Studying is a task that requires the utmost concentration and attention to achieve the best results. It’s not about staring at your notes for hours and hours at a time, it’s about knowing how to make the most of the time you’re studying. Make the most of your study time with these strategies.
It’s important to develop good strategies so that you don’t waste time or get carried away with the tension produced by the thought that someone is going to evaluate your knowledge and you have to remember all the material you learned in class. Here’s some advice that can be quite helpful when preparing for an exam.
1. Find the right environment
It is important to find a good place to study, where you feel comfortable, with the right lighting and temperature. Find a place where there are not too many distractions or people to disturb you. It can be an isolated and quiet room in your house or the library. Avoid places where you could be distracted or tempted by electronic devices such as the television .
2. Prepare the material before you start
Make a list of everything you will need. Constantly disrupting your concentration to find material is not only counterproductive, but also gives you an excuse not to continue studying. Put everything you will need on the table. Try to eliminate distractions by taking anything you don’t need off the table, such as notes from other subjects.
3. Take Short Breaks
Maintaining good concentration for eight hours in a row is practically impossible. You will need to rest and distract yourself from the task at hand for a few minutes every now and then. Experts recommend taking a 15-minute break every two hours. Don’t take breaks for less or more than five to 15 minutes, but don’t skip them either, as fatigue gets in the way of learning.
4. Learn to prioritize
Not everything is equally important, so learn to prioritize your tasks. Start with the topic you think is most important and make sure you spend a lot of time on it. If you save the most difficult or complicated for last, you may be too tired to learn it properly. So plan your day so that you do the most important tasks first and estimate roughly how long it will take you.
5. Use motivation strategies
There are days when it is very difficult to get yourself to study. That’s why you have to motivate yourself . For example, give yourself a reward after you achieve a certain goal. Determine what you want to have done at the end of the day and once you have achieved that goal, do something you enjoy, such as watching an episode of your favorite series or having a drink with friends.
6. Make the material your own
We all know that studying mathematics is different from learning history. For some courses you need to know certain concepts by heart. One way to make learning easier is to internalize the things you’ve read. This does not mean that you simply read the material until it is in your memory, but also that you really understand it and are able to explain it in your own words.
Memorizing something without even trying to understand it can be helpful if your goal is to store the information in your short-term memory. But if you still want to know it after a while, it can help to think about real-life examples that relate to something you’ve learned.
7. Listen to music
Not everyone can concentrate in the same way. Listening to music helps some people concentrate, but it all depends on the way you study and the material you are learning. In general, classical music or relaxed music can be enjoyable while studying. Music can play a useful role in learning, especially in tasks that require creativity.
8. Turn off your phone
If you’re about to go to college, make sure your phone isn’t next to you. Constantly reading emails and texts will interrupt learning every few minutes, making it extremely difficult to concentrate. Use your breaks to check your phone and talk to people.
9. Try not to study the last few hours before an exam
It’s counterproductive. It is best to study the days before the exam and sleep well the night before. Research shows that sleeping after new information is stored in the brain helps to consolidate that information in your memory. So it’s more important to get a good night’s sleep the night before than to use the night to review information that will never be consolidated anyway. A lack of sleep will also have a negative effect on your performance during the exam.
Everyone knows which study strategies work best for them, so approach and interpret these suggestions based on your own skills and goals. Attention, motivation and concentration are important variables that you must learn to regulate if you want to get the most out of your potential.