When it comes to studying, many students find it difficult to figure out a method that is most effective for them. Our 6 skills of studying will help guide you not only throughout high school but throughout college as well.
1. Find the Best Study Time & Place
Some students find that they are able to study better late at night, while others find it more effective to study very early in the morning. Everybody is different, so find a time that works best for you.
When finding a place to study, some would rather be out in public at bookstores or coffee shops. Others find it better to isolate themselves in their room with the door locked so they can study in complete silence. It’s all about finding what works best for you.
2. Don’t Just Study Hard, Study Smart
Sure, the best way to learn everything in class would be to read and memorize your entire text book from cover to cover. Of course, with all your other classes, after school activities, and everything else that is going on in your life, that would be highly unrealistic. You would be spreading yourself too thin. So rather than trying to memorize everything, focus on learning the sections that are the most important. These are usually the topics that are discussed during class.
And don’t be afraid to ask your teachers about how to successfully study for their class. Be straight up and tell them, “I plan on making an A in your class. What is it going to take?” If they see that you are working hard in their class, more often than not, they will be there to help you. All you have to do is ask.
3. Reread and Recopy Your Class Notes
Studies show that students only retain about 20% of the information that is taught to them in class on any given day. The most effective way to truly retain the majority of that information is to go over your notes later that same day.
Rewriting your notes is even more effective for your braind since you are reading and writing your notes all at the same time. When taking notes in class, chances are that your handwriting is sloppy, and your notes are probably jumbled all over the place. Take this time not only to relearn what was taught that day, but to better organize your notes so that you can clearly understand them.
4. Tape Record Class Lectures
This will be a very effective method especially in college, but you can start getting used to it now. Rather than focusing on writing down every single word your teacher is saying, you can ease the tension by focusing on the classroom material while you are recording it.
Now, don’t think that you can just doze off and go to sleep while your tape recorder does all the work. This method is only effective when you pay attention to the class material, and when you listen to it later again. It especially helps to rewrite your notes while listening to your recorded lectures. You will pick up on things that you did not notice the first time around.
5. Quit Cramming the Night Before!
Get out of this habit now! Your brain is just like a muscle. An athlete cannot cram the night before a big game by lifting every single weight in the gym. His entire body would burn out instantly. The athlete has to work out everyday lifting smaller weights while slowly building up to heavier weights.
Your brain works the same way. You must start small by reading over your notes a little bit each day. As you get closer to test day, you can then push your brain to studying more. But your brain will burn out if you constantly try to pull an all nighter as you attempt to cram everything the night before a big test.
6. Study in Groups
Study groups are most definitely encouraged. Finding a few friends from class can be helpful since everybody interprets the class material just a little bit differently. Understanding somebody else’s point of view can help you to see the material in ways in which you did not notice before.
Making flash cards is very effective when it comes to learning the material, especially in a group setting. This forces you to rewrite your notes once again, and this time you can use these flash cards to take turns quizzing each other.
Also if you are having trouble understanding something, chances are that somebody in the group does. It can be fun and very effective when everybody in the group takes turns explaining the things that the others do not understand. Being able to explain and teach a subject to others shows that you clearly have a firm grasp on the material.
There you have it. Learn and develop these study skills, and you will be crankin’ out A’s in no time!