Back-to-school season is now in full swing and in a few weeks, you'd return to class with loads of lessons to study and a range of activities in tow. While easing into the new school year is often tedious, you can start on the right foot and work your way smoothly throughout the year by forming your study habits.
Bad study habits get in the way of good grades and topping your class. And as extra co-curricular activities start pouring, it's easy to get lost. The good news is, you can adopt an effective way to study so you can ace your exams and achieve your goals for this school year.
Here’s a list of practical and science-backed tips to help you brave this new academic year with a better arsenal of study habits.
1. Use Mnemonic Techniques
The classic advice to memorize is to use mnemonic devices such as making rhymes and acronyms. You know PEMDAS to solve long winding equation and FOIL method when multiplying two binomials. Making acronyms are helpful and so are rhymes and songs. You can memorize the 10 Great Dynasties of China by singing it in the tune of twinkle-twinkle little star.
2. Do The Pomodoro technique
This method of studying gives you enough time to concentrate on your work and even find time to relax, destress and do some diversion. To do this, you only need a timer Set it to 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes interval for a short break to do leisure and other stuff. Then every 4 complete sets of 25-minute work, take a longer break. However, the catch is that you really have to commit to your 25-minute study duration, no distractions, no everything else, just the work at hand.
3. Record Your Professor and Playback Twice the Speed
We all had that moment when we only absorbed 15-minutes of a 3-hour lecture and everything our professor said in between gets fragmented, cloudy and sparse. To retrieve those lost ideas and information, record your prof's lecture with your phone. Then, play it back twice the speed the next day or before the exam while in transit to school and stuck in a traffic jam.
4. Explain What You Learned
After reading a book, write down what you learned. Another option is to explain to somebody what you've read. Either way, this practice reinforces your understanding of the subject matter and helps retain your learnings. It also helps you identify the points that are still obscure or confusing for you. After doing this, scan through the text again and identify the details you missed.
While taking up law in University of Sto. Tomas, Apolinario Mabini used to go to class without taking down notes. Instead he jot down the whole lesson (he learnt) right after class.
5. Quiz Yourself
Test yourself so you would know how much you've learned. There are a variety of ways to do this. Aside from googling sample test questionnaires, you can formulate your own question as you read through your notes or book.
6. Organize a Study Group
Organize or join a study group to make studying a little more fun and less straining. It is also a very effective strategy for learning to be enhanced as you are able to collaborate, share helpful insights and learn from each other. Group study also allows you to get the help of members who can enlighten you on concepts that are not clear to you. Ideally, study groups work well for creating presentations, project completion, and when preparing for an exam.
7. Trim Down a Huge Topic into Chunks
How do you create a palace? You do it brick by brick. When you're stuck in a palatial topic that's too abstruse, narrow it down to subtopics and details. It is the most practical way to master a subject and it helps you fight procrastinating with your exam review.
8. Don't Force Your Brain or Sit Long Hours on One Subject
When you do no. 7, be easy on yourself. Don't stay too much on a subject and exhaust your brainpower when you're having a hard time with it. Instead go over other related topics or subjects. This technique has been supported by a cognitive psychologist and has long been used by athletes who do alternating workouts and musicians who do mix of techniques and ear training.
9. Be Like Sherlock Holmes in Memorization
Whenever he needs to recall a thing, Sherlock enters into his "memory palace" which is a fancy term for associating a memory into a space or particular place.
The key here is to associate the things you need to memorize with the passage ways and items you will find along the path as you go around a place e.g your home. This Vox video proves that you can memorize a whole chapter of a novel by associating each sentence with walks through your home.
10. Say No to All-Nighters and Get Enough Sleep
Lastly, don't pull all-nighters again. You don't want to look like a zombie when you go to school to take the exams. Besides, not getting enough sleep will shrink your cognitive performance and may ruin your exam results. It's never healthy, and most of the time, you forget what you studied right after the exam when you cram your review.
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