Study Tips that Really Work
Unless you’re lucky enough to possess a photographic memory, studying for an important exam can be a stressful process. There are many ways to greatly reduce this stress
Get into a routine
One of the most basic ways to reduce the amount of stress experienced when studying is to develop the following general habits:
- Make studying as much a part of your daily routine as eating is.
- Manage your study time wisely, and create a schedule that will allow you to complete your tasks on time.
- Use the same study area every time you study, and choose an area that is free from distractions as possible.
- Learn from your classmates by creating a study group with them.
- Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.
Basic Study Tips
Try some of these specific study tips the next time you study:
- New information is processed by the brain by connecting it to already known information. When first thinking about new information, always try to connect it to something you already know.
- Try to connect new ideas or information to your “real” life. In addition, try to make new concepts your own, so that you will not easily be able to forget them.
- Take good notes from your textbook and the instructor’s notes, so that you have ready-made material to study from. Always focus on the key facts as well.
- “Over-learn” the material. Review your study material often - not just once or twice.
- Use acronyms when studying to make information easier to remember. For example, HOMES = the five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
- Use visualization tools when studying. For example, convert concepts and information into images, graphs or timelines, or create a flow chart of the material.
- Recite your study material aloud. Saying new ideas aloud in your own words strengthens brain connections and will make it easier for you to remember them.
- Study often and keep it short. Four short study periods a week are more effective than two long ones. Study periods should ideally last no more than 50 minutes.
- Break large tasks (e.g. long chapters) into smaller chunks.
- Reward yourself. When you complete a study goal, give yourself a small reward.
- Switch subjects frequently. To help you avoid boredom, try switching the subjects you are studying more frequently.
- Study your most difficult subjects first. We are most alert when we first begin studying, so that is when you will be in the best shape to tackle your most difficult study material.
Study when you're wide awake
Study when you’re wide awake! You’ll remember much more and will need less time to study!