With the rising competition and increasingly difficult curriculums in schools and universities, students probably need more and more help with studying to stay ahead and make learning a little easier. With the use of correct strategies and methods, a student of any level can hope to reach his full potential when it comes to academics.
Here are a few tips to make the learning process a little easier to cater to the hard academic life today:
1. Appropriate Environment
Choose a good and encouraging environment to study in. Keep away from things and people that discourage you or disturb you. Maintain a quiet study ambience for focus and concentration. If such an environment is not available at home, go to a library or any other quiet place to study.
2. 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.
3. Use Visual Imagery
Place note cards around the house with words or facts on the fridge, your closet, on the cookie jar to learn and remember things more easily. This technique helps particularly when learning a new language, or trying to memorize dates or hard-to-remember facts or even words. Another good way is to have a ‘Word of the Day’ put up everyday to learn new words.
4. Use Audio-Visual Aids
Using both the senses of sight and hearing will make learning a topic much faster and easier. 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. Even television and internet are good tools for memory retention and understanding concepts.
5. Practical Learning
Rather than mugging up what you learn in school, go watch it live or if possible, practice it to get the feel of things and learn by experience. Things learnt practically are hard to forget. For instance, if you are being taught about germination of seeds, grow a small plant yourself. If you are being taught about how glass is made, go to a glass-making factory and watch the process for yourself.
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. 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.
8. Use Association
Learn by making connections between different things that you learn and already know. If you learning about the American Civil Wars, for instance, make connections with other civil wars that you know about. Or compare it with conditions in other parts of the world during this time. Word association can be used to learn new languages.