Do you feel like your current study habits aren’t helping you improve your grades? Or do you need to study several subjects and prepare for simultaneous exams but are unsure where to start? When preparing for an exam or working on improving their grades, many people try to cram as much information into their brain as fast as they can. However, effective studying isn’t necessarily determined by how quickly you read information. Instead, if you use smart study strategies you can save time and get better academic results.
Here are six study tips to help improve your study habits and your grades:
1. Determine Your Best Studying Time
Students differ in their preferred studying hours. For example, you may choose to study at night, while others are more mentally active in the morning. Hence, to study effectively, determine which time you feel you’re most productive and study during those times of the day. This way, your brain can focus and absorb more information, making studying more efficient. Avoid scheduling your study time at night if you’re not used to staying up late.
You may also consider taking brain vitamins to improve your concentration when you study. According to a Wholistic Research guide, brain vitamins with amino acids, vitamins B6 and B12, may help your brain work better, especially when you’re studying and trying to absorb new information.
2. Find A Study Space That Works For You
Just as students have different preferred study times, they also have different preferences in their study environment. Some people can focus quite well when there’s background noise or even if they are in a busy environment. Other individuals can only concentrate in a quiet place with soothing music or complete silence. If you want to study smarter, determine which setup works best for you. If you feel that your current study space isn’t helping you concentrate, you may consider removing distracting background items or trying another study space such as your local library.
3. Study in Sections
It’s easy to get carried away and try to study as much material as possible, as quickly as possible. You may reason that the more information you have stored in your memory, the higher your chances of getting a better grade. If time is limited, some students may try to pull an all-nighter and cover as much material as they can. However, trying to study for long sessions will exhaust your brain and eventually affect your ability to focus and retain information.
Instead of studying in long sessions, it may be more beneficial to break your study time into sections. This will help your brain to focus on a particular topic, process the information and store it in memory. If you need to study for multiple subjects, you can set aside an hour for each while leaving 30-minute breaks in between. This will give your brain enough time to rest and reset before studying again.
4. Take Notes
Many students today don’t like taking notes by hand. Instead, they usually prefer to have all their study materials stored on their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. However, according to a recent study, taking notes is a much more effective way to retain information.
When you write notes with a pen and notebook, it forces your brain to collect and process information in a more detailed way. This helps you to store information in your memory more efficiently. While taking notes, you can decide which ideas or subjects to highlight. Writing down the essential points on flashcards may also make your study sessions easier and more organized. Remember, taking notes isn’t about how fast you can write. It’s more about taking advantage of your brain’s ability to encode and store data.
5. Read Aloud And Recall
Another trick you can use while studying is reading your notes aloud. You can choose whether to read aloud by yourself or with a friend, classmate, or tutor. Reading aloud forces you to slow down as you pronounce the words. This helps you to focus more on the points and ideas in the material you are reading. If you detect any parts you can’t comprehend, you can stop reading and look them up. Plus, reading aloud can also help you remember things better.
6. Minimize Screen Time
Some mentors or instructors may only provide digital notes and references to their students. This is one reason some students have become more comfortable studying on their electronic devices. However, reading from an electronic screen may tire your eyes faster and limit your ability to understand and remember the material. In general, students that do most of their reading from physical books or papers tend to have better academic performance than those who study primarily on a device.
Another point to consider is that studying from an electronic devices may expose you to more distractions. This is because it is easy to switch to opening your social media accounts or mobile games. If you do not have access to the physical textbook you need, you can try to print out your study materials. Not only will this make your study sessions more effective, but you will also reduce the strain on your eyes.
By following the tips mentioned above, you can make your study sessions better. However, you will need to examine your current study habits to determine the specific changes you need to make. Remember that consistency is the key to success. Once you’ve gotten accustomed to these new study strategies, stick with them and watch your grades improve.