In today’s competitive academic landscape, students often face a mountain of information to process and retain. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and frustration, making it even more essential to adopt effective study methods to achieve academic success.
At Tutors SA, we believe that every student possesses the potential for greatness. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to mastering the art of studying through proven and effective study methods.
Study Methods 101
Whilst it may be assumed everyone knows how to study, it could not be further from the truth. Studying is a skill that is practised and mastered over time.
Understanding how to study transforms the way you take in, process and use the information being turned into knowledge. With the right guidance, learning how to study can be easier than it seems, and one carries an invaluable skill into later years in life.
Tutoring plays a significant role in this, and having the right tutor can make a world of difference. At Tutors SA, we specialise in recruiting, placing and providing only the best tutors across the country to ensure our standard of excellence for every individual on their learning journey.
Levelling Up Your Study Skills
When looking at taking your study skills to new levels, there are a few crucial elements to keep in mind, adopt and learn along the way. In combination, these add up to help students better take in and retain knowledge as they study.
1. Optimise Your Study Environment
The space in which one studies makes all the difference. By creating a conducive study environment, you take the first step that is essential for effective learning.
Ensure to find a quiet space that is well-ventilated and well-lit with minimal distractions. Make sure to have all the necessary study materials at hand to avoid entering and exiting the space, which can break the flow of settling into your study area.
2. Create a Study Schedule
One of the most crucial aspects of successful studying is creating a well-planned and well-structured study schedule. Ensure to allocate specific time slots for different subjects, projects or topics, rotating between them to avoid mental burnout and over-repetitive information.
By setting up a study plan which can be followed, you give yourself the best shot at sticking to it and being consistent with your study routine. A well-organised schedule will help you manage your time efficiently, preventing procrastination and last-minute cramming that can result from stress and lack of time.
3. Utilise Mind Mapping
When it comes to effective study methods, using mind maps is a favourite for many students.
Mind maps offer elements that appeal to the logical and creative parts of the mind, being a best-of-both-world solution that works for just about every subject and topic. With such an excellent visual tool for organising information and understanding complex relationships between different concepts, knowledge becomes easier to navigate, learn and take in.
Start with a central idea or topic and work your way out from there, branching out with sub-topics and key points to expand on. Mind maps help you grasp the big picture while still being able to focus on the finer details without overwhelming the mind with information.
4. Use Active Learning Techniques
For many students, passive reading and note-taking is most likely not the most effective way to retain information. Instead, it is recommended to embrace active learning techniques that encourage engagement with the material itself. Some examples of this include:
- Practice with questions: Go over past papers and solve practice questions or problems related to the material. This approach enhances comprehension and prepares you for exams, allowing you to repeat and practice until you feel prepared.
- Teaching others: Explaining the concepts being studied to friends, family, or even imaginary students can reinforce your understanding of the information being taken in. This highlights any areas that need further review and allows you to repeat information over again.
- Summarising: After reading a chapter or section, writing a concise summary of the main points in your own words can allow you to recall the information in a way that makes sense to you. This process reinforces the material and helps with memory retention, allowing you to practically apply the knowledge in your own way.
5. Embrace Multisensory Learning
It is important to take into consideration that everyone learns differently, and with this, finding the best study method for you will mean trying different methods along the way.
A great study method to consider is multisensory learning, which utilises multiple senses and can enhance information retention. Instead of just reading, try combining visual aids, audio resources, and kinaesthetic learning techniques.
For instance, watch educational videos, listen to podcasts, and use flashcards to reinforce your learning and knowledge retention.
6. Take Regular Breaks
It is important to remember that long, uninterrupted study sessions can lead to burnout and reduced productivity. Instead, it can be suggested to follow techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests studying for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. After completing four cycles, take a more extended break of 15-30 minutes.
This method keeps your mind fresh and focused during study sessions, reducing the likelihood of you feeling overloaded with information and needing to overcompensate with extended breaks, which break productivity.
7. Review and Revise
The practice of frequent revision is vital for long-term memory retention. Make sure to review your notes regularly, particularly before going to bed which is a great time to ensure you better retain information.
The process of reviewing material shortly before sleep can improve information recall as you sleep on the information and have it fresh in your mind the following day.
8. Seek Help When Needed
An important tip in the improvement of one’s study skills is breaking down any boundaries of asking for help. Everyone can experience confusion or misunderstanding of a topic or subject at some point, which can easily be helped through assistance and guidance.
Ensure not to hesitate to seek help when you encounter challenges or difficulties that can leave you feeling like you’re left in the dark. At Tutors SA, our dedicated tutors are here to provide personalised guidance and support. Whether it’s clarifying complex topics or offering study tips, a tutor can be a valuable asset in your academic journey.
Tutors SA: Your Trusted Study Partner
Expanding our abilities surrounding knowledge and information can only do us a world of good. No matter what stage of learning you are at, it is never too late to learn how to implement effective study methods in your study routine.
Learning how to study correctly is key to unlocking your academic potential. Remember that learning is a continuous process, and seeking support when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. Embrace these study methods, stay persistent, and achieve greatness in your academic pursuits with Tutors SA by your side.