If your test scores aren’t exactly meeting the mark in spite of your long hours of energy-draining studying, it’s time for you to change the way you learn. The trick is to find a way to study, not just hard but smart. As unfortunate as it may be, you don’t necessarily remember the things you’ve learnt after spending long hours at the study table. What really counts is how well you study your material. Here are a few ways that will help you make the grade.
Figure out your personal strategy
Sure, it’s nice to listen to the advice of peers and others on how to study best but it doesn’t make much of a difference to you if their techniques aren’t your style. Before you get to the tough work, it’s important to analyse what type of learner you are. What are some of the ways that YOU remember things best? According to the VARK Model, you can be either one or a combination of these types of learners – Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing Preference and Kinesthetic.
We are lucky to live in a time where the encyclopaedia isn’t the only source of information. The mediums through which one can learn are many. If you are someone that prefers visual stimulation, chalking out diagrams and watching videos would help you learn effectively and you don’t have to be bored while doing so. If you like things played by ear, videos again and also listening to recordings of your class lectures will help you recall in the long run. You can almost never go wrong when writing things out. Most people tend to remember better once they have written down what is to be learnt. Kinesthetic is an unfamiliar style but highly beneficial one. It’s for individuals with a unique interest in making models and tactile projects of concepts to recollect in a more hands-on way.
Making a time-table might seem laborious but it’s important to pay attention to the strategy behind it. Chalking out a set of priorities helps you rank your tasks from the most important to the least and give you an idea of where your efforts are needed. It also gives you a chance to figure out at what time you study best which might help you choose which subject you’d study when.
You’re not going to accomplish much by blindly reading from your text book. Understanding the language and grasping the concept while reading is the first step to learning something. It’s hard for your mind to take in all the information at once so, it’s best and quick to make note of key terminologies by highlighting or underlining them. Use colours to add to the experience as your brain will register information in more than one way. Taking breaks while reading to recall what you’ve just read allows you to check whether you have understood the concept before moving onto something else.
Note that down
Your teachers weren’t joking when they said jotting down notes would help you. But it is important to write down things in a way that will help you recall better. Writing keywords, abbreviations and mnemonics during your class lectures will remind you of what should be mentioned to get you those points in the examination. This is where recording your class lectures will come in handy. If you might have missed something during class, you have the lecture to catch up on what was missed.
It’s the moment of truth after your labors in studying. Practice tests will let you know how well you know the subject matter. This hands-on way of learning prepares you for the big day. It allows you get rid of some of the anxiety that comes with exams and you get a better idea of the kind of questions you’ll come across.
Take a chill pill
It’s important to give your brain a rest and reward for working so hard. Your mind is more likely to remember better after a breather. Pick your personal favorite de-stress activity and relaxation techniques during these breaks. After this, it’s back to the grind!