This article will show you some effective study methods and will explain to you how to study effectively. You found this blog as you are probably searching for effective study techniques that will help you to succeed in a test, pass an exam or to improve your study skills. This article presents you some of the most effective study methods that you can implement when studying for your exams or when studying for college.
However, knowing and applying effective study methods is not enough to succeed in college/university, therefore I would recommend you also to have a look at the following articles:
Effective Study Methods
Create a good study environment
One of the best places to study effectively is the library as it is a quite environment, where conversations are not tolerated or are only permitted in whispers. A library is also an excellent place where you much likely won´t get distracted as you will be asked to turn off your mobile phone. However, if you prepare to study at home you should look for a place where you won´t get distracted by any means (friends, parents, siblings, TV, internet, telephone, etc.). The better you can avoid distractions the more you can concentrate yourself to study effectively.
Improve your concentration
Concentration is a very important factor as it will help you to direct your whole attention and focus towards what you want to study. Here are some tips that help you to improve your concentration:
- Avoid daydreaming
- Choose a quiet and peaceful study environment
- Avoid distractions
- Be interested in what you have to study
Choose a study time
It is very important to know at what time of the day you are most efficient, as it helps you to use the time when you peak performance to study in an effective way. The following chart shows you the periods when a person is concentrated the most, which is generally in the morning (from approx. 8 AM to 11 AM and in the evening from approx. 5 PM to 9 PM). Try to evaluate the periods when you peak concentration and use this time to study.
What type of studying suits you best?
Every one of us is applying different studying methods, some of them are very effective others are not. The basic types of studying are Visual, Auditory, Emotional and Kinesthetic, but most of us are combining these three types unconsciously.
- Visual Learners
A Visual learner can study in an effective way when the learning material is depicted in a visual way; e.g. in the form of charts, maps or brainstorming. In order to study effectively, you should try to transfer the learning material into tables, charts or whatever suits you most that allows you to depict your material. Another very helpful tip is to highlight important notes in your study material with colorful markers.
- Auditory Learners
An Auditory learner can study most effective when he can hear the material that needs to be remembered. You can do this by recording yourself reading your most important notes and mentioning the most important aspects or points of a topic. Afterward, you can listen to what you have recorded and visualize the important aspects you are talking about. After you finished listening to your record you can try to summarize what you just heard by explaining it to yourself. Another very effective way for an auditory learner is to join learning groups where he can speak with like-minded people about the study material.
- Emotional Learners
Emotional learners can improve their study skills by associating feelings and emotions towards their studying material. I have discovered for myself that one of the most effective ways for me to remember something is by associating emotions with the topic that I would like to memorize. I noticed this as I found myself being able to remember nearly every title and name of the artists of songs that I really liked, without any effort! The more positive emotions I can associate the more likely I will remember it.
- Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners can study most effective when they can experience what they have to study. “Learning by doing” would be an excellent description for a kinesthetic learner, as they seek for distraction while studying (TV, music, etc.) and want to experience their studies more physical. This can be achieved by changing the study-place more often, pacing around the room or studying while in activities such as ironing, riding the exercise bike, eating or watching TV. Besides this, it is important to experience the study material, which can be achieved by visualizing what needs to remembered. It is very important to note that the kinesthetic studying methods only work for kinesthetic learners as they tend to distract the other learning types.
Apply Memorizing Techniques:
- Repetition: In order to remember something effectively we need to move it from our Short Term Memory to the Long Term Memory. This can be achieved by repeating what you want to study over and over. Repetition can be achieved by depicting the study material into graphs, reading the study material out loud and listening to it thereafter and by visualizing the learning material.
- Association: You can associate things to be remembered by creating mnemonics and/or by linking it to visual images or experiences. You can associate study material by linking it to self-created stories, images, colors, smells, and feelings. Whenever you need to remember what you have associated you just need to think of the story/image/etc. that you have linked to it and it will be very easy for you to recall the associated memory.
- Summarize: A lot of students are overwhelmed when they have to memorize the whole content of a book that is the main part of one of their exams. Writing short summaries that highlight the most important points of a chapter can be utterly helpful to simplify information-heavy materials. Once you have summarized everything (I prefer a word processor, but you can also write it down on paper) you have a summing that contains the most important things you need to remember for your exam/test. Now, in order to memorize and remember the content of your summary, you should read the sentences out loud before you close your eyes and try to memorize the whole sentence.
- Acronyms They can often be an excellent mnemonic that helps you to remember difficult words that you tend to forget. Acronyms work especially great when you can form relatively easy to remember acronyms, such as S.M.A.R.T (which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed). When you are able to remember the acronym you will most likely be able to remember the words that are associated with it as well.
- Rhythm & Music Do you remember the time when you learned the ABC? Well, if not then just ask a child to recite the ABC for you and you will notice that there is a certain rhythm, as children all over the world learn the ABC by singing it or by hearing the tune of music. You can make use of this memorizing technique by signing what you want to remember to a familiar tune.
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