Are you a college freshman who feels the pressure of studying more complex subjects? Have you ever had to cram for an exam and felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start? Studying can be quite overwhelming, but that’s only if you don’t have effective study strategies. Instead of panicking about having too much to study in little time, try following these studying strategies to help you get the most use of your time.
1. Have a Daily Studying Plan
One of the key factors to effective studying is having a daily plan that works best with your lifestyle. Create an hourly plan to avoid being carried away when you’re focused on a particular task. It’s strongly recommended to set a duration for each assignment, and if you have a hard time following up, use your phone’s alarm. The best option here is to use a to-do list, so you can tick the things you finish. It gives you a sense of achievement and will motivate you to keep going. To keep your motivation rocketing, schedule your breaks too!
2. Customize A Learning Method
There are many types of learning, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. When we’re trying to digest new information, each person has their own preferred type that works more effectively with them. After figuring out which method works best for you, you should start customizing your studying strategy to suit your learning needs.
If you are a visual learner, you’ll need to transform the material you have into visual imagery as much as you can. It can be maps, pictures, flashcards, videos, or just simply colour-coded notes containing the material. If you’re an auditory learner, your most effective way of receiving information is through active listening. Try to record lectures and play them back when you study instead of reading them, or read them out loud. Also, you can try recording yourself saying important notes instead of writing them down and play them back to yourself, listening to music while studying also proves to be effective with these learners. Some students even turn the information they’re studying into short songs to remember them better, so why don’t you give it a go?
Finally, if you’re a kinesthetic or tactile learner, you better know that the traditional studying techniques probably won’t suit you. Sitting down to study is perhaps your worst nightmare! If you have to sit down, try to do a certain repetitive movement like bouncing a ball, chewing gum, playing with your desk slinky or pressure ball. Just allow yourself to fidget or bounce your legs to keep yourself moving. Otherwise, try to stand up or take a stroll while studying instead of sitting down.
Don’t forget to always have faith in your abilities and enhance them when needed.
3. Set A Goal/Reward System
Now that you’ve set a daily study plan or to-do list with the things you need to do along with scheduled breaks, try also to set a goal to finish them. For example, 3 tasks within 40 minutes instead of an hour. You can write down the type of reward you plan to give yourself after reaching that goal, whether it’s a 5-minute break, a piece of your favourite candy/chocolate, or 10 minutes of social media surfing.
This is more of a psychological strategy rather than being a studying one! It will not only motivate you to reach your goal, but it will also boost your self-esteem when it comes to getting things done quickly! But make sure you’re not distracting yourself. To avoid studying distractions, you can refer to on our 4 Study Hacks to Avoid Distractions blog article.
4. Pick Your Sweet Studying Spot
When it comes to studying effectively, location is one of the most important factors that affect your productivity. It goes without saying that the place you choose to study should be as quiet as possible to be able to maintain focus. Another unusual thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing where to study is cleanliness. Surroundings are very important when trying to focus, and when you’re in a messy place, the mess will reflect on your thoughts. An organized environment equals an organized mind. But let’s face it, some people just feel comfortable sitting in their own creative mess. If you’re one these folks, make sure to clean your desk after you’re done.
Another useful tip is to try to change your surroundings every now and then, staying in one place for too long doing the same thing could make you lose interest in what you’re doing quickly. Keeping yourself motivated is the key after all, whether you’re into organized spaces or creatively messed up ones.
In the end, all that matters is that you do your absolute effort, remain calm, and look deeper into yourself to improve your studying strategies.