Tips to Help You Study
It’s time to head back to school, and along with the fun, learning is also on the docket.
How do you (or your children) feel about your study skills? Have they worked for you in the past, or do you think a change is in order? Do you feel like you study, but your grades don’t reflect it?
Whether you’ll be going back to school or you have kids that are – you might need some tips for a successful year.
Do you study for a test or finish an assignment at the last minute?
It’s inarguably difficult to cram everything into your head or sufficiently finish a project mere hours before they’re due. Fortunately, there are time management skills that’ll come in handy.
- Use a calendar to plan your study time
- Have a large visible wall calendar to keep you aware of upcoming deadlines – that way they won’t sneak up on you
- Create a studying timetable
- Make your studying habits a routine
Can you easily recall the information you learn in class? If not, try these:
- Review your notes as soon as possible after class – it’ll allow you the opportunity to add things you didn’t have enough time to write down in class
- Review the material every day
- Focus on the hard stuff first
- Don’t overwhelm yourself – break up the content into smaller chunks
- Be prepared – Read new material before class – you’ll be more familiar with the information, and you’ll get a lot more out of your in-class time
Did you know there are different types of learners? Which type(s) are you?
- Auditory – learns best by listening
- Read notes aloud to yourself
- Put your electronics to use and record yourself explaining the information and then listen to it – it’s a twofer
- Visual – learns best by seeing
- Color-code your notes or flashcards
- Highlight key points
- Draw diagrams
- Tactile/Kinesthetic – learns best by doing
- Build models – especially helpful for science
- Using your hands engages your brain – Re-write your notes by hand instead of typing them
Now that you know your particular learning style, how can you incorporate it into studying?
- Use previous exams or quizzes to review for tests
- Study groups
- Your classmates or those who’ve taken the class before may be able to explain concepts and answer your questions
- Teaching others helps you learn
- Make sure you stay focused – Set a timer for studying and one for downtime
- Make quizzes – Use online resources or apps
- Create mnemonic devices
All work and no play, well, all work and no rest, can make your brain dull.
- Take breaks
- Studying non-stop can deplete your energy
- Give your brain time to recover and take a walk around the block
- Vitamin D is essential for a healthy brain
- Aerobic exercise can be energizing
- Drink caffeine
- Research suggests caffeine boosts your alertness and attention
- Pick your poison – coffee, tea, dark chocolate
- Set time limits for studying – use a stopwatch to calculate how long you’ve been studying and when you should take a break
- Stay away from social media. A short peek could quickly add up to many lost hours
Make sure to take care of yourself – a healthy body leads to successful studying. How can you capitalize on your health?
- Get enough sleep
- Move your body
- Enjoy time in nature
- Drink water – hydration is essential – for everything
- Eat well – healthy fuel means a good working brain
- “Brain Foods” include fatty fish, broccoli, leafy greens, and dark chocolate
- Meditate and practice deep-breathing techniques
Good study habits are critical to a successful learning experience. So, start the school year off right by incorporating these ideas!