Studying can be tough, particularly if you aren’t interested in the subject matter, but it’s a necessary part of learning and advancing through the education system. The good news is there are ways to make the most of your time and learn information as fast as possible.
1. Create A Clear Schedule
Routine is the easiest way to stay on track as it subconsciously prepares your brain for what it’s about to do. Studying during scheduled times, and if possible, at the same time each day can help you focus on the material without spending the first 20 minutes trying to get in the “zone”. Write out your study schedule at the beginning of the week, make it realistic, and stick to it.
2. Bye-Bye Procrastination
We’ve all waited until the last minute and crammed for an exam the following day. And almost all of us know that it never goes too well. Space out your study time so that your brain gets a chance to process the information and turn it into long-term memory. Experiments have proved that when students have more time with the material, they learn better, so give yourself the space to study. You can do this by separating the material into different sections and tackling one section per day.
3. Use All The Learning Styles
Everyone has their own unique learning style that works best for them, many of us have multiple. If you’re trying to study, engage in a variety of techniques that go beyond just reading the material. Studies show that students who only read and reread information often don’t perform well on exams. An easy way to implement this strategy is by working with a friend, writing questions, and then verbally testing one another.
4. Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words
Visual representation allows the brain to engage with a topic on a more macro level, and it can help you study smarter without wasting hours of your day. Research shows that illustrating diagrams makes learning easier, particularly compared to written outlines. If you’re in a class where they have models or pictures, be sure to use them. Print them out, and annotate them with the information you’re trying to learn.
5. Practice Makes Progress
Practicing the act of testing is important, therefore giving yourself practice tests is a sure-fire way to get a better grade and learn the material faster. Research has shown that students who took practice tests spaced out over several weeks made full letter grade improvements against those who did not. So create a schedule, pick a section of your studies and use, or better yet write, practice tests for yourself.