10 Science-Backed Study Techniques That Works
Developing and following an effective study schedule is not a matter of chance. Psychologists and educators have done a lot of research about study techniques for years. Some of their best survey studies were conducted from the leading universities: Chicago, Indiana, and Stanford where experiments with students groups gave light on the effective study techniques. They found out that those students who follow these techniques learn easily, save time spent on study and retain more material that they learn for a very long period of time. The following are the ten study techniques that work:
1. Making and Following a Study Schedule Strictly
You are supposed to set aside study hours just as you do for sleep and nourishment. Make sure you follow the same schedule strictly daily. The amount of time that you set aside for study will vary depending on individual skills and understanding of the subject matter. It is recommended you study for an average of two hours every day for every hour that you spend in class. Attending a class session is just the beginning; the real study work starts afterward.
2. Study in an Appropriate Environment – Same Place, Same Time and Day-to-Day
If you have concentration issues, then the right environment will help you a lot. Your study table or desk should be in a quiet environment free from any form of distractions. You will be able to concentrate well when you study in the same place day-to-day. This is a mindset. For instance, when you sit down in a dining table, you expect to eat. Similarly, when you sit down in a comfy chair, you expect to watch TV, etc. Developing and nurturing a study habit in the same place, at the same hours every day will definitely uplift your concentration ability.
3. Ensure you Have all the Materials you Need at Your Study Location
Your study table or desk should have all the materials that you will require to complete the assignment in hand, such as, erasers, pencils, paperclips, pens, snacks, staplers, liquid refreshments, and dictionary, etc. There are other assignments that you will need to have calculators or other types of supplies. When you have all the materials you need at hand, you will be able to concentrate on your study without interruptions. If you are using an answering machine during your study, make sure to let do its work during the study time. You can call back those who made you calls when you are through with your studying. Taking drinks and snacks to your location of study will improve your concentration because it will eliminate the need of making trips to the kitchen. Such movements during study time interfere and reduce concentration power.
4. Not Relying on Inspiration for Motivation
Would you imagine if somebody like an athlete-in-training who waits for inspiration to motivate them to practice in preparation for an event? Of course, this is not the case. Athletes train every single day to stay fit and competitive whether they like it or not. Similarly, like an athlete, you must ensure you train yourself daily for examinations and tests by accomplishing your assignments and making thorough preparation every day through reviews to be ready for the real action.
5. Takes Notes and Keeping Well-Kept Notebook
According to researchers, there is a close relationship between scoring high grades and orderliness. Knowing where to find your materials easily when you require them is very crucial. Make sure you keep a special section of your notebook according to your semester calendar where you will be writing your assignments as soon as they are announced. Having this details and other relevant information in one place is essential if you want to succeed. A notebook that is well kept is a part of the best time management practices. If you have ever misplaced an assignment, you can relate this to how much valuable time you wasted looking for it.
6. Having a Clear Record of all Important Assignments
Make sure you note down assignments in black and white, also indicate the important details about them in your notebook. When you have all of the relevant information of what you are expected to do, it is the first step to ensure that you complete your assignments successfully before the set deadlines.
7. Utilizing Trade Secrets
Flash cards are legitimate study tools. They are not just for kids! You can use the front part of the card to note an important term, and then on the back part, you write important fact or a definition of that term. Always ensure you carry flash cards whenever you go. During “dead time” use them, for instance, when you are waiting in a dentist’s office or doctor, standing in a check-out line, waiting at the Laundromat or riding a bus. Stick them on your bathroom mirror so that you can be reviewing them while applying makeup or shaving. You will be amused by how much you can do during “dead times”. Come up with own unique “trade secrets” and customize them in a way that will help to improve your study skills.
8. Write Good Notes
Develop skills of making good notes during class sessions especially when your instructors stress certain points as well as during assignments study. Taking good notes is a must. If you don’t have good notes, you will have to review and reread assignments before an examination or a test. This will demand a lot of time in one sitting to review materials of about 100-300 pages. With short notes, you can skim through and remember the main points in a short duration of time.
9. Over-learning Materials Usually Enhances Your Memory
Researchers have found out that the only secret to learning especially for future reference is over-learning. They suggest that for someone to say, “I know this material”, you are supposed to study the material for one-fourth more time of the original study. Learning the alphabet is the best example. How did you learn to pronounce it? Through recitation now and then that etched it in your memory trace. So, make sure you manipulate the material in many ways as possible by reading, writing, hearing, saying it and touching. In the experimental study conducted by researchers, they found out those students who overlearned a material retained the information four times as much after a few months than those students who didn’t.
10. Reviewing Your Study Material Regularly
Those students who don’t review their material can forget more than eighty percent of what they have learned for only two weeks. Ensure you make the first review of your material shortly after it is presented or studied for the first time. Prompt reviewing of the studied material safeguards you against forgetting relevant tips and helps you to remember it for a long duration of time. Regular material reviews will help you throughout the course. It will help you during tests times, more so, it is also key in alleviating pre-test anxiety.
To wrap up the loose ends, it is worth to mention that these ten study techniques do work, but there is another component that is needed when you are using all of them. You need to be the one who is responsible for your studies by following through on your assignments. You can have the best study techniques but they won’t help you at all if you don’t help yourself. You are the one who is responsible for your success.
The bottom line is if you put effective study efforts, improved skills will come in gradually as a habit and natural like breathing. The end results with be higher self-esteem, greater knowledge, and better grades. You find that if you master these skills early enough they will also serve you well in your personal and professional life.