When studying for a big test, it can be difficult to know which study methods will help you learn faster and more efficiently. Fortunately, there are seven proven strategies for studying that have been scientifically proven to boost your grades.
Mastering these strategies requires repetition! No matter if you’re in school or at a post-secondary institution, these tips will help you study smarter rather than harder.
1. Set a Goal
Goal setting is essential for student success, and research backs this up. Studies have even shown that people who set goals earn ten times more than those without.
Goals are tangible and specific targets that can be reached within a certain period of time, making it easier to monitor progress and stay motivated. They also help you meet deadlines while maintaining focus on studies.
As a student, your goals can range from short-term (like finishing an assignment or assessment), mid-term (like earning a qualification), to long-term (like graduating from university). It is essential to set realistic objectives that fit within the context of study life and are achievable.
The SMART acronym can be an invaluable tool in setting achievable goals. It was developed through research and contains five core components: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific.
Writing down your goals and posting them somewhere you can see them daily – such as on the fridge or bathroom mirror – is a wise idea. Additionally, breaking them up into smaller, more manageable tasks with action plans can help ensure success.
2. Break It Up
A well-deserved break from studying can recharge your batteries and give the brain some much needed rest. Walking, having a snack or watching an old show are all excellent ways to improve mental health and reduce stress levels.
One of the best ideas I ever came across was setting a timer and assigning an amount for each study session, so you know exactly how long to focus on each subject. Doing this helps prevent getting into a rut and gives your body time to figure out what it needs most during certain tasks.
Studying is the most advantageous thing you can do from anywhere, anytime with anyone. There are countless online sites offering study guides, materials and tools to make the most of both your time and money.
As a student, I can attest that while it is possible to get through class without taking breaks, doing so without feeling like you’re being taken advantage of is difficult. To prevent this from happening, create an organized plan with timer reminders for breaks and rewards for completing assigned tasks. This way, you won’t feel cheated out of valuable study time or energy.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks are beneficial to your mind and energy level. To make the most of these opportunities, plan ahead and adhere to your break schedule.
Studies have demonstrated that the longer you work without taking a break, the worse off you’ll perform. Therefore, try to take short breaks every 90 minutes if possible.
You can also try to switch up what activities you do during your break. This could include simply clearing your mind or doing some light physical activity like stretching.
Another strategy is to compile a list of activities you enjoy doing and pick one that will allow you to relax during study breaks. Doing this makes it easier to stick with your break schedule and stay focused on what matters most during these times.
Studying for an exam or simply reviewing notes can help you stay focused and maximize the efficiency of your study time. But it’s essential that these breaks not be used as an excuse for procrastination!
4. Don’t Forget About Vocabulary Words
When learning English, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting them. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to avoid this issue and ensure your progress in language acquisition remains on track.
You’ll find the most efficient way to memorize vocabulary is to pause and think deeply about it, then practice saying it multiple times. You can do this by writing it down, reading it aloud, or listening repeatedly.
Another effective strategy for memorizing new words is by associating them with real-world objects or experiences. For instance, if you’re learning the French word for pillow, imagine your favorite pillow as the image to accompany it.
These associations are an effective way to retain words in your memory and maximize study efficiency. Give these techniques a try next time you need to memorize some new words; they’ll help you remember them better and boost your vocabulary while increasing conversational comfort level! Whether studying independently or with a tutor, these techniques can help boost vocabulary levels and maximize communication confidence.
5. End With Your Favorite Tasks
As the semester draws to a close, you may be feeling overwhelmed with assignments, tests, and life outside school. If this sounds like you, don’t worry; many students experience this feeling at some point during their college tenure.
Focus is key when studying. Create a list of your most important tasks and prioritize them accordingly; this could include reading a chapter from your textbook, reviewing an exam questions, or making study notes.
A well-organized list will also remind you when it’s time for a break, so set aside time for it. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much more productive you can be when organizing your study sessions into manageable chunks rather than trying to squeeze everything in at once.
Studying can be a rewarding experience if you add some fun into it. That doesn’t have to mean spending hours studying, but it will keep your interest in studies and prevent boredom with routine tasks. This doesn’t have to be something grand like visiting the casino or playing video games – you could just relax with a cup of coffee!
6. Make Sure You’re Listening to Quiet Music
Working in a noisy room can be an exhausting experience, but providing yourself with a soothing soundtrack can help you focus. Listening to soft electronic, ambient or space music, for example, may help mask background noise and enhance concentration levels.
Music can enhance memory and reasoning skills. Music helps you make more accurate predictions about events, while improving your capacity to reason without all the information at your disposal.
Additionally, listening to music can aid memory retention – particularly helpful during exams. This is because it helps you recall words and phrases which might otherwise be difficult to recall without distractions.
When working on a maths problem or essay, music that’s too loud can distract you and hinder progress. Instead, opt for quiet songs that aren’t too fast or complex.
7. Always Practice
As a student, you have likely heard the adage “practice makes perfect,” but accepting its truth can be challenging. This sentiment holds especially true when it comes to developing academic skills.
Studies show that although the learning from a single practice session will likely fade within 24 hours, repeated practice in short intervals over several days or weeks (distributed practice) makes it much easier to retain what was learned. This is because your brain has limited capacity for working memory; it can only hold so many things at once before becoming overtaxed.
When studying for a test, it’s essential to spend as much time practicing as possible so your facts are fresh and familiar before taking the final exam. Doing this will also help you retain information longer periods of time which could impact how well you perform on test day.
Finally, it’s essential to identify your best study times and have a variety of places where you can study that suit your style and preferences. Whether it’s the library or staying up late at your dorm, knowing where your most productive moments occur allows for effective use of study sessions.