Do you believe in last night’s study before the exam??… Do you face fear and anxiety problems if the syllabus is not finished before the exam??
We know that the majority of students answer is yes…Well, this may work in the examination to get good grades but this is not going to work in the long run or to understand the concepts in depth. A lot of students lie in the category where they are unable to focus, getting distracted, feeling exhausted or procrastinate in studies. There are some students as well who try to study for 5-6 hours but they only complete three chapters which they are expected to complete 5-6. These are some common problems in students and the reasons are different.
What could be the reason…???
If you will look at some students who are good at studies, you will find that they all follow some techniques, they all have some hacks, they all follow some smart study tips. Every student has their own strategy or tips to follow but being good in studies also depends on the ability to grasp the concept. Now look at the picture below and categorize yourself in one of them.
If you are in the first category who don’t believe in last night study and maintain consistency every day learning your syllabus then we appreciate your efforts but if you lie in the second category then we advise you to change the path.
We are going to tell you some study tips and techniques that will help you to increase your memory power not to just complete the syllabus but also to understand the concept in depth. Most of the techniques are scientifically proven to be correct…
1. Study in Chunks (Follow Pomodoro Technique)
This technique says that the optimal study period in one continuous stretch is 2 hours. So you should study in chunks or segments. Break down your studies in two hours. Study for 25 minutes initially then take a break for 5 minutes. Once 4 Pomodoro is completed take a long break for 15 to 30 minutes and then repeat the process. Studying for long hours continuously can exhaust your brain. Here Zeigarnik effect works which states that the human brain tends to remember incomplete and unfinished tasks much better than it does the complete tasks. Taking a break for 5 minutes and then getting back to another Pomodoro help you in being much more clear about the concept.
2. 20% Read 80% Recite
If you are studying for the entire day continuously, your brain gets tired and stops paying attention after sometimes. What you can do is to read a concept and then close your book, ask yourself a question and try to answer it on your own words without opening the book. The perfect smart study tips are 20% read and 80% recite, this will help in making your concepts more clear.
3. Spaced Repetition
Your brain learns a concept better when you go over a topic again and again. Instead of spending the entire day going over one single topic, study one topic and then change the concept. Come back later or the next day to the previous topic which you have learned, go over the concept a little bit and then switch to the next concept. In this process, you repeat the same concept over a few days and a few times which is called spaced repetition. So rather than spending a large amount of time on a single topic follow this tip and you will realize that your brain understands the concept in a much better way.
4. Make Notes
Making notes is one of the common tips most of the students follow and we also agree that this is one of the effective tips to clear the concepts. Make notes for the concept whatever you learn in the classroom or whatever you study. Go over your class notes within minutes of the class getting over. Notes really help in making your concept clear and it helps in saving a huge amount of time.
When you make notes you pay attention in the class and you listen to your teacher actively. When you engage with the concept in your classroom and questioning the concept it makes your understanding for the concept much more clear also you grasp the concept quickly when later you go through the same topic.
- You can use multicolored set of pens to make proper notes.
- Feel free to make diagrams, flowcharts flashcards, mnemonics to give your memory visual support for learning.
- You can also try to record notes in your phone which you can listen while traveling or before going to your bed.
5. Study Like a Teacher (Feynman Technique)
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
How would you explain technology to your grandparents??…you need to make it simple right???
Richard Feynman and American physicist introduced this technique which is the best way to learn something and it can be used anywhere from understanding a simple problem to grasping quantum physics. According to this technique you need to choose a concept and then you need to teach or explain it to a kid like 5 years old, which forces you to make the concept very simple. If you can not find the words to describe it in a simple way then get your nose back into the books and simplify it once more. You need to identify the gaps in your understanding and you need to repeat the same process until or unless you don’t simply the whole concept.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
6. SQ3R (Survey, Questions, Read, Recite, Review)
This is the technique that can help you to get the most out of your syllabus. You need to follow these five steps:
- Pickup the book or syllabus and survey the chapters. Browse all the pages in a chapter.
- Go right to the questions sections. Read all the questions once before you start studying any concept in the chapter.
- Read or study the chapter now (Follow the 20% Read and 80% Recite tips)
- Close your book, ask yourself a question and recite. (Follow the 20% Read and 80% Recite tips)
- Review or revise the chapter(Follow Spaced Repetition tips)
7. Time Table
This is also one of the most common tips followed by most of the students. There is no smarter tip than planning. Plan your week, plan your entire day even plan your last hour for studies. Your brain becomes more productive when it knows what exactly has to do and for how long. Try to do an experiment for one week with different time table and observe which one is best for you. Which plan or time table is making you more productive. Stick with your time table and see the result.
8. Listen to Music Without Lyrics
It’s a scientifically proven fact that listening to music without lyrics on the loop increases focus while you study. Even Steve Jobs used to listen to music on the loop when he was making the first even MAC. So experiment with Flamenco, Classical or any kind of music with a repetitive beat so that you can enjoy while you learn.
9. Subject Variety
Instead of studying one or two subjects the entire day, studies have shown that you become more productive and effective if you study multiple subjects during the day. When you study one subject for a long period of time your brain stops paying attention to the concept after some time it faces more fatigue and confusion. Break your day into four parts such as morning. afternoon, evening, night. Try to study four different subjects in this four-session. You can also see one benefit that you periodically revise each subject and not have two longer breaks between subjects.
10. Study in a Group or With a Friend
Science has shown that studying with someone or in a group of friends enhances your ability to learn. You can use your phone to discuss the problems or steps of some concept with your friend or you can also form a group to study. This tip may not apply to everyone because many people say that studying with a friend can be distracting so make sure that you find a like-minded friend to study. When you all exchange the information with each other the concepts become more clear and it just gets stuck in your mind for a long time.
11. Information Variety
We advise you to learn the same piece of information in different ways. Research has shown that different media stimulate different parts of the brain. The more we engaged in multiple media the more we engaged in whole brain thinking and that increases the chances of understanding and retaining the concept. So if you are looking at a particular concept you can first try to read and update your notes, another day you can read your textbook, on the third day you can watch some youtube channel or refer to another online resource and the fourth day you can draw some flowchart or make some flashcard or mnemonics. Don’t try to do everything on the same day. Revise the concept in a different way so that you can grasp the concept for a longer time.
12. Place for Study
Some people will tell you that you should sit in a fixed place with a table lamp every single time you study but some people love to move around and they like to study at different places, they like to have some action when they are learning. It is totally up to you what works best for you. Once you figure out which one is best for you just stick with that. Well in research it was found that if you study at different places each day then you’re less likely to forget what it is you’re studying. When you move from your desk to the library or in a garden you force your brain to make new associations with the same content but again do some experiments and then check your productivity.
13. Sleep and Excercise
A lot of students have this question that late-night study is better or studying in the morning is better. Well, there is no right answer. Some students are productive in the morning, some prefer to study late at night. Remember that sleep is the food for your brain. Your brain gets tired and it also needs rest, so sleep for 7-8 hours every day. If you have a theory exam the next day it has been scientifically proven that the earlier you sleep at night the better you tend to perform.
Your brain produces a large number of Alpha Waves which is responsible to enhance productivity and memory, also it reduces anxiety and depression. Your brain produces these alpha waves when you wake up in the morning, just before you go to bed, after a light aerobic exercise or meditation so these are the best time to study.
Most of the students avoid exercise after studying for hours and hours but it is scientifically proven that active students perform better. Doing exercise increases blood flow and more oxygen to the brain. The dopamine that the exercise releases keep someone more motivated, productive and focused. Also, it keeps away depression, anxiety, stress, and ADHD. So to learn a lot better do some exercise every day and also take care of your diet whatever you eat on an entire day.
Some Useful Apps for Students:
- Alarmy: For those who tend to snooze or off the alarm very soon
- Todait: For those who do not stick to a plan or timetable
- Forest (Stay Focused): This one is to keep you away from distraction.