Whether you take a class online, sign up for evening classes at your local college, or need to study for school, preparation and organization can boost your performance. Everyone differs, though. So study tips that work for someone else might not work for you. Start with these study preparation pointers and study habits and persevere with those that help.
Find an ideal study area
The ideal place to study is somewhere quiet with good lighting and a chair and desk. It’s helpful to work in a distraction-free place, but you might not have that luxury. Is there a room or a quiet corner where you can study? If not, move to a library or peaceful coffee shop.
Create a schedule
You might imagine you will study when it’s necessary and need not make plans. But, unless you carve out specific times to work, you may not put in enough hours and could fall behind. Mark study sessions on a wall chart for each subject and note some work necessitates longer periods.
Boundaries can help you study without distractions and stick to your study goals. Make following your schedule your first boundary. You won’t ever face a quandary over whether to go out with friends or stay in and work.
Another boundary might be not socializing during study sessions. Inform friends and family you are unavailable at certain times and don’t want to be disturbed. Once they know you are busy studying, they are less likely to call in for a chat or make noise next to your study area.
You could also vow to turn off your cell phone while studying and not check emails or social media. If you can’t resist, give yourself 10 minutes before study sessions to engage with them. Then they won’t be on your mind.
People often associate relaxation with vacations and time away from work, but being relaxed while you study can help you retain information, too. List tasks to tackle in study sessions, and you will be confident you cover what’s needed. You can also release stress with light stretches, mini-meditation sessions, and deep breaths.
Consider background sounds
Some people study well with background music, while others find it distracting. Many individuals enjoy instrumental music playing while they work but can’t focus when they hear songs. The singer’s voices and song lyrics steal their attention. Experiment and see what works best for you. You might prefer silence to music or tracks of natural sounds like birdsong or the ocean. Make sure background sounds assist with relaxation but don’t prompt sleep.
Look after yourself
You will study best if you take care of your body and mind. Eat healthy foods and fuel up on brain snacks when you need to eat between meals. Nuts, dark chocolate, and grapes are good snack choices. Get plenty of sleep. Seven and a half hours of quality sleep will help you feel more alert when you study. Exercise too. Work out at the gym, take an exercise class, or engage in a mindful exercise like qigong to raise your energy.
Imagine you are a teacher
Imagine you are a teacher and need to explain what you learn during study sessions to your pupils. Run through what you would tell them in your mind. The act of clarifying new information will help you absorb it and highlight gaps in understanding. When you find areas of confusion, go back and restudy until you can teach your imaginary class with ease.
Summarize each lesson as soon as possible after it ends to help you memorize it. Summarizing is a great way to learn and can be enjoyable. Your confidence will rise when you recognize how much information you gather.
Highlight main concepts
Use a highlighter to identify the main ideas of the data you learn. Going through your notes, projects, and books to single out key concepts will help you remember them. You could also copy them onto flashcards to prompt your memory. They will be terrific revision tools to use before exams.
Rewrite study notes
Read your original study notes and then rewrite them using your memory. Doing so will help you think about the information and give you a second chance to let it sink in as you write. When you finish, fact-check for accuracy. It will provide a third chance to go over the information and ensure what you think you know is accurate.
There are plenty of ways to study. Taking classes and reading lesson notes probably won’t be sufficient to drive home information, so try various study tips and exploit those that provide confidence and success. Remember to take care of yourself too, and create a study area that makes working easy.