July 3, 2020

Top tips on how to study effectively and efficiently

Leena

Studying is a challenge and often feels tough due to the pressure that is attached to learning. The content can feel overwhelming and attempting to remember all the information seems impossible. These feelings are completely understandable, but can be easily overcome with a few strategic methods to make you feel confident. Here are some of my top tips for studying effectively and efficiently.

Note taking

The notes that you take down in classes or lectures may not be the best resource to revise from. Writing your own set of notes is a key part of storing information- the process of making your own notes is what you will be able to recall. Note taking does not have to be dull as there are several techniques that can be incorporated to make notes exciting to read and write. Colour coding topics, drawing your own diagrams, creating mind maps and condensing information into key take home messages are effective methods of revision. Developing acronyms and mnemonics can also help to retain information and improve your ability to recall.

Flash cards are a great way to cover a broad range of information in a short space of time and enables revision on the move! As flash cards are small enough to carry, you could utilise short spaces of time such as your journeys into school or work to test your knowledge and remind yourself of the information.

Semantic encoding

A great way to remember complex information is to try and attach it to a story or meaning. Developing stories for each section of a topic or corresponding topics to a string of events will help to understand the information and the relevance of the content. Attaching factual knowledge or meaning to a sensory input allows us to retain information in our long term memory and allows us to recall this information more efficiently.

Using technology to your advantage

With the development in e-learning and technological advances, studying no longer needs to be simply from a textbook. There are a vast range of resources that can be utilised in addition to tutoring, which can help you excel and get the most out of your time studying. Watching videos such as visualisations of complex processes or overviews of topics can help to process the content you have learnt and guide you through information that cannot be easily explained. There are a number of websites that feature short quizzes containing overview of topics, which is beneficial for identifying areas of strength and highlights topics that you may need to revise further. Creating posters and presentations with overviews of topics could also help to increase your confidence in your knowledge, and has the added benefit of being able to share these files with others. The process of you searching for detailed information and using a variety of sources will benefit your understanding, expand your breadth of knowledge and keep you far more entertained than using one resource.

Exploring your interests

Along with studying information that is relevant for exams and tests, don’t forget to explore areas that you genuinely find interesting! A journey to learn and explore topics that are exciting to you is often a good indication of the areas you are likely to consider a career in. If you find unique detailed information about a specific topic or area and include this detail in exams or essays, it will often portray your passion and knowledge of this subject, which is a win win!

Take regular breaks

Everyone is unique and has varying levels of concentration when it comes to studying. An essential part of studying effectively is to listen to your mind and take a break when you feel you can’t focus. Regular breaks ensures that the information you are reading is processed, productivity remains high, and your attention and focus is restored and your mind refreshed. Breaks are also key for maintaining your motivation and keeping a positive mindset!

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