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10 Ways To Study Better

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

In the haze of test sheets, exercise books and notepads, take some time out to read our tips on how you can study more effectively. Glynda Alves brings you some easy tools that may help

1. Try Teaching
If you’re having trouble trying to remember some material you are studying, try teaching it to someone else. It can even be an imaginary person. Pretend you are teaching someone who doesn’t know anything about the subject. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll be able to grasp it later.

2. Time Off
You can’t sit and study for hours at a stretch. Your brain needs time for new long-term memories to form, so make sure you take 5-10 minute breaks every 20-50 minutes you study. Do something physical to release endorphins and get your blood pumping. However, don’t do anything too hectic or it might wear you out.

3. A Study Group
Gather a bunch of friends who are actually interested in studying and get the same grades as you together for a group study session. You’ll can quiz each other, help each other out and discuss the best method to learn something. But, make sure you avoid distractions.

4. Highlight It
If there’s a lot of text that you need to go through, do so with a highlighter. Mark the lines that are most important, so that they stand out on paper and in your mind. You can also make notes in pencil in the margin to summarise a chapter.

5. Keep Distractions at Bay
We know this is common knowledge, but it’s rarely followed. Don’t put on the TV, keep your phone away from you and don’t keep your music player near you. Constant distractions will interfere with your study time.

6. A Good Spot
Finding a good spot to study is essential when you’re cramming for exams. It should be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you end up falling asleep. The place you pick should be relatively quiet and secluded, so that you don’t get distracted.

7. Test Yourself
After a night of studying, most of us are afraid of waking up and not remembering a thing. To help you retain knowledge, give yourself a test in the morning. If you’re confident, don’t go through your notes, or quickly brush up on them before testing yourself.

8. The Kindergarten Rule
The key here is to be able to explain your subject, no matter how complicated, to a six-year-old. The idea here is that you dumb down the information, so that it becomes easy to understand.

9. Study Pattern
Study similar subjects at different times. Your brain waves are like radio waves, if there isn’t space between inputs, you get interference. Follow an hour of studying Hindi with Maths, not Marathi.

10. Visualisation
Are you the type of person that gets overwhelmed by pages and pages of words? Visualisation might help. The idea here is that you put the abstract information into a picture format that helps you understand the concept better. This is especially useful for subjects such as Science and Geography.

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