Are you a diligent student or do you have a master’s in procrastination? While you learn a lot while at school, one of the things they don’t seem to teach you is how to be productive when you study. Many of us waste hours revising information until our eyes glaze over, only to wake up the next day struggling to remember anything we read. To help you on your path to success, here are some foolproof study tips.
Hire a Tutor
Studying for an exam is a skill, and there are many tips and tricks that you can learn along the way to make it easier. Hiring a tutor isn’t just a good idea for those who are struggling to understand a concept. You could also consider hiring an online tutor who’s skilled in teaching people methods to retain information more easily. The best part is, you can get in contact with them and learn their valuable skills without even having to leave the house! Very handy in the times of social distancing.
Clear Your Head for Studying
To study effectively, you need to be able to focus. Start by switching off your phone or at least leaving it on silent in another room; then clear the clutter from your desk so there are no visual distractions.
If your mind keeps being drawn back to your to-do list or an unrelated topic, try writing your thoughts down on paper. This is an excellent way to get distractions out of your head so that you can focus on the task at hand.
Start Handwriting Your Notes
Since we’re living in the 21st century, there’s a good chance that you use your laptop for schoolwork and study. When was the last time you took handwritten notes? Well, now is the time to start. Studies have shown that handwriting promotes retention of information in a way that typing does not. It seems to relate to the fact that we write on paper slower than we type, meaning that our brains have to process the meaning and consider the salient points. Conversely, when we type, we can capture much more information in a short amount of time, so our minds tend to focus on recording rather than processing.
Take Regular Breaks
Studying in short bursts will also help with your retention of information. This tip doesn’t mean that you get to chill out and watch Netflix at regular intervals throughout the day. Try doing stretches near your desk, getting up and making yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or taking a quick walk around the block. These activities will give your eyes a rest and help your brain to recharge (pro tip: staring at the TV or scrolling through Instagram will not give you the same recharge). Set a time limit for each study break, aiming for around 10-15 minutes, and then get back to the grind.
Have a Studying Plan
We all tend to avoid the work we find the hardest or the least interesting. By creating a study plan, you can break down topics into different segments and set yourself a time to look at each one. Try to allocate the areas you find the most difficult into a time slot that you know you are generally feeling bright and productive. This time might differ for each person. From a psychological perspective, it’s also better to get through the tasks you want to avoid before tackling the easier areas.
Put these tips into practice, and you will soon be feeling calm, knowledgeable, and ready for the exams ahead!