Looking for proven ways to improve your grades through more effective ways of studying? Researchers have identified several highly effective strategies.
Looking for proven ways to improve your grades through more effective ways of studying? Researchers have identified several highly effective strategies that can help students of all ages excel.
Set up a dedicated study space
Start by setting up a quiet, comfortable and distraction-free study area at home. This space should be used exclusively for studying and homework. Keeping all schoolwork contained in one place allows the brain to associate that area with learning and retention.
Study in short, focused sessions
Studying in short bursts with breaks in between is far more beneficial than marathon study sessions. Research shows that concentration starts to wane after 45-60 minutes. Taking regular short breaks helps refresh the mind and improves focus when you return to work. Aim for 30-50 minute study periods separated by 5-10 minute breaks.
Switching between different topics during study sessions has been proven to boost learning compared to studying one subject for hours on end. Varying the material keeps the brain engaged and challenged.
Teach someone else
Explaining ideas and course material to another person requires you to understand and articulate the concepts. This active learning technique cements knowledge far better than a passive review of material. Teach what you’re learning to friends, family members or even your pets!
Note-taking by hand, rather than on a laptop, has been linked to stronger information retention. The physical motion of writing helps imprint concepts in the brain. Reviewing handwritten study notes also promotes active thinking versus passive reading.
Creating flashcards for key terms, dates, formulas or vocabulary words takes some time upfront but provides an extremely effective study aid. Flashcards allow for self-testing anywhere, anytime. Their portable format means you can review content during spare moments of downtime.
Use several methods
People learn in different ways, so use a mix of techniques. Multimodal studying provides a variety that caters to different learning styles.
Set specific goals
Identify what material you want to cover during each study period and have a specific goal in mind. This could be a certain number of flashcards or practice problems. Having defined objectives keeps you focused and productive.
Simulate testing conditions
When practicing for upcoming tests and exams, simulate the actual testing environment. Use the same timing, question format and calculator access you’ll have during the real assessment. This provides authentic practice and familiarizes you with the structure.
Distribute studying over time
Consistent, spaced study sessions over weeks or months imprint material far more effectively than a last-minute cram session. Your brain needs time and repetition to consolidate new information into long-term memory. Don’t wait until the night before a big test to study.