It’s study time, and you’re unsure how to go about the large volume of coursework staring back at you. You want to ace your exam but also need a break from studying for a while. You’re tired and stressed out because the study process is not going well. Today, we’ll talk about eight ways to study smarter so that you can focus on what matters and succeed in school.
8 Tricks to Help You Study Smarter, Not Harder
Create a Schedule for Your Studies
Create a realistic study schedule for the amount of time you have available. Putting an entire semester’s worth of work on your calendar may be tempting, but it will never get done if you can’t fit in study blocks between other obligations.
Focus on studying what needs attention. If you have a weak subject, this is the time to decide how to improve your understanding and performance. While at it, do not neglect any subject in your schedule to have a balanced scorecard.
Take Advantage of Technology When Studying
Many tools available on the internet can be used to study more effectively and with less difficulty. For example, some apps will help you manage your time better and help you with scheduling your study sessions.
You will also need to find the best way to leverage technology for research. Many online resources help you do your qualitative vs. quantitative research projects quickly and accurately. Here are some educational search engines to consider:
- Google Scholar
- Worldwide Science
- Research Gate
- Google Books
- Microsoft Academic
- Virtual Learning Resources Center
Use Flashcards for Key Information
Flashcards have been helpful for studying for a long time, a constant fixture in an ever-changing world. They can be used as simple reminders of classroom lessons or complex problems to solve; they’re everything you need for quick memorization and instant understanding.
What’s more, they offer high-level convenience when you need to travel but don’t want to take your complete coursework along. These pocket-sized resources will ensure that you can continue reminding yourself about key information wherever you may go.
Collaborate With Your Teachers
Perhaps you are finding it hard to understand some coursework requirements or topics. Maybe you have come across some terms or are wondering about the et al. meaning and their application in academic papers. Most students only interact with their teachers during class, forgetting that most teachers are more than willing to help outside the class.
Your teachers can give you helpful insights to strengthen your skills, including your essay writing skills. They will guide you on the best resources for your revision. You can request them to explain challenging topics during their free time; for instance, what is an expository essay? Also, you can get advice to ensure you write the best essay and so forth.
Break Up Coursework into Smaller Chunks
Studying one chapter at a time makes it easier for your brain to retain the information. You can do this by taking notes or writing summaries of key points in each chapter, keeping a list of questions that arise and asking them during class, creating flashcards with main ideas from chapters, etc.
This is a much better approach as it breaks down big tasks into simpler ones, which are easier to memorize. Doing a little every day is better than trying to pack your study sessions with heavy content. Large volumes of tasks can be intimidating and discouraging as they constantly remind us of the arduous task ahead.
Study in Different Locations
Changing your study location and study environment is refreshing and can produce different learning outcomes. However, if you only study from your room, it can get monotonous, and you might require extra motivation to continue with the habit.
Consider having a variety of places where you can conduct your study sessions. Remember that each location has its pros and cons. Always ensure that the pros stand out. Some popular study locations include:
- The computer lab
- Common rooms like dorm halls
- The Library
- Coffee shops
- The outdoors
Take Breaks When Studying
It can be tempting to read for long sessions when the exams are approaching. Studying for a prolonged period without taking breaks can adversely affect your study habits and motivation. Breaks allow you to refresh, keep your mood up, and improve concentration.
Breaks don’t have to be long to be effective. Do not feel guilty about pausing your reading or stepping away from your study desk. A few minutes away from study materials might be enough or even a change of environment like studying elsewhere.
Study With a Group of Friends
Collaborative learning provides many benefits to learners. Having a focused group of friends with whom to study goes a long way to ensure that they get different views from your own, making information clearer. It is a smart way to acquire knowledge and develop skills like cooperation and critical thinking.
The study group should bring together classmates or peers at a similar level in their academics and can provide help when needed. The study sessions should ideally take place outside the classroom, informally over coffee, or formally as part of an extracurricular activity.
The most important thing to remember when trying to study is that there are no shortcuts. You still need to put in the time and effort required for success, but these tricks can help speed up your progress toward achieving it. When you use them properly, they will make studying more enjoyable and a lot easier.