Studying with complete focus, motivation, and concentration is a big challenge for college students. Whether you are pursuing a bachelors or masters, most people would have told you that you should study harder to get good grades.
But does studying hard brings in excellent results? Not always, right. However, studying smarter would benefit. When you study smart - not just do you score well, you become more efficient and more productive as well.
In college, you don't have the study time you used to get in high school, so studying smartly is all that you got. So, either you spend a long time studying, or you choose to study smarter.
Even if you find this hard to believe, your emotions play a role in your learning abilities. Based on research, you cannot take in information wholeheartedly and with utmost focus if you are tired, stressed or nervous. Thus, keeping a good mindset and staying positive is pretty essential to learn better.
Before a study session, you should follow the smart study tip of being optimistic and enthusiastic for keeping yourself motivated and cheerful. Also, you can gratify yourself by attending fun and happiness workshops, eating good food, listening to music and anything that makes you happy and stimulates you.
Find Your Comfortable Study Spot
Figure out where you can learn the best. For effective studying, a comfortable space is highly significant. Choose a study spot that is quiet and away from distractions. A happy and comfortable study spot for college students can be anywhere - a cafe, library, your home study room or space on campus.
Your campus would be the perfect place for you to learn comfortably. Nowadays, the best universities like Marwadi University own world-class infrastructure rendering the best amenities and space for students to study. Located amidst greenery on a land of 32 acres, Marwadi University holds a Guinness world record library, multipurpose rooms, work areas etc., hence best to recreate a comfortable learning environment.
Study Varied Subjects Everyday
Instead of diving deeper into a single subject, you should consider studying multiple subjects in a day. By adopting this smart study tip in your learning strategies, you will notice an improvement in your study habits. Ideally, it makes sense to break your study period amongst various subjects.
By studying one subject in a day, you can end up getting confused between related information. So, if you have to study five subjects in a course, then don't designate a day for one, study a bit of every subject in a day. By doing so, you will learn faster, and your mind will get a good time to reinforce your learnings.
Cramming information never helps. Though it may work sometimes, it's short knowledge and won't last long. Especially for some courses, cramming becomes challenging since there is extensive information, and you cannot mug up everything without understanding the concept.
The best way to retain information is going for periodic reviews. Periodic reviews help information move from your short-term to long-term memory. You can start a subject-wise periodic review from the next day of information given and then continue to review it in intervals of some days until exams.
Say No to Multitasking
Smart studying does not mean you will multitask and do a lot of things simultaneously. Many studies suggest our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. So, multitasking is not our cup of tea. So, if you are studying, using social media and replying to messages everything at a time, it is not possible.
Multitasking makes you less productive, exhausted, and dumber. You should avoid swaying your focus amongst several things. To increase your concentration, put your phone on silent, keep your study area clean and close unnecessary browsers on your device. Primarily, ditch everything that distracts you and your studying.
One of the best study tips to ensure studying smarter and not longer is getting involved in self-testing. Simply going through the reading material and class notes are not going to help. You will need to test yourself for essential topics and check where you stand and what information you retrieve from your preparation.
When you prepare for your exams, you can appear for some practice tests to know what demands extra focus and time. You can also test yourself for something tricky you have read while studying. Hands down, self-testing is the best way to grow your academic knowledge.
Take Short Breaks
Most people believe that studying for 4-5 hours straight during exams helps you score well. However, taking regular study breaks enhances your focus and efficiency. You can study for every 25-30 minutes and then take a break of 10 minutes to relax your mind before beginning your study further.
Make sure you study for those 25-30 minutes without a single distraction. Whenever you take a break, avoid any discussion or activity related to study; you can do some exercise, check your phone, listen to music or anything you like. Preferably, during the break get involved in activities that makes you feel active, fresh and positive, so you can return to study with a good mindset.
Space Out Studying
Studying everything a day before the test isn't a good idea. You need to space out your study sessions. You should have an adaptable timetable to space out your studies over days. Also, prepare a list of activities you need to do in a day to manage your daily study sessions.
Your daily timetable should be made clear and functional based on how long a task will take to get finished. Ensure your to-do list does not include a lot of things. The things you can feasibly complete in a day without a lot of rush should be a part of your timetable so that your study does not suffer.
Read Information Loud
Rather than reading the information silently, you should read it aloud. Many studies suggest that reading aloud helps students learn quickly compared to internal reading. When you read loudly, you see and hear the information, which retains better compared to only seeing information while reading it silently.
However, you cannot read out every word from your reading material. It is not practically possible and is too much time-taking. So, what you should do is underline the important sections in your notes and read those sections aloud at the end of that subject study. Lastly, check whether you have actually remembered the information you read loudly.
Create a Study Plan and Pursue It!
Students know that they should prepare a study schedule, self-test themselves and do everything that makes their study sessions productive. However, they find it troubling to do so because they do not plan their studies. Without a study schedule, you have no proper and focused pathway, which leads to poor performance.
Plan your study schedule and be realistic and rational about it. Do not be too harsh on yourself but at the same time, stick to your study routine. You will have to prioritize your studies over other not-so-important tasks. Although many times it's okay to adjust your study schedule due to some unavoidable circumstances.
You will not remember facts and figures for a longer time if you don't get into the how’s and why’s. You must push yourself to ask why something gets done in a certain manner and how does it happen. Simply put, you don't have to accept the facts as they are. Read concepts, think about them and ask questions if required.
When you consider getting the amplification of the information you have read and try combining it with concepts you know, it builds a greater network in your brain on things that are related to each other. The greater network helps you understand and remember things easily.
Don't Pull All-nighters!
For effective studying, you do not have to compromise on your sleep, and not just the night before the exam but always. A night of good sleep is often not possible for a college student. However, you should sleep at least eight hours a night to ensure your study sessions are active and productive.
Research suggests, when you have slept well, you stay more focused, learn quickly, deal with stress better & your memory improves. So, sleep well and don't pull all-nighters. Staying awake all night would leave you with nothing but fatigue and lesser concentration.
This list of study tips can be a little overwhelming but do not fret over them. You can learn to implement every study tip side by side - no need to do everything at once. Pick a couple of smart study tips, get habituated with them and then move on to the next two.
However, during all this, do not forget one thing - grades are not everything. Don't run behind excellent grades because, in the end, what matters is your knowledge and intellect.
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