Top Study Tips For Students

Learn about the top study tips for students.
Submitted by Mehak Aggarwal, on February 08, 2023

'Study smarter, not harder'. Most of you must have heard this quote at least once in your life. Effective study methods are helpful because they include various engaging methods of learning. There is a difference between memorizing something and actually retaining that knowledge. The best studying comes from retaining the information that you are feeding your brain.

Planning ahead and actually finding useful methods that help you, in the long run, play a huge role in your success. Our blog today offers various study tips and different strategies that can help you achieve your goals. Every person is different. One method that is best suited for you may be different from that of someone else. Read on to find out more, and try to adapt techniques that help you.

Study Tips For Students

1) Understand the study cycle

The study cycle is a method of study developed by Frank Christ. It breaks down different aspects of studying into 5 parts: Previewing, Attending Classes, Reviewing, Studying, and Checking your Understanding. This is as simple as it sounds, but it is important to follow each step thoroughly to get the most out of this system. If you understand the study cycle properly, you will be able to learn effectively and make sure that you do not miss out on any opportunities. This will also give you a clear understanding of how to proceed further, step by step.

2) Avoid Multitasking

To get the best results out of your study sessions, you should avoid distractions at all costs. These days students are easily distracted by social media, games, texting, internet browsing, etc. This can majorly affect your studies. If you engage in multitasking, you will most likely not be able to prioritize what is most important. Eliminating distractions allows you to focus better, and learn more. You will be able to fully engage in your studies. Separate the time you engage in your phone or computer. When you are taking a break after a couple of hours of studying, you can scroll through your phone.

3) Space out your studying properly

Do not cram. If you try to learn everything at the very last minute, you are most likely to forget everything. Cramming will not help you in retaining the information, it will only help you memorize it for a short period. Since your understanding will also be hampered, you will be wasting your time instead of investing it in doing something productive. Learn to space out your study sessions. Instead of trying to learn all topics in one day, you can take four days to learn everything. You can't overfill your head with information in one go. Learn a bit today and a bit tomorrow.

4) Practice makes a man perfect

If you want to be able to learn something and retain that information, you need to keep practicing it. Good preparation takes practice. If you are learning something for the first time, you cannot expect your brain to remember that information if you just feed it to your brain once. When you give your brain the same piece of information again and again and practice till you remember it, you will remember it for a long time. Remember, you are not studying to retain information just for a day or two. You study to understand a topic, learn and remember it. Like in every other walk of life, in studying too, practice makes a man perfect.

5) Don't re-read books or material just for the sake of reading

Much too often, students re-read the same material and books over and over again without understanding what is written. You will not get all the answers just by going through a textbook, because you need to have an actual understanding of what the book says. You will not know how much you truly understand till you try solving questions on your own. That is the difference between reading study material and a novel. While reading study material, you are trying to get some knowledge out of the book that you will have to remember later on, whereas you read a novel to just read the story. Don't waste your time doing something that will not benefit you in any way.

6) Learn from your mistakes

It is okay to make mistakes while you are studying. You are not expected to know everything, and you are most certainly not expected to be perfect at it. As you move forward, you are bound to make certain mistakes. What you do when you make these mistakes is what matters. It is a scientific fact that making mistakes boosts your understanding. This will help you analyze where you need extra work. Also, when you make a mistake, you go back and refer to the material again, giving yourself the chance to revisit the topics. This boosts your knowledge. Never shy away from your mistakes and embrace them to their fullest. This will give you a chance to rectify them and ensure that you will not repeat them in the future, especially during an exam.

7) Learn using examples

It is easier to learn when you form a mental picture of the topic in your head when you understand it with the help of examples. When you try to learn abstract topics off-hand, you are bound to find it challenging. When you are going through a topic, find an example that best resonates with it. That way, even if you forget the exact wording, you will be able to remember the moment you remember the resonating example. Any new topic takes time to understand. You can't expect your brain to remember everything offhand, especially if you are feeding it with a lot of information. Attaching an example to the toughest of topics make it extremely easy to remember.

8) Mix up the subjects

Another way to study better is to mix up different subjects instead of spending all day on one subject. As in most other cases, you are putting in more information in your brain than it can handle. When you keep digging into a topic for long periods, you are bound to tire your brain. The best way is to switch up the subjects. Spend a dedicated amount of time studying one subject in a day. When you are through with it, take a small break to refresh your mind. When you get back to your studies, pick a different subject. This will free up your brain a little and give it more space to retain a bit of particular information at a time.

9) Keep testing yourself

You are taking one step by going through the material. But how do you know if you are genuinely understanding and remember what you just read about? The end goal is to come out of the study session with productive information. Right after you finish a topic, test yourself to see where you stand and how much you have learnt. When you switch up subjects and topics, go back to all the topics and subjects at the end of the day one more time to quiz yourself. There are multiple ways to go about this. You can make flashcards every time you learn a new piece of information. You can cover the textbook and try to remember what learned. You can also get a friend or a family member to ask you questions on the topics you were studying. Another effective way is to go through the questions at the end of a textbook or on the internet, and see how much you know.

10) Study at your own pace

Every person has their own pace. Some could be fast learners, and others may need more time to learn the same thing. Only you can understand the pace that is best suited for you. Do not try to match someone else's pace. You don't have to feel pressured if someone learns faster than you. It is completely okay to invest more time in a topic if that is what helps you understand it better. First, find out your pace, then go as per it. Do not overdo it, but do not underdo it either. You don't want to invest more time in something than you need. This is not about wasting your time, but actually about finding a method that helps you out the best in the long run.

11) Take Breaks

Putting in long continuous hours without taking breaks is a bad approach. The mind, like the body, needs rest. Walking and running are exercises for the body, and similarly feeding your brain with information is an exercise for your mind. Just like the body, the brain too gets tired. Do not forget to take breaks occasionally. Exhaustion prevents you from performing your best. Getting adequate sleep is integral for the brain to function. This is why scheduling your study time is so important. Do not stay up all night to cram for an exam. Spend the night getting good sleep, so that your mind can be refreshed and at ease the next day. You can study in the daytime and indulge in relaxing activities when you feel tired. Remember- while taking breaks occasionally is good, do not overdo it by taking longer breaks than the hours you invest in studies.

12) Silence your mobile phone and keep it aside

Mobile phones are the biggest temptations in today's world, especially for youngsters. This is also the easiest distraction you can find. One scroll and you will be addicted to the device for the next hour or so. If you keep your phone close to yourself while you are studying, you are bound to get distracted. This will break your concentration and flow. If you get a notification, you will be tempted to check it, and before you know it you will be all over the internet. It will take you a lot of time to shift your focus back to your studies. Silencing the phone will keep it quiet, but you will still be able to see the notifications pop up. If this does not work for you and you are still too tempted, you can try to switch off your phone. This will keep the distractions at bay.

13) Make Notes

Making notes is a great way of studying. It is one thing to learn something just by reading it, but it is a scientifically proven fact that when you write something, you remember it longer. Writing by hand helps you push the information deeper into your brain. When you read as well as write the same thing, your brain remembers it longer. Of course, you still have to go back to what you wrote down to retain that information, but it makes the process a bit easier. This also helps when you are learning something in the classroom. If you are reading off of a board, you will most likely not remember it when you go back home. This is where note-making comes into play. This will prove to be extremely helpful later on. You will have something to refer to later on, especially when you are trying to learn the topic.

14) Be Organised

A disorganized person does not have a clearly defined plan of action, whereas an organized person knows his or her priorities and sets them straight. An organized study is an effective study. When you sit down to study, you want to have all the materials you need right in front of you. The organization also means that you need to have a plan of action that works. Understand the areas where you need the most work, and keep referring back to them. The parts that you are most confident about should be done at the beginning and revised at the end of the day. Being systematic is the key. Divide your days in a way that is best suited to your schedule. Understand what topics you need to work on what days, and how much extra time you need to get through your weak areas.

15) Be the teacher

To teach others, you must first fully understand the information yourself. When you are trying to learn something new, challenge yourself to figure out how you will teach it to others. While you try to work through this, you will find new ways of learning concepts that will help you gain a better understanding of the material at hand. You can try to gather your friends or classmates for a little study session, where you take turns in trying to teach other certain topics. When you recite your presentation out loud, the details will stick in your brain, while simultaneously helping others understand the topic better. Your audience may even be able to point out any gaps in your understanding.

16) Set reasonable goals

Do not try to overachieve, it never helps. While it is important to set small goals daily to achieve your target, do not set unreasonable targets. Yes, you want to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can, so that you can be done as soon as possible. That is not the way to go about things, because it will not get you anywhere in the long run. You need to set small achievable goals at the start of the day, which you need to follow throughout the day. When you have a plan or a target, you will work in the right direction to achieve it. If you are directionless, you will run in different directions and not achieve anything from it at the end of the day. Understand how much you can achieve and do not try to achieve too much to the point that it becomes unreasonable.

Final Thoughts

Different people have different approaches, and it is okay if you have a different approach from your friends and peers. As long as what you are doing is giving you productive results, you are good to go. These are a couple of tips that will help an average student, but if you are an overachiever, stick to the methods that have worked for you till now. At the end of the day, the goal is to make the most of your study sessions.

If you go about it the correct way, you can finish your course in half the time than you would if you go about it haphazardly. Sometimes less is more. Find your balance and stick to it. Keep your head clear, and don't try to overdo it to the point that you don't get anywhere. Find out the different strategies that can help you achieve your goals. Every person is different. One method that is best suited for you may be different from that of someone else. Read on to find out more, and try to adapt techniques that help you.

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