Five Great Study Strategies
You may not think of strategy when it comes to studying, but you can find it everywhere. Strategy comes into play during sports, chess, and Forex trading. Before students graduate and start careers, it's a good idea to develop good habits. Here are five great study strategies that students can use for any subject.
Two Common Study Habits That Don’t Work
Before we get into new strategies, it’s a good idea to address the old ones. No matter what grade you’re in, some habits hurt your ability to study. If any of these habits sound like something you’ve used, we’d recommend making some changes.
Procrastinate as Much as Possible
Studying is stressful. A lot of people like to put off the stressful things until the last moment. Unfortunately, knowing the material that you’re learning well enough for the test requires repeated exposure. Waiting until the night before is a bad idea because you won’t remember what you needed to know.
Studying to Memorize, Not to Apply
Few subjects need you to memorize giant blocks of text or information. A lot of topics need you to apply what you know rather than regurgitate. Higher education also doesn’t reward restated content; it requires a more advanced level of analysis. Memorization isn’t enough sometimes.
Try These Five Strategies Instead
Make a PlanIt’s easier to use your time wisely when you have limited study time. Create an outline of what you need to know for the test and dedicate a specific window of time for each topic. Planning helps you stay energized and keeps you from getting overwhelmed.
Try to Explain it to Another PersonTeachers learn a lot of material very quickly because they have to explain it to other people. Try this for yourself. When you’re studying a topic, try to tell someone else about it, and see if they can understand it.
Take BreaksYour brain can only focus on something for a certain amount of time. Every 30 minutes or so, get up and stretch, or at least look away from the screen.
Tackle Big Things in Small PartsIf you need to learn 50 pages of formulas and text by the end of the week, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do it all in one night. Try breaking the assignment down into doable parts, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can cover.
Create a Study SpaceThis tip varies from person to person. It’s up to you to create the best study space possible for your needs. In general, keep the room quiet and free of distractions and clutter. Your grades will thank you if you stay focused.
Make Your Studying Work For You
Preparing for exams isn’t fun, but it’s a necessary part of the educational experience. Until the education system finds a better way to test its students on how well they’ve learned their material, it’s in your best interest to make the process work for you. Try some of these strategies and see how your habits change.