Do you study a lot but don’t feel like you’re not getting anywhere? You might be putting too much effort into studying hard instead of smart. Here are a few tips on how to study smarter, easier and more effectively.
Plan of action
Before you even sit down to start studying, you need to have a plan of action. If you don’t have a clear idea of which information you’re studying and how to study it, you’ll likely find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unable to concentrate and spend hours on something which could have taken you a few minutes to get the hang of.
Keeping a study calendar or planner, as well as having a detailed “to-do” list for the day will help you plan and organise your studies.
Find what works for you
There are tons of study methods out there, but not all of them will work for you. Want to know what the best way to study is? You’ll have to try different things and see what’s best for you based on your personality and how you take in information.
Focus on the important stuff
Not all information is made equal, so why dedicate an equal amount of time to every piece of info in your book? Chances are, you’ll only be tested on certain points. Want to know what to focus on? Pay attention in class- most teachers will hint at what to study the most. Also, don’t forget to keep and read any test breakdown you may get- there’s usually a lot of valuable info in there!
Summarising information before you study it is essential. You can use study notes, flash cards, doodles etc. to draw out all of the most important information from your work and focus on it. Reading a long book or an entire file of notes without summarising them will leave you feeling overwhelmed and you’ll probably retain very little of what you need to know.
Look for shortcuts
There are so many ways to study, and there’s nothing worse than getting caught up in a time-wasting, ineffective loop. Any long exercise can be shortened if you find a shortcut to it. Remember that this may take a bit of trial and error- but the more you try different things, the more likely you are to find a helpful shortcut while you study!
Don’t get too smart
Using shortcuts is great, but don’t let it become a substitute for putting in the time and work into studying. Remember that studying smart can only get you so far- if you’d like to truly excel in your academics, you’ll need to still work hard to revise, practice and memorise.
Now that you know now to study smarter, what are you waiting for? Get out there and hit the books! Good luck!