We as students are often told to study, but it was never really taught how to study efficiently. So, the only time we study is when a test is around the corner, and in those study sessions, we depend on our memorizing capacity to score well. In contrast to this reality, we have always pitched understanding as the core of the study. So now the question remains, “How do we understand? how to learn efficiently”. Here, we present some tips for you to adopt in your daily life to help you understand and make your study efficient.
1. Get Involved
This is a tiny step to accomplish before trying on other different methods for learning. As the saying goes,
“Tell me, and I’ll forget
Show me, I may remember
But involve me and I’ll understand”. Get involved while learning whether it is just paying attention in class, raising questions when you don’t understand, or annotating in your books. Your involvement is a first step towards the efficiency you project when you study.
2. Manage your Study Sessions
Don’t cram everything up in a day, trying to cover everything in a day is never effective, especially if it is a day before the test. It is as ineffective as trying to fill a bottle that is already full and closed. So, it is better to study slowly, day by day in smaller sections where you can easily learn without the pressure of not finishing the entire syllabus, by doing so you will get enough time to process what you have learned till now. To do this you’ll have to pre-manage your study schedule or at least keep up with your teacher.
Continuous practice helps you remember. You can always memorize your math formulas but practice helps you retrieve your memorized formulas and solve the given problem. Just like giving your midterms before your finals help you score better in your finals, constant practicing is like giving a test before you can understand and remember everything.
4. Stop multitasking
Killing two birds with a stone does not work here. Try to focus on a topic at a time, most of us have had thoughts to switch between the topics while studying to mix things up and keep it interesting, trying to make the most out of the time. But it might not work in terms of studying, our mind barely has time to process the information and when we do this, we try to stuff more into us. This will only result in confusion and will not be a fruitful study.
5. Study before sleep
Replace the habit of watching your phone with studying before sleep. It is even proven research that studying before sleep enhances the chances of recalling them later. Studying before sleep helps the studied information to be processed without any blockage of other disturbing thoughts. It is also very beneficial to review what you have learned in the morning.
6. Try some study techniques
Color Coding, Mind-Mapping, or even just visual aids like photos, interactive boards help to enhance memory and understanding. Color-Coding in basic is marking the topics with colors on basis of the importance, it helps a lot while revising as well. Mind-Mapping is more like a flowchart for your brain to remember, generally, a topic is chosen, and ideas and thoughts are written around the topic, connecting it. These techniques help you remember and formulate your answers better. Try any of these techniques and find what works the best for you.
7. Change your scenery
Studying in the same confined room might get you dull and bored. To enhance your study, try to change the environment where you study every once in a while. A change in scenery might help you concentrate better; a refreshed mind can function better than a dull one. It can be a new library to study or even a new corner in your room, change little things to help you feel the newness and refreshment.
As you go forward with your studies you will be introduced to new things, even just new vocabulary. Trying to capture new terms can always be a challenge to anyone, so try to simplify before you try to memorize the new and hard concepts. Simplifying not only helps you in understanding but will also help in memorizing and critically analyzing new concepts.
9. Teach yourself
Take the role of teacher upon yourself. It might sound childish at it seems like a child’s game of role play, but teaching yourself will help you recognize what you have understood and to what extent you have understood the topic. It will clarify your issues and will make it easier for you to work on them.
10. Recall and review
We wish we had a memory like that of robots who can store every tiny bit of information for eternity. Surely as humans, we tend to forget, as new information gets added to our brain, it keeps on deleting the old ones. So, we have to keep testing ourselves to recall the things we’ve studied, and try to review them at least once a week. The continuous recall and review will help you, understand, remember and enhance your study.