Getting an effective study habit could be quite tasking as a student. Especially with the numerous activities calling for students’ attention on and off the campus. A very good study routine helps student perform better during examination. It prevents the fire-brigade approach students usually give few days before exam. Here are 10 Most Effective Study Habits For Students which would help you study smarter and better:
1. Understand Yourself
We all have different ways at which we study and retain information. Everybody can’t study alike. You need to figure out what style works best for you by understanding yourself. Reflect on these questions:
- Are you a fast learner or a slow learner?
- Can you study in a noisy area or you prefer a quite place?
- Are you good with calculations?
- Do you need to read a certain topic several times before it sticks into your memory?
- What time of the day do you study best — Morning, Afternoon or Night?
- What kind of foods should you avoid?
These questions will help you better determine HOW, WHERE, WHEN and WHAT to study.“It is not how long you study but how well”
2. Revise After Each Class
Revising after a class is one effective study habit. It is advisable to skim through your notes after a class as this helps register new knowledge in the brain. It gives you a good bed-rock when next you want to read the topic or subject. Here is the logic: After a class, the voice of the lecturer and the images from the slides while in class remain fresh in your head. When you revise immediately, it quickly stores up in the subconscious mind. Whenever you try reading up that topic another day, it doesn’t appear strange thereby easing quick retention.
3. Set Goals
Another very effective study habit is setting goals. Not just goals but realistic ones. Your goals must be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
- What grade would you like to have at the end of the session?
- How many hours should you study a day?
- What subject or topic are you having difficulties in and how can you improve?
- How many topics should you cover in a week?
Put down your set goals in writing and work towards it with every dedication. However, do not set goals bigger than what you can handle or else, you are setting yourself up for failure.
4. Take Notes
Learn to take notes effectively. Take clear and concise notes. Sit near to the front of the class. Be a good listener. Ask questions. Rewrite your own study notes with lecture notes into a single set of notes. Add symbols to highlight important ideas and keywords. Write a summary of the significant ideas. If you are the visual learner, include diagrams in your notes to help you understand better. You don’t need to write down everything, the cogent point is all that is needed. If the lecturer emphasizes more on something, please, take note and pen it down.
5. Avoid Distraction
Distraction could come in different ways — your ever-talking room mate, music noise from your room or other rooms, issues running through your mind, anxiety from an upcoming game or event or that little tech-genie of yours (your smartphone). These distractions would not allow you follow your study schedule as planned. Forcing yourself to study at such distracting periods could result to you gaining nothing. It is advisable to read in the library or other quiet places if you can’t cope with the distraction in your room. Clear up your mind before studying. Your smartphones could be a catalyst to an effective study habits (especially smartphones with awesome apps for students) or could be a hindrance. Switch off your data or wifi when ready to study. You could put your phone on silent mode or flight mode. This would prevent distracting messages or calls which would put you off your study routine.
6. Be Organized
Being organized is very key to having these effective study habits. Have all your study materials in place and well organized. Arrange your notes and textbooks according to their subjects, topic and relevance. Whenever you want to study, bring all the necessary materials you will need with you and do away with the irrelevant ones. Imagine spending 30 minutes looking for the concluding part of what you were studying in your disorganized backpack or room. You will lose the interest to continue with the study.
7. Have a Positive Mindset
Being in the right mindset is important in order to study smarter. Have a positive mindset when studying. Do not believe you won’t pass a subject just because you are not good at it or you once failed in it. Even if you are not good at it, all you need to do is psyche up yourself and work towards improving. Never compare yourself with others because you will end up feeling bad about yourself.
8. Join a Good Study Group
Joining a good study group can help you improve on yourself, retain new memory and help push you to studying better. You will be able to ask, discuss, debate and quiz each other on the topics at hand. However, you must be careful when joining a study group. The group must be devoted, hardworking, having same goals as you and of moderate size. When you are studying with your group, you get the freedom to ask any question. Questions you are naturally shy of asking while in the class. Good study groups complement each other.
9. Learn to Release Stress
If you must have an effective study habit, you must learn to release stress. There are different ways of releasing stress. However, a good sleep and a well planned exercise are proven ways to release stress. A good night sleep will help you retain information and understand better. If you must deprive yourself of sleep, try to make up for it. You can’t cheat nature!
Also, engage in exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins that reduce stress and depression.
10. Eat Well
The food you eat and how you eat them can have an impact on how you learn. A bad diet can be an hindrance to effective study habit. Learn to eat well. There are healthy diet tips students can learn from and kinds of food students should avoid.
Use of Mnemonics
Some things are better memorized using mnemonics. A mnemonic is a word, short poem or sentence that is intended to help you remember things. For example: “I before e, except after c” is a mnemonic to help people remember how to spell words like “believe and receive” or the famous mnemonic for approximating the digits of pi: “May I have a large container of coffee?” Counting the letters in each word yields the sequence 3,1,4,1,5,9,2,6.
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