Top 10 Best Ways to Study
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
November 7, 2011
Filed Under Self Help
Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Not everyone appreciates the joy of learning, simply for learning’s sake, which is too bad, but too true.
Whether you’re a lover of education or simply trying to get by, studying lies ahead ready or not. The question is how to get the most out of this valuable time?
The answer? Review the following list of the best ways to study of course.
Not ideal for just anyone mind you, but there are those students that somehow (I’ve never understood it myself) are best off pouring loads of information into their cranium the night before or day of a test and nailing it. Then, just as quickly, all those facts and figures come pouring out the other ear; ugh, what a mess.
9. When you’re rested
Some people, heaven help me, are morning folk. Others don’t truly have their wits about them until sometime near sundown. Whichever category you fall into, recognize it and study accordingly. The late night sessions of pounding coffee and munching sugar show great commitment and effort on your part, unfortunately it usually doesn’t provide the intended results.
8. Overview, then review
One of the best ways to study is to give a chapter a good once over, maybe in conjunction with list item #7. Then, once you’ve gotten a feel for the material go back and dig a little deeper into the areas that were noted your first time around the block. The recognition that comes with the review can make a real impact. Your brain, at an even unconscious level, is now processing information it’s somewhat familiar with rather seeing for the first time.
7. Use a highlighter
Yes, it will make a dent in the re-sale value of your textbook at the end of the semester, but a better grade is worth it. What makes this one of the best ways to study is pulling out the critical information, without being bogged down with extraneous data. Of course, don’t over do it; if you look back at the chapter you just read and every line, including the titles, are highlighted in that wonderful day-glo color, you may need to re-think your approach.
6. Computer tutorials
Not an option back in the Stone Age (in other words, when I was at school) but with eReaders and computer-based tutorials, this has to be one of the best ways to study for students today. If you have a laptop with a wireless connection, you’ll have the flexibility to study most anywhere, at anytime too.
5. Mnemonic devices
One of my personal favorites, mnemonic devices are little tricks you play on your brain to help remember critical information. Perhaps not the best example, but one most are familiar with, is the KISS acronym. Keep It Simple Stupid; okay, so this particular one doesn’t instill confidence in the prospective student, but the use of acronyms and other mnemonic devices like this can be a real lifesaver.
4. Quiet area
Though you may think you can study anywhere, with any amount of background noise, because you’re in The Zone, it’s not likely. Finding a nice, quiet place to focus and limit the distractions will make a big difference in how much you retain. It may help to point out that schools have these interesting places they refer to as libraries. These are manned by ruler-toting, angry seniors whose job is to maintain order and discipline; i.e. quiet. I wish I’d of known about these places when I was in school.
3. Group study
Some students prefer interaction, bouncing ideas back and forth amongst student colleagues. If this describes you, either find or begin a study group. A word of caution however, there are students who are under the mistaken impression study groups are really code words for party committee; this is incorrect. If you’re going to spend consistent time with a study group, make it worthwhile. Make sure the others in the group are of the same ilk, or they’ll end up stealing time away like a thief in the night.
2. It’s personal
Understanding how you retain information, which is likely different than your roommate, is a key to getting the most from your valuable time. As we explore the best ways to study, it begins with self-evaluation. Do you retain information best when you’re in a group of like-minded individuals, or when you shut the world out? Do you see the best results when you skim through the material, then go back and target key areas or prefer to highlight info along the way? The sooner you’re able to answer these types of questions, the better the results will be.
1. Set up a schedule
Unquestionably the #1 best way to study is to do a bit of planning. As it write a study schedule into a student planner. Don’t fall behind, set aside X amount of time daily to keep up with required reading. Not only will this avoid the need for trying to cram in 3,567 pages of text book the morning of an exam, but you’ll retain more information. Not to mention, if there are hiccups along the way, better to find those early when you have time to seek assistance from a teacher or professor rather than the morning of the Final.