcards can bring similar benefits, additionally allowing you to write down important terms and definitions, at the same time omitting any unnecessary information. This way, you will only learn and focus on what is essential and significant.
You can use them daily to quiz yourself or you can ask a friend to help you. No matter what you choose, these cards are certainly useful tools, especially if you have to cover a lot of subject matter.
6. Take Breaks from Time to Time
Studying for several hours without taking a break will make you tire faster and lose focus over time. Whenever you feel sleepy or if you are unable to concentrate, stop what you are doing and rest. Take time to just enjoy the silence, eat something, get a drink, watch some videos, or exercise.
Repeat this several times during your session to boost your productivity and motivation.
7. Find a Study Group
Understandably, there will be times when you do not get a certain problem or are struggling through an assignment. This where a study group can prove extremely useful. Your peers can help you understand what you do not know and you can return the favor if ever they need it. Moreover, you can divide tasks and share your responsibilities which can greatly lower your workload.
8. Avoid Waiting Until the Last Minute
Studying the night before an exam, especially if it is a big one, is something you should avoid at all costs. Not only is it impossible to learn everything in a single day but you will also be exhausted during your test, meaning you will not be able to focus and do a good job.
Creating a schedule and sticking to it is the optimal solution so that you can avoid unnecessary situations like having to cram because you will forget the material quickly which is not very beneficial in the long run.
We all have certain habits that are not very good or useful, but luckily they can easily be changed if we want them to. So, if you feel your studying ones are not at the level you would want them to be, try your best to change that.
After all, studying hard is somewhat beneficial, but doing it more smartly is even better. By following some simple tips you will be able to achieve a lot and possibly have a little more time to spend with your friends and simply rest and relax.