Finding the right study method may be hard for some, but by finding the best one, that works for you and the amount of work you need to grasp, will help you succeed and reach the high marks that you’ve been aiming for.
Here are some different ways you can study and learn – it’s best to try different methods in order to know which ones suit you the best!
Remember to try them beforehand, so you can use one (or two) suitable for you when studying for your exam or test.
1. Verbal Encoding
People find that saying information out loud not only forces you to think about it, but also allows you to hear it a second, third, fourth, time. Some people are much more vocal in their studying. There are different ways to approach this studying method, such as simply repeating the information until you can say it out loud fully without looking at your sheet, putting it into a song, or even facing a mirror and saying it to yourself.
2. Note Taking
In order to attempt this studying method, start way in advance of your exam; note taking usually ends up taking a lot more time than anticipated. Research has shown that handwriting your notes actually enhances your encoding of the material, and therefore your memory of the subject. Use colours! Highlighters! Underline! Bold! Draw material from both the lectures, your class notes, and your textbook if you have enough time. Make sure you can easily tell apart your definitions from the rest of the notes, but ensure as well that you only write down the relevant information, and keep it short.
3. Visual Approach
Many students are more visual than anything else, and yet do not integrate this method in their studying. Using graphs, diagrams, flowcharts and most importantly mind map, is an excellent way to quiz yourself on your knowledge, and also be able to visualise all the links between concepts. It is especially useful in classes where concepts interlink and a change in one aspect affects many others. However, it does take time as many people will first take notes on what concepts to include, and then start drawing out the mind map which is actually very helpful.
4. Auditory Approach
If you need to hear information in order to remember it best, rewatch and listen to your professor’s lectures – if there are lectures online that you can listen to again after your class, or before your exam, you may find it beneficial. Others have found that recording yourself saying the information and then listening to it again and again until you fully understand what the concepts mean may prove useful.
5. Buddy System
When studying with someone else, you may start realising that you might not actually know the material as much as you thought you did. Which doesn’t feel good, because you want to think you know everything, but having someone put you in your place actually benefits your studying. If you don’t understand a concept, they may explain it in a different way that may make more sense to you and vice versa; it has been proven that explaining a concept to someone improves your own encoding of the concept and fortifies your ability to explain it again during your exam. As well, if you have both made notes on the information in class and are quizzing each other, you may found that you haven’t written certain concepts that they have.
Try to figure out which method works for you and focus on using it for studying for tests and exams!