12 Jan 6 Ways To Study Smart
It’s all about quality rather than quantity. There are many who sit down to study for countless hours in a row, cramming their heads with information and then feeling a false sense of relief after completing chapters. The next day they go to class and realise they haven’t the faintest idea of what they learnt the night before. This is because they have not absorbed the crammed material. The average attention span while studying is about 25 minutes.
1. Study breaks help!
Therefore, take breaks. All it takes is 5 minutes to regain your focus. A 5 minute break every 25 minutes will help you to absorb what you have learnt. Once you have found your rhythm extend the study time to another 25 minutes. So, take a 5-minute break every 50 minutes and so on. This is how you can train yourself to study effectively for longer periods of time.
2. Create a Study Space
Creating a space for studying is imperative. You need to study in a place that is free from distraction. In Covid-19 times, it may be difficult to access a library. At home, you may struggle with space but try to create your own study corner. It will be great if you can get a study lamp. This lamp should be used only for studying. Turn your desk away from your bed, face a blank wall and switch on your lamp. The moment you feel you have lost your focus switch the lamp off, get up and take a break. This will start reinforcing your study habit. The moment the light is turned on again you are ready to go. Studies show that students who practiced this were 1 grade point higher just by simply creating a study area. (Marty Lobdell)
3. Concepts over facts
Learn the concept rather than just the facts. Ask the question – What am I learning? Is it a concept or a fact? Understanding the name of a bone is a fact. Understanding what it does in the body is a concept. If you simply memorize and don’t understand the comprehension of the actual concept, it is a lot of wasted learning. Concepts once grasped can stay with you a lifetime. Facts can easily be confused, that is why we have Google. Once you learn something, look up from the book and put the concept down in your own words. If you can’t, then you have not really understood.
The moment you finish a class, go over your notes again and give it depth. Elaborate on the points. If you wait to go home and try to do it later you would have already forgotten some information. This makes it much easier to recall when you finally study or do a review before a test. Spend 10 minutes every week reviewing your notes.
Sleep! The most basic advice that college students receive is often ignored. We all know it but very few actually do it. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is the most crucial stage of sleep. This typically occurs towards the end of a 6-8 hour sleep cycle. During this stage the brain rejuvenates. This is very important for learners, because this is where the brain solidifies everything it has learned the night before and removes unnecessary memories to make space for new information. If you do not get enough sleep, the brain will find it difficult to take in new information the next day. Memory, attention and coordination significantly reduce without adequate sleep. It’s best to establish a routine everyday. Go to sleep at one set time and get up at one set time. Do not change the sleep schedule as much as you can help it. This will give your body a rhythm and you will find it easier to go to sleep as well as get up the next day. kqued.org
6. Take SQ3R Test
While reading text-books follow SQ3R – Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. Survey by going through the entire chapter. While surveying, ask questions simultaneously. What this is doing is making you look for the answer. When you are actively looking for a piece of information you find it and learn it quicker. If you just read it haphazardly, most of what you read will not be absorbed.
These study tips will help you to study more efficiently, cutting out as much stress as possible. You will be more aware of your study habits and that can help you gauge where you need to improve.