Do you find yourself stuck with any of these thought ruts?
“How should I study for my exam?”
“I don’t know where to start!”
“There is so much to study and so little time. This is overwhelming!”
“I’m so distracted. How should I concentrate?”
10 Pointers Below On Effective Study Methods:
1. Do you know your Learning Style? Discover your Learning Style (Auditory / Visual / Kinesthetic or Tactile)
We all learn information in different ways but most of us have a preferred way of learning.
- Auditory Learners learn by listening. You could try reading your notes aloud and maybe record it and play them back when needed.
- Visual Learners learn by watching. You could try watching relevant study videos or use diagrams, charts, graphs, create placards or even use colours to highlight important information.
- Kinesthetic/ Tactile Learners learn by engaging in actions like writing or role – playing. You could try writing down not just with effective note making during class but also with repeated key point notes made thereafter of what you learn.
2. Making a Self Study Time Table
Making your own self study time table is a very effective practice! And yes, not relying on the one your tutor may provide because he/she doesn’t know your personal pick-up pace with your subjects! And if you’re worried about not being able to live up to the neat time table you made, fret not! You can always review it later as it is meant to be reviewed in shorter intervals! No time table stays perfect! Keeping smaller sub goals can help in achieving this. This step can help PLAN your study.
3. Setting Realistic Goals in your Time Table
If there is a lot that you have to study and it’s not possible to do everything in just one single study session, goal setting for each study session can offer a solution. Learn to ask yourself “Is it is possible for me to reach my goal? Am I being realistic with my time table?” Thus there can be a goal and many sub-goals for study. Creating sub-goals can help you plan in realistic break methods and achieve success in less tedious ways. This step makes the next step after planning, called EXECUTION possible for you
4. Learning to Prioritize and Scheduling Study
In order to study effectively one may need to evaluate which are the things off the study list that fall in the “put first things first” category. Keep distractions minimal and learning to say ‘NO’ to a few things for this, can be helpful! Prioritizing subjects according to the order of urgency and importance and placing it on a Scheduler to fix a time can help EXECUTE the plan.
Tip: Make a week to week time table to make this easier and achievable for yourself.
5. Reviewing and Updating your Time Table Weekly
This next step is about REVIEWING or re-evaluating your work and time table after execution! This third step can ensure you prepare a better time table again for your next week and helps you understand what you could accomplish from your list and how realistically things work with your study goals.
6. Flexibility with Schedules
Setting up a schedule is essential but don’t be too rigid with it or else you risk looping into the same thought ruts we identified above! There can be times when you might need to make a few changes due to some reasons, so be flexible with your schedule. For example, if you had to study in the morning and due to some reason you cannot, then getting flustered or angry may not help solve your problem! Try to make up instead for the lost time maybe in the afternoon or in the evening.
7. Keeping away from Distractions
We have a lot of things around us that could be distracting like cell phone, laptop, T.V., or things happening with our family or with friends or maybe it’s too noisy around. When you get distracted you might loose your focus over study. Try to find a space where you won’t get distracted!
8. Don’t Cram
Have you ever been in a situation where you try to pull an all-nighter to complete your studies? When we try to cram all our studying into one overstretched session, the brain can feel overused like any other machine and it can be detrimental to optimal performance. Students who see success space their work out over shorter periods of time.
9. Overcoming Procrastination
It’s very easy and common to push off your study session because you have other things to do or experience little interest in a specific subject or because you find it too difficult. To see success in achieving your study goal, try not putting off things for later or demanding that things go perfectly without frustration. If you procrastinate studying, you might end up cramming all of it in one study session which would be very ineffective.
10. Looking after Yourself and Taking Breaks
It is advisable to eat well and get enough sleep (6-8 hours) because working for too long can decrease your performance. It is essential to take care of yourself and to take breaks while you’re studying.
Written By: Aastha Chaturvedi, Clinical Psychologist, Team AltMindShift
For Workshops On Effective Study Management & on How To Manage Exam Anxiety, contact us at +91-9967035943.