We’ve always believed that to be smarter and get good grades we must study hard and sometimes for long prolonged hours. However, that usually does not end up being an effective method and might even cause many problems that are difficult to overcome.
Whatever the major or subjects that you have trouble studying for, you have to recognize that studying harder is not necessarily the best method for you. Rather, you have to think more about study techniques, strategies, and habits that are more suitable and effective for you.
When it comes to tight deadlines, cramped lessons, and assignments, even studying your favorite subject does not sound fun. this can lead to procrastination, increased stress, anxiety, and poor performance in school.
Adopting new and smarter study habits can help you effectively study for your courses and prepare for your exams in an easy and more enjoyable manner.
Study in short regular sessions
Studying for long hours during the weekend or till the very few last days before the exam can cause mental and physical fatigue that will negatively affect your performance in school.
In addition, knowing before that you will have to endure intense studying can decrease your motivation and lead to poor concentration, two major factors that help in studying.
Instead, what you can try for a more efficient and less tiring studying is to space out your study sessions and dedicate 30 to one hour of studying each day over several days and weeks depending on the subjects you are studying.
For example, when it comes to history, languages, or science you can take 15-20 minutes every day to revise and repeat what you have done that day or week in school, which will help you remember the information more efficiently.
For subjects such as physics and maths, you can make a goal to solve 4-5 problems each day instead of working on that subject alone for hours before your exam date.
Set realistic study goals
Setting goals is important, whether for studying or for life in general. It can clear confusion and help you move easily from one task to the next without wasting a lot of time.
Setting goals also help us feel more confident and in control of our situation and allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment whenever a goal is achieved no matter if small or big.
However, it is also important to remember that we have to set realistic goals that can be achieved in real life instead of ones that are almost impossible to achieve. To make your studying process more enjoyable, learn to daily and weekly set realistic goals that you can obtain.
For effective goal setting, you can use the SMART method, which means that your study goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Try to make a weekly goal list during the weekend as well as a daily goal list during each night to help you start your day or week motivated and help you be more productive.
Test yourself regularly
What is a better way to prepare for an exam than to quiz yourself? Learn how to quiz yourself after each study session that you have, it can be just for 5-10 mins with questions that test the knowledge you acquired during your study.
This method can be a fun way to learn and a great technique in helping you be more focused and motivated in your study sessions.
Making mistakes in your mini personal quiz however should be okay, because it will help you learn more and allow you to not make that mistake again when you’ll take the actual exam.
Create a study friendly space
An uncomfortable environment that is cluttered and noisy can be distracting and can prohibit you from having an effective or enjoyable study session.
Creating the ideal space for studying is a smart and essential step in preparing your brain to study. Try multiple places to study in whether at home or around campus. Make sure you figure out the right time you enjoy and prefer studying in, it can be in the early morning or late in the evening.
You should make your study space comfortable to sit in, not too cold or hot, and of course not noisy. If you are used to listening to music while studying try to opt for soft music or lo-fi study music that can be less distracting.
Teaching others the course that you are studying is another smarter study technique that will help you in remembering the information better by explaining it in your own words.
Studying to teach will help you absorb the material more efficiently so you can be able to teach it and explain it to others.
You can teach what you learned either in a study group or with a study partner. Your study group or partner will help you retain the information better by posing questions that you can answer with a more simplified explanation and examples. You can even teach others using your notes.
One of the most essential things to keep in mind while studying is to be kind to yourself as well as reward yourself whenever you achieve a goal or complete a task.
Studies might get harder and harder as you grow up, it is not easy to obtain great grades, maintain a social life, and have hobbies and leisure all at the same time.
Nonetheless, it is not impossible, following smarter study strategies, sleeping well, eating good, and rewarding yourself for doing your best can help you build an effective routine that will make your study time more enjoyable and efficient which will of course lead to your personal and professional success in the long term.