Improving your studying approach is an important skill to master for your university studies. Add on the stress of a full-time job and it becomes even more essential to master the art of studying effectively. Instead of burning the midnight oil, scientific research has proven ways in which your brain can process and learn information smarter and within shorter time spans.
Here are a few tips you can apply to your own life so you study smarter:
- Study in short small chunks. Break up your studies into twenty 30-minute sessions. According to scientists, your brain is better at coding information in short repeated chunks as opposed to one large chunk. This is also true when you’re learning different skills.
- Set up specific times to study. Scientists suggest that after prolonged study sessions, reasoning and memory may be affected by up to 4 days. Setting up specific times to study trains your brain to develop a routine, and overtime studying becomes easier as your brain is trained to study during those times.
- Use key cards to understand concepts. Key cards are said to be the most effective memory reinforcement tool. Plus, you can always whip them out during times of heavy traffic congestion.
- Have a specific goal for each study session. Aim to master one concept per study session. This will enable you to grasp what you’re study. To test your knowledge, see if you can to someone in simple terms. If you’re unable to, it’s a sign that you perhaps don’t understand the concept well enough.
- Study like you’re preparing to teach a lesson. When you study like you’re going to deliver a lecture your brain organises the information in a more coherent manner.
- Practice, practice, practice. As with anything you’re learning, nothing comes too easily unless you practice. Writing a practice test will enable your brain to become accustomed to the learning environment. In addition, if you make any mistakes, the practice test will help you identify gaps in your knowledge.
- Designate a study spot. A go-to study area that is well equipped with every tool you’ll need, will prime your brain for studying.
- Put your earphones and phone aside. Interruption caused by a notification on your phone is the same as to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages.
Don’t forget to take breaks between your studies. Keeping your body refreshed, will keep your mind refreshed too.