It’s never too early (or too late!) to start developing successful study habits. The sooner you get into the study groove, the easier studying will be and the higher your chances of getting better grades. So to get you started, here is a study guide written by Smartr to help you get the most out of your studying.
1. Set a time and a place
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. Find yours – Whether it’s the library at school or your bedroom at home, find your study space and set a regular study time that works for you, when you’ve found your space make sure to stick with it.
Set up your study space – Your chosen study space should be comfortable, quiet and free from distractions. You feel happy and inspired. Use your favourite pictures or inspirational quotes to decorate your study space. If you want to listen to music or burn a candle, find a space that allows you to do that.
Find your best suitable time – Some people tend to work better in the morning. Others tend to work better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don’t study much later than your usual bedtime – pushing yourself too late at night can make you too tired and can take away from proper study.
2. Study every day
Study even if it’s just a little bit every day, you’ll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand the subject/ topic more. It also helps you avoid the stress caused by last-minute cramming. If it’s hard finding time to study, you might need to cut back on some (NOT ALL) of your other activities. Prioritising study might mean sacrificing time online, or time with friends, but by allowing yourself the correct amount of study time your grades will improve and your ‘study stress’ will lesson.
3. Plan your time
Have a study plan in place to make the most of your time.
Set alarms – Set alarms to remind you about your study time a. Regular reminders keep you honest and keeps your study plans on track.
Use a wall planner – Put a calendar or wall planner up so you can see it when you study. Mark the important dates, like exams and assignment due dates. Use it to mark out your regular study timetable too.
Make to-do lists – To-do lists break the tasks down into manageable segments. Make a list at the start of the week for the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Then, make lists at the start of each study time too. This helps you to be clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
Set time limits – At the start of your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time for each task. If you don’t get something done in the set time, consider whether it’s the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else.
4. Discover your learning style
Everyone is different and most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know the learning style you’re most comfortable with and study in the ways you learn best. Note – these styles are just a few to get you thinking about different studying techniques. There’s no hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.
Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques like role-playing or building models to revise key points.
5. Review and revise
Go Back over topics you’ve learnt in class at least once a week. Reviewing these things can help you understand the topics and concepts you have learnt throughout the week. Try these to help with your revision:
Quiz yourself – Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Help your friends with their work by quizzing them too. Quizzes are great ways to gain confidence about what you know and help you find out what need to learn more of.
Make your own study materials – Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them to revise.
6. Take breaks
It’s important to take breaks while you’re studying, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can decrease your performance. When you take a break, get away from study space. A bit of physical activity (a walk around the block or a good stretch) can sometimes help you look at a problem from a different angle helping you solve it quicker.
7. Ask for help
If you’re stuck on something, or if something just doesn’t seem to make any sense, ask for help. Talk to your teachers, lecturers, Tutors, parents, friends, or fellow students about the things you don’t understand. It’s better to ask a question and be a fool once, than never ask and be a fool forever.
8. Stay motivated
When studying, keep in mind all your reasons for working this hard, like a course or career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals. Decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire. You can also have photos of family members you want to make proud of you.
9. App it up
Download the Smartr app. Smartr is the best app for connecting students who want to learn, with experts who want to teach. Students can choose from hundreds of subjects, and sort tutors by price, location, and reviews. Tutors and students can schedule sessions either online or in-person, at a time that works for them. Our tutors range from industry experts to top-university grads and are rated and reviewed by other students. No pricey tutoring packages. Students simply pay for what they need, at a price they can afford. Download the app here.
10. Look after yourself
Eat well, keep hydrated, get enough sleep and do some physical exercise. Don’t reward yourself with too many sweets or fatty foods and don’t push yourself to study late into the night.
Don’t forget to come up with your own strategies! These are only some of our tips for things you can do to get the most out of your studying. You may already have other things that work better for you. Ask what your friends do when they’re studying. Your teachers may have some good recommendations too. Whatever it is, whatever strategy you come up with, when you find something that works for you, put it into practise and go for it! GOOD LUCK!