There are always ways to improve one’s study skills whether you are a school or a college student or even a graduate pursuing higher studies or preparing for competitive exams. Although individual techniques may differ with the level of education, there are some common themes and strategies which may be applied to improve significantly your ability to study and score better.
The most important thing to do is to strategize your learning techniques according to your ability and requirement. The techniques you adopt must be realistic and applicable to the level of education you are pursuing. Here are a few basic pointers and strategies for effective studying:
1. Manage Your Time
Learn to keep a balance between various activities of the day. Keep track of how much time you spend and how much time you need to spend on studying, leisure activities and family time. Decide which subjects you need to pay more attention to. Spend more time with harder subjects.
2. Start With What You Like
Quite contrary to most opinions, it is better to start with an easier topic or a topic/subject you like to study. Then move your way towards the harder subjects. This makes for less procrastination and more productive work. Starting your day with a pleasant thing is always better. You can also opt to alternate between harder and easier topics to avoid getting tired.
3. Take Proper Notes
Make proper and concise notes for yourself. Do not use other’s notes if possible. Use your own techniques to make notes to learn things faster and more easily. Everyone has a different style which may not someone else. Use abbreviations and highlight the important points. Go wild with your bright highlighter pen if you have to! Use diagrams and visuals to remember facts or figures.
4. Use Audio and Visual Aids
Using audio or visual imagery is a good technique to remember and retain what you have learnt longer than when you do rote learning. Use audio books or songs to make learning multiplication tables easier, for instance. Use diagrams, pictures and flowcharts for studying complex processes in biology or other subjects. Photographic memory is always a great tool for memory retention.
5. Test yourself
Revise what you have learnt by testing yourself. Ask yourself questions or quiz yourself (without cheating of course!). You can even ask a friend or parent to take a short, fun quiz. This will help you get to know what you already know and what you still need to work on.
6. Do Additional Research
Looking up more information on what you are studying will not only improve your own knowledge and help you stay one step ahead, but also make the process of studying more enjoyable. Understanding what you study is the key, not mugging up what the textbooks say.
7. Use Memorization Techniques
Use techniques like mnemonics and visual mapping to remember stuff. Make easy-to-read diagrams and flash cards to remember key processes, key terms and formulae. Inventing acronyms to remember chronologies, or long words, or series of information is a good idea.
These methods should help children and adults alike to study better and learn more, with less effort. Learning is more important than scoring more marks in class. However, if followed properly, these techniques should help with scoring high marks as well.