I do believe there are certain things we must do in order to study properly. Although there are many different ways and methods of studying, some things stay the same and, as a student, I decided to share some tips and tricks on how to study smarter and get the best possible grades.
Many people dislike sticking to a schedule but I wouldn’t call this a schedule per-say, it’s more of a to-do list. Before my study sessions, I write everything that needs to be completed alone with when it needs to be done and how long it’ll take me. This allows me to put the most important things first, leaving the other tasks for another time.
We’ve all guilty of studying for hours and hours at a time, studying constantly and, honestly, not retaining that much information. I believe that taking study breaks, whether that’s watching a YouTube video, chatting to a friend, or even taking a little nap, helps soothe your brain and ensures that you are more focused. I eventually lose focus after about an hour of core studying so, after each hour, I give myself fifteen minutes to relax and take a breather.
To Do Or Not To Do?
When a teacher/lecturer informs you that a certain reading isn’t compulsory, my advice would be to read it. There is clearly a reason why it is being mentioned in the first place, this can definitely give you more of a boost and help you gain a better understanding of the content.
Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask a question. Your teacher/lecturer is there to help you so, if you don’t fully understand something, ask. I, personally, email my lecturers as there isn’t enough time in the actual lecture to ask questions, so I write a little note and make sure I email them after class.
At university, we are all given reading lists and books that are recommended. My lecturers give us a lot of books, letting us choose what ones we wish to study from. This year, I’m sticking to borrowing all core books from the library but, thanks to a friend, found a little revision guide that was not suggested by the lecturer. It is a very helpful book that simplifies and breaks down huge chunks. Although core books are still very important, it’s also good to look on Amazon/E-Bay for study guides as these can also be an excellent tool in getting your grades up.
An obvious one, I admit, but attendance is crucial if you are aiming for top grades. Even in lectures, where they are “just reading off a powerpoint”, you’ll find that they also drop a lot of other notes in, so be sure to attend so you can write all of those down.
If my notes are all messy and shoved in a big pile, I freak out. I like things being clean and neat and, when it comes to studying, that is no exception. I stay organised with folders, both actual and on my laptop, and organise all of my notes so they are easily accessible. When it comes to studying, this allows me to have everything in one place so I’m not rushing around searching for something, wasting time.
I love to study with a bit of music on or an episode playing in the background, but I’ve found that my attention starts to stray away from my work and onto the glistening screen sat next to me. I’ve started to be very strict with myself. If I want anything on, say if I’m just typing up notes, I’ll listen to an audio book or, nerd alert, watch study livestreams on YouTube. This means that, when I do look up, I’m instantly motivated by watching someone else study.