Answer the following questions to discover your approach to studying. (Circle the responses that apply to you.)
- I have an organized plan for study……….. Yes / No
- I follow my study plan most of the time……..Yes/No
- Do I study everyday more or less at the same time…………..Yes /No
- I have a quiet place in which I study………….. Yes / No
- I usually approach studying with a positive attitude…………. Yes / No
- Do I like to study in a group………..Yes/ No
- Do I like to study alone……………Yes/ No
- Do I avoid my study time…………..Yes/No
Have you ever thought what is the difference between successful students and the average ones ? Why do some students who appear to study all the time get fewer marks, while others who don’t appear to put in as much time and efforts achieve more marks?
Studying is a skill and to be successful in studies a high level of study skills are required. Students must first learn these skills, practice them and develop effective study habits in order to be successful.
Good study habits include different aspects:
- Desire to succeed
- Time management
- Self discipline
- Good concentration
- Memorization Organization
You’ll find that once you develop effective study habits, the job of studying and learning will become easier. Instead of working harder, you’ll be working smarter. For some students studying and being motivated to learn comes naturally. While some students are able to manage good marks with minimal effort, this is not always possible for everyone.
Effective study skills must be practiced in order for you to improve. Developing effective study skills is not a magic formula. Studying any material requires work. It is not enough to simply “think about” studying; you have to actually do it. There is a saying that goes like this: “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” If you want to be an achiever, you need to understand this. On the other hand the results of poor study skills are wasted time, frustration, low or failing grades. No two people study the same way, and it is a near certainty that what works for one person may not work for another. However, there are some general techniques that seem to produce good result.
The following are the top study habits used by highly successful students:
Make a list of what you intend to study. Decide which subjects require more time. Decide about which chapters need more attention. Then make a priority the list of what is more important and what is less important. Do first things first. Once you have made the list stick to it!
2. Plan your study schedule
Before you even begin to think about the process of studying, you must develop a schedule. If you don’t have a schedule or plan for studying, then you will not have any way of allocating your valuable time when the unexpected comes up. A good, well thought out schedule can be a lifesaver. It’s up to you to learn how to develop a schedule that suits your needs, revise it if necessary and most important, and follow it.
3. Plan when you’re going to study.
Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to study and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule. Even if you’re all caught up with your studies, creating a weekly routine, where you set aside a period of time a few days a week, to review your courses will ensure you develop habits that will enable you to succeed in your education long term.
4. Study at the same time every day.
Not only is it important that you plan when you’re going to study, it’s important you create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week, you’re studying will become a regular of your life. You’ll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive. If you have to change your schedule from time to time due to unexpected events, that’s okay, but get back on your routine as soon as the event has passed.
5. Each study time should have a specific goal.
Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying, set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. I will complete one chapter of maths today and half a chapter of Economics)
6. Never procrastinate your planned study session
Time is the most valuable resource a student has. The schedule you develop should guide you in how to allocate the available time in the most productive manner. Sticking to your schedule can be tough. Don’t waste your valuable time. Avoiding study is the easiest thing in the world. It’s up to you to follow the schedule you prepared. A good deal of your success depends on this simple truth. It’s very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. If you procrastinate your study session, your studying will become much less effective and you may not get everything accomplished that you need to.
7. Study in a place where there is no disturbance
Your study space should be as quiet and comfortable and well lighted as possible. Avoid studying in noisy place. Have a consistent place for everything. Have everything needed for studying handy beforehand. Don’t waste valuable time looking for books, notes, of other information. After you have assembled the items you need, put them where you can reach them easily.
8. Studying in Groups or Individually
Some people study better when they are alone whereas some study better when they are with a friend or in a group. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you’re unable to understand a concept, (2) Complete assignments more quickly. On the other hand final studying before exams should preferably be done alone.
9. Review notes, schoolwork and other class materials over the weekend.
It is important to review what you have learned during the week over the weekend. This way you will be well prepared to continue learning new concepts that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.
10. Making and revising a schedule
Don’t be afraid to revise your schedule. Schedules are really plans for how you intend to use your time. If your schedule doesn’t work, revise it. You must understand that your schedule is to help you develop good study habits. Once you have developed them, schedule building becomes easier.
Few quick tips of effective studying
Take a break and study no more than 30-40 minutes at a stretch. Many students retain more by studying for short periods with breaks in between. Generally, after a period of study, take a break.
Take study breaks away from your desk or wherever you are studying. Let the break be a time to think about other things. Use some break time to reflect, not constantly review what you have just studied.
Thinking is one of the most important things you can do in class. If you just sit there passively, and not think, class can be deadly. Think about what the teacher is saying BEFORE writing down anything. Writing down each word is a WASTE OF TIME. Reorganize in your mind what the teacher says, and then write it down. This way you will be connecting the teacher’s words with HOW you think. If you do this, your notes will make a lot more sense
Read the chapter summaries first (if your textbooks have them) .Its a good idea to read the summary to get a view of the chapter.
Break study material into short segments. Remember, brief notes are more powerful than long notes.
A Final Word
The study skills presented here depend on one thing, and that is your willingness to WANT to improve and do
If you really don’t want to make the effort and sacrifice, no amount of suggestions, ideas, or outlines can help much.
You are the one who is responsible for your education, and effective study skills can help you.
WORK SMART, NOT HARD
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