There are many useful study tips and techniques on how to study and most of them have a use. Study involves reading books, watching videos, listening to audio recordings, researching facts in libraries or on the Web and attending lessons/lectures. The result of these activities can be enhanced if you know how to study.
The Best Way to Study
What you study will be determined by the subject but how you study is up to you. You attend your classroom lessons and lectures but if you want to do well in the exam you will study on your own in addition. Knowing how to study consists of taking notes, timing and timetable planning. You should also select the best area to study where you are surrounded by all you will need for you studies such as books, computers, pens, pencils and paper and most important it is quiet with no disturbances such as cell phones – you are not available during study time.
The Best Timing Strategy for Study Sessions
Because of the way memory works it is better to time your studying in short sharp bursts. I recommend that a study session be broken down into one hour chunks. Each chunk is carried out as follows:
• First 5 minutes revising the material studied in the last session (First hour study the last session of the last study period). This satisfies the need for Frequency.
• Main 40 Minutes intensely studying the new material. This satisfies the need for Intensity.
• Next 5 minutes revise what you have just studied. This satisfies the need for Frequency.
• Finally relax for 10 minutes. Do something different, leave the study area, make a cup of hot drink or go for a walk. This period is when the mind sorts out the material from short term memory to long term memory (Empties the glass into the tank). It is vital not to skimp on this or you will lose a lot of your studies.
Designing a Study Timetable
Designing a study timetable is as important as knowing how to study. So as to get the most out of the time available it is best to make a plan in the form of a Study Timetable. A wise man said that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail so you should plan your time according to what is available. Start by laying out a grid (You can use a spreadsheet such as Excel to do this if it helps) allowing for a week with three periods a day: Morning, Afternoon and Evening. Start by blocking of the times fully committed and therefore not available such as School/College/Lecture time. Block off time for Meals and enough social time for example if you like to go out with your friends on a Saturday night then block this off – do not fool yourself, if you want to go out then plan it and that way you will not fail in that section of your study. What is left is your available study time. Planning is one of the best study tips.
Remember to divide the time into one hour chunks and allocate you subjects so as to take up the time available. It is best to study the subject in the evening of the day you covered it in college so as to simulate the study hour above (study what you did last time, do this sessions study then revise this sessions study). If you should miss a session don’t worry, just continue as planned at the next session, you should only go back if you have some spare time.
On a regular basis (weekly or monthly as suits your lifestyle) do a revision day and again go over what you have studied since the last revision day. Make this as relaxing an event as possible and if you can involve friends and fellow students and a tutor/teacher all the better.
How do I get the most out of Revision?
Exam revision starts with taking notes whilst studying. These notes will come into much use during the revision process as a representation of distillation of the knowledge needed to pass the exam. To just re-read all the books studied is counterproductive because it does not take into consideration the effort taken to study in the first place.
Exam Revision Timetable
Revision timetable is very similar to the study timetable but more detailed and even more vital to success.
The best among revision study tips is to start setting priorities for your revision. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the goal is to get good exam results and that revision is just a means to an end not the end in itself. You might, for example, have a subject which you consider more important than the rest or in need of extra work to get a result. You might have some personal priorities such as a concert that you have been waiting for a year to go to and you want this to be of a very high priority.