Tips for Studying the Right Way
Studying is super important to your academics, but how do you do it the right way? ScienceNewsForStudents.org takes a look at these top ten study tips, so let’s see what they have to say:
Space out your studying: 30 minutes here and there (called Spaced Repetition) can really add up when it comes to studying. Cramming the night before a test, or trying to do everything at once, will not let you have time to process the information.
Practice, practice, practice: Practice problems are your best friend. A test is most likely going to include problems that are new, so the best way to prepare is to get comfortable with new problems. (For math, try khanacademy.org)
Don’t just reread your material: Reading your notes or the textbook is good but rereading it will not tell you anything new. Try to add in other study tools (like making flash cards, cheat sheets, or summaries) as you reread the material.
Test yourself: See how well you understand things when the book is not in front of you. You probably will not have your study materials on the test, so try to recall the information without them and see how you do.
Always learn from mistakes: Mistakes are okay (it's how we learn!). If you think you understand something and you are wrong, it is an opportunity to learn from that before the test.
Mix it up: If you focus on one topic, you’ll get into a rhythm and the problems will become easier. Try mixing up the problems that you do and mixing up topics. Be sure that you will know the material even if you haven’t been drilling problems one after another.
Use pictures: Pictures can be super helpful in understanding a topic and in remembering it. If there is a visual in your textbook, look at it and see if it makes sense. If there are no visuals, try to make one. A diagram or picture can help put a written concept into something you can easily memorize and recall.
Find examples: Using examples can be a great way to remember things. Putting something new you learn into something from your life can aid your ability to recall it.
Dig deeper: Now is the time to ask questions: Why do things work the way they do? Why does an equation work? Why does it matter? Where did it come from? This is an awesome way to really learn and remember new things.
Make a plan and stick to it: The hardest part of studying can be getting yourself to study. Make a schedule of when you plan to study and make yourself do it. Any time that you skip studying you will end up pushing the work back until it’s too late. Try to stick to a routine, give yourself small breaks, and try to stay on focused.
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