Now that school has started up again, study time is upon us! With a lot of students studying online this year, it’s even more important to find ways to stay productive and motivated, from home.
Learning is a constant process, and can often feel overwhelming- stay on top of your work and build effective study habits with these tips:
Practise to find which method suits you
Not every study method works for everyone. Depending on whether you’re a visual, physical, aural or verbal learner, try out some of these methods to find the right fit for you:
Note-taking- highlight the key points of a text/ worksheet and note them down. From there, narrow your notes down further into the key notes or dates to add to a flashcard or mind map.
Flashcards- once you have clear notes, flashcards are easy to make. Keep them with you at school or during car journeys, and ask your family and friends to test you with them frequently.
Videos- those with a more visual mind will find this method much more useful for absorbing the information in an effective, but also enjoyable way. Depending on your course and level, find a relevant youtube video, or ask your teacher to recommend some.
Practise questions- this is one of the most effective ways to actively test yourself, and it will highlight any gaps in your knowledge through real exam questions. Once you’ve completed the paper/ question, make a note of areas where you lost marks and make a note to focus on that specific topic when revising.
Teach the topic to a friend or family member- this is a great way to test whether you’ve truly mastered a topic. If you can’t explain a concept clearly, this could be an indicator that although you may remember the facts, you don’t properly understand them.
Study tip: experiment with different study methods to find which is the most efficient for you. This also allows you to keep your work diverse and enjoyable.Tweet
Write up a study timetable
It’s a lot easier to stay on top of revision if you have a clear and consistent routine. Make a list of your topics and any deadlines you have for homework or exams. From here, note how much revision you want to do for each subject- it’s important to have a spread of different topics and methods of revision so you stay engaged with your study, and are less likely to skip a session.
Plan in terms of tasks, not time
Block out the times of day that you can study, but instead of revising each topic for a certain amount of hours, make a note of each task you want to complete and when it needs to be completed by. That way, if you finish quicker than you expected, you can move straight on to the next task, instead of spending an hour on a topic that only needed a 20 minute recap.
Plan in frequent breaks
Studying is a marathon, not a sprint. Look after your mental health by planning in frequent breaks to do things you enjoy- spending time with friends, listening to music or reading a book.
Study tip: physically write in breaks- this way, you’ll feel less inclined to work into free time, which can be harmful for both mental and physical health.Tweet
Schedule in rewards
When the end is out of sight, and tasks are piling up, it’s helpful to reward yourself with more than just breaks- maybe this is a takeaway, a trip out with friends or some time on your phone. Having tangible rewards to work towards will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.
Set up a tidy study space
If tasks are piling up, it’s important not to let the same thing happen to your workspace..
If you can, set up a specific workspace- your desk, kitchen table, preferably not your bed!
Ensure that your study space is organised at the end of each revision session- this will make it much easier to start studying next session.Tweet
Find enjoyment in your work
That’s right- learning is meant to be fun! Even for subjects you don’t enjoy, try to find one new interesting piece of information, or try a new learning techniques (like watching a video, or chatting to a friend about the topic).
Don’t let your phone derail your study efforts. Whilst studying, power off any technology that may distract you or (if it’s just too tempting) put all appliances in a different room.
Try to avoid cramming
Studying can be stressful enough as it is; leaving projects or revision until the last minute will mean you might not understand the concepts as well, even if you do manage to pass the exam. If that big project feels intimidating, break it down into manageable chunks (for example: write out initial ideas, conduct deeper research, write a first draft, review and edit, write a second draft, get feedback, make last edits).
However, timed work can sometimes be useful- try not to leave that project until the last minute, but you can utilise short bursts of work such as the sprinting method (working as fast as possible for a short amount of time, e.g. 10-15 minutes) or pomodoro method (working for 20-30 minutes with a 5-10 minute break in between)
‘Spaced learning’– studying in short bursts is shown to be more effective for learning than sitting down for a longer amount of time.
Are you a student? Are you going to try out any of these study tips? Let me know in the comments down below or you can connect with me directly on any of my social medias.