Studying is never easy – trying to get a whole lot of information into your head in a short amount of time is always going to be hard, but there are certainly things that can make it easier. Looking for a way to learn faster and improve your marks? Read on to find out the four best study tips to make sure you ace your next assignment or exam.
First, Figure Out Your Learning Style
Ever found yourself getting frustrated because your friend can pick things up after reading over their notes, whereas when you do, it just doesn’t go in? Everyone learns differently, and what works for some people just doesn’t work for others.
However, there is an answer: you need to figure out your learning style. There are 7 main learning styles, which are:
The University of Exeter Online outlines these 7 learning styles in detail, offering an explanation to what they are as well as what sort of things you can do to tailor your studying to your own style. Making your studying specific to how you learn means you’ll be able to better absorb the information, and make better use of the time you have (rather than repeating the same sentence or question over and over again).
Start Early and Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Information takes time to go in. We’ve all been there – the last-minute cramming session the night before an exam, where we try to learn a whole year’s information in one go. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you this just doesn’t work.
Instead of leaving everything to the last minute, start early. Start going over things you studied only the other day, and revisit old topics regularly. Even make a schedule if this suits you, or set reminders on your phone to revisit a certain topic in a week.
Our top tip: after a lesson or session, think up a number of questions about what you just covered and keep them safe. Every two weeks, go back to these questions and run over what you can remember, going to your notes if you can’t remember the answer. The more open-ended the question, the better.
Kill Procrastination as Soon as Possible
Ah, procrastination – your main enemy. One minute, you’re working hard, reading through papers, writing your essay… the next, you’re halfway through a season of Friends. It’s easy to do, and this is why you need to make sure as soon as it happens, you stop it escalating.
There are several ways you can make sure to stay on target whilst you work:
- Limit your work time, and mix in some free time in between each block of work you do. If you find it hard to stay focused, even 20 or 30 minutes at a time can keep you on task.
- Use basic positive reinforcement – give yourself a reward every time you complete a certain step. Finished 500 words? Have a packet of gummy bears. Been over a whole topic? Watch one episode of your favourite sitcom. Whatever you like, whether that’s a bubble bath or a game on your Xbox, let it motivate you to complete your work. Just make sure to be strict with rewards; no more than what you promised!
- Set timers on your phone. If you’re someone easily distracted, give yourself a reminder at a certain time to remind yourself you should be working. This means that even if you don’t mean to lose track, you can keep yourself on the right path.
These are just a few, but they are great at making sure you stay focused, and don’t lose track of work!
Look After Yourself
Finally, although work is important, you won’t be able to get anything done if you’re not looking after yourself. It’s easy to start pulling all-nighters or skipping meals, but this actually hinders your progress. Making sure to keep on top of basics, such as:
- Eating 3 meals a day
- Getting an early night, and 8 hours of sleep
- Making time for walks or getting out of the house
- Including time to talk to family or friends in your schedule.
Little things like this will help balance your work with normality and put you in a better mindset to do much better-quality work.
At the end of the day, patience and hard work is the key to success. Keep pushing, trying, and it’ll all pay off. Good luck!