Ranging from our DNA to our behavior, our likes to dislikes, and our character to beliefs we all bear differences. This uniqueness is best highlighted in our study approaches, our ability to retain information and apply studied concepts in the right context.
Some of us can retain the concepts we have encountered better than others while others employ an assortment of tricks to boost their understanding. Fortunately, we can improve our study approach by employing various techniques that are relevant to our interests.
This article will highlight various creative ways to study and provide some tips to make the most of your study sessions.
Essential study skills: ways to study smart
- Creating mnemonics
Remember those high school mnemonics? BODMAS, SOHCAHTOA, and the one for planets. If so, you have the true metric of how potent a mnemonic is for retaining information.
Mnemonics are easier to memorize and help you master the order in which events should occur. However, make sure to test your mastery of the mnemonic and what it stands for. Often, students conjure unique mnemonics, only to recall the mnemonic, forgetting the ideas represented by each letter.
Set time aside in your morning prep when you are most active and go over the mnemonic to solidify your mastery of the mnemonic.
- Make a song
Have you noticed how fast you can master the lyrics to a tune and in no time sing along to the tune? Unlike plain text, music provides a tune, adding on the cues to employ when retrieving the information you’ve encountered.
Music is thus a powerful tune for spicing up your study and increasing your capacity for retrieving the information you have encountered during your study. Songs can be used to master the occurrence of events in a story, thus most useful in history and the study of novels.
As seen in the previous step, the key factor for considering an innovative study technique is to increase the cues for retrieving the information you’ve covered. Like music, visual cues are easier to recall as they bear various unique objects that we can associate with a concept.
These symbols should highlight the peculiarities of an idea or relate the ideas with items that are familiar and amusing. For instance, presenting a plate of food, followed by a locked gate and a hug may help you to better visualize Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as opposed to plain words.
- Create a summary
Comprehending a chunk of text can prove a challenging task. Besides the plethora of words you are needed to commit to mind, various ideas may be lost with this approach.
Summaries help you to track your key ideas easily and to commit key points to mind for easy retrieval. When making your summary, first go through the text and highlight the critical ideas you want to recall.
- Teach a friend
Teaching is a great way to separate the key points from the frippery content of a topic. When teaching your friend, you also get to understand the areas you have not properly understood and the challenges encountered when approaching various ideas.
Teaching thus helps you identify gaps in your understanding and common mistakes when handling various concepts.
How to be productive in studying
Now that you’ve mastered the ways to get motivated to study let’s address the methods to ensure productivity in each study session.
- Chunk your work into small sessions
Although we all feel pressured to handle a huge chunk of content to get done with studied material fast, covering a topic in one sitting barely does us any good. You should prepare a schedule and plan for a small portion of work per session.
This allows you to maintain focus as you cover various ideas and to better internalize the concepts tackled per session.
- Employ the Pomodoro technique
When studying for long sessions, break them into thirty-minute sessions spaced with five minutes breaks. These breaks allow you to cool off and thus concentrate on the concepts you want to cover.
You can have the best books, and quality resources and employ the best ways to study. Without adequate rest, however, you might as well opt not to study. Inadequate rest blurs your capacity to comprehend studied ideas, thus resulting in a compromised capacity to recall studied concepts.
We recommend that you set aside ample time for rest and refrain from the pressure of spending your entire night working on assignments in a bid to beat deadlines. Preferably, handle these tasks when you are free during the day and start early enough after receiving your assignment.
The importance of study skills cannot be overstated. Besides ensuring better performance, study skills allow you to make the most of study sessions, allowing you to cover your content in the time you’ve scheduled.
Here, we have highlighted some of the key study skills to achieve academic success. In case you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to consult our experts for guidance.