There is a delicate science when it comes to creating excellent study habits. Because the truth is, your high school study habits may not be as successful in college. You may, however, build on such routines to help you manage your study habits. And managing study habits is something any student, be it high school, college, or non-academic, needs to do.
Using science-backed study habits, you can study and retain the information you’re digesting. Be it for an algebra exam or you’re taking an exam to get your driver’s license, like an online assessment on drug and alcohol knowledge, the tips provided here will still be helpful.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Learning Style
Everyone has a different natural way of studying and retaining new data. It’s important to find yours to know how to play to your strengths. Below are some of the four most prominent ones:
- Observation is the greatest way for visual learners to learn. Color-coded flashcards, diagrams and infographics, videos, and patterns work best for them.
- For auditory learners, the best approach to learning is to listen. They learn best through audio recording of lessons, information coded into a limerick or a rhyme, or even associating information to sounds.
- One of the more straightforward types is the ones who learn best when reading or writing. This kind of learning is a convenient method just to read study materials.
- Kinesthetic learners remember information better when they are doing something. They learn better when doing something simultaneously, like building something, creating models and diagrams, or even through play learning. The key is that they must put their thoughts into action.
Make Use of the Study Cycle
The Study Cycle divides studying into five stages: first comes previewing, then attending class, and then reviewing materials. After these three, next comes studying and finally testing your comprehension. Even though each level might look basic and glaringly obvious at first, students frequently try to cut corners and miss out on tremendous learning opportunities.
You might feel like you can skip reading the materials before class because the teacher covers the same lesson in class anyway. However, by doing so, you miss out on an important opportunity to learn in multiple methods (in this case, reading the material and listening to the teacher). Students can also benefit from the distributed practice from reading the materials and then listening or discussing them in class. Understanding the significance of each stage of the Study Cycle can do a lot in helping you avoid missed learning opportunities.
Work Around the Curve of Forgetting
Scientists initially researched the curve of forgetting in 1885. However, this idea is still relevant in today’s study habits and learning methodologies. According to the curve of forgetting, if you repeat or review a topic within 24 hours after attending a lecture or studying something new, you can recall up to 80 percent of what you just learned. This effect builds up with time, so after a week, you might be able to recall 100 percent of the same knowledge with only five minutes of study. Psychologists generally agree that interval studying is preferable to cramming. Students should study on the day they learned the material rather than before the test. This also makes for a relatively efficient study method. After learning something in a day, you can simply refresh your knowledge the next few days.
Establish Study Schedules and Adhere to Them Strictly
This is especially essential in the lead-up to an important test or critical exam. Still, it can positively impact your regular study routine too. Plan your study session ahead of time instead of expecting your study time to “happen” somewhere between your social life and school. You build a commitment and a habit by creating a study timetable and placing it into your calendar. Respect it in the same way that you respect showing up to lessons.
You should also maintain your study schedules organized and intelligently divided among disciplines as needed. By forcing yourself to be disciplined when it comes to studying schedules, you’ll find that you’re more productive. And with a consistent schedule, it’ll be easy enough for you.
Most Importantly, It’s Okay to Make Mistakes
It is critical to put your memory to the test. However, it makes no difference how much time you devote to each attempt. The next step is important: learn what you got right and what you got wrong. Then concentrate on your mistakes. You’re wasting your time if you don’t figure out the solution or how to get the correct answer. The idea is you learn from your mistakes: pinpoint your trouble areas and focus your efforts on them. Making errors is, in fact, a fundamental part of learning.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to studying. But these tips are pretty effective and are backed by science. Follow this quick guide to get an A+ in every test you encounter.