Education

Top 10 study advice for students

 

Studying doesn’t have to be as tedious of a task as you may think.
Getting into the right habits can make all the difference between a
dreadful chore and an enjoyable, helpful tool for success. Any
student—whether you attend classes online or at a traditional
school—can avoid cramming for tests and pulling all-nighters with
these study tips:
1. Have designated study space: Staying focused when you’re at home is
sometimes easier said than done. Distractions can challenge your
focus, especially if you’re in a setting with a lot of noise—like a
television or people who aren’t also studying.
Find somewhere that you’re comfortable and free from disturbances.
Some options could be; library, coffee shop, park, your backyard.
You could even create a nook area in your bedroom that’s specifically
for studying—just make sure all possible distractions are out of sight
and out of mind. It will also be helpful to avoid lying down on a bed
or couch. You’ll focus better while sitting straight up in your seat.
2. Put the phone away: Random dings, buzzes and tweets from your cell
phone can derail your concentration, especially since they are hard to
ignore. Make sure your cell phone is off, on “do not disturb” or in
another room so you can fully concentrate on your study materials.
3. Fuel your mind: You’ll be more alert and motivated if your stomach
isn’t empty! Make sure you eat a good meal before you dive into the
books or snack while you study so you can avoid tummy grumbles,
headaches and a lack of focus that hunger may cause. Also, don’t
forget to drink plenty of water so you stay hydrated and alert.
4. Stay organised: Keeping track of your time for study sessions and
lesson completions will help you stay on top of your courses. You can
use apps on your computer or phone—like iCalendar or Wunderlist—or
pick up a planner that you can customize to include your to-do lists
and coursework. Making lists every day will help you come up with a
plan and stick with it!
In competency-based schools like VLACS, there aren’t necessarily hard
deadlines you’ll need to follow. However, to help you keep track of
your responsibilities, you can create your own deadlines and log them
in your apps or planner.
5. Take handwritten notes: Just reading chapters in a textbook might
not be enough to help you retain the knowledge you need to ace a test.
Jotting down notes like important facts, statistics and key takeaways
will help you retain the information you’ve just read even more.
There are tons of studies that explain the benefits of taking
handwritten notes, including one from the Association for
Psychological Science that shows handwritten note taking can improve
long-term comprehension.
6. Turn your notes into flashcards: Creating flashcards helps you
remember words or concepts from scratch. They are also a helpful
practice for self-study, since they allow you to test yourself,
meaning you don’t need to rely on someone else to quiz you.
Flashcards are also handy for helping you gauge your progress. If
there are some cards that you breeze through easily, you’ll be able to
set those aside and focus more on the cards you have a harder time
with.
7. Split up your work: Don’t overwhelm yourself! Separating your study
materials into more manageable parts will make it easier for you to
master the entire task. You should try to avoid focusing on one
subject for an extended period of time. It can help if you alternate
between course materials.
Don’t forget to take breaks every so often. Go for a walk, grab a
snack or just enjoy the fresh air for a bit. This “mental downtime”
will give your brain a much-needed break after all of that studying.
8. Review consistently: Set aside time—whether daily or weekly—to
review your notes. The routine check-in of course topics while they
are still fresh in your mind act like a mini study session that will
help you when it comes time to take a test or turn in an assignment.
During your review, you’ll also be able to identify areas where you
may need additional help. It’s important that you’re proactive about
contacting your teacher in this instance. They’ll be able to provide
additional resources and guidance to help you master the topic.
9. Quiz yourself: Testing yourself to see how well you know the
material will help you find your weak spots so you can strengthen
those areas sooner. You can do this by asking your teacher for
practice tests, or creating your own! Some textbooks will also include
sample tests at the back of the book.
10. Identify how you learn best: Some students learn best by creating
flash cards; other students have an easier time studying by re-writing
their notes several times. When you find the best study technique
that’s right for you, make sure you stick with it. The setting and
study strategies you choose are completely up to you! Just find
somewhere that helps you get in the right flow to accomplish your
study goals and you’ll be on the right track towards succeeding in
your classes.

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