With summer exams coming up soon, it must be revision season! It can be difficult to balance life and studies sometimes, as revision take up more and more time. But marathon study sessions don’t always translate into efficient learning. Instead, make your study time as efficient as possible. We’ve put together 5 ways to help you make your revision sessions more efficient.
1.Manage your time well
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/limaoscarjuliet/822938133/p>It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many students don’t make the most of their time when it comes to studying – we’re all guilty of it! There are 2 main changes you need to make in order to make your study time efficient.
Firstly, we’re big fans of scheduling study time. Make yourself a timetable and stick to it like glue! Getting into good habits early on creates a positive reinforcement loop, which makes it much easier to study and means you are less likely to need to cram near to the end of the course
The second thing is to make sure that when you study, that its valuable learning time. How many times have we ‘studied’ by staring at a textbook for an hour, only to find we can’t recall anything? Ensure that you study in short bursts of focused study, allowing brief and regular breaks to make sure that your mind is fresh.
2. Study Buddies.
Another old, but highly effective strategy is to employ a study buddy. If you can’t find someone near you, then you can use our forum and chatroom to find someone on the same course as you and start working together. By pairing up, you have an extra incentive to keep up to date in your studies as well as a fresh mind to bounce ideas off.
Working together with someone can make study sessions more fun and even something to look forward to. Just remember to not get carried away and to do some actual learning in between the chatting!
3. Set your goals – and measure them!
Set yourself targets and check how well you do against them. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hit every single target – what’s important is that you’re keeping track of your progress and ensuring that you’re not slipping. It’s really important to set realistic, achievable targets – don’t set unreasonable goals as this will dishearten you.
Do the same before each study session. Write down what you want to learn or achieve from each session and check to see if you have accomplished your goal. If you haven’t then you need to modify your study technique. If you consistently meet your goals, then you are studying efficiently. You can track this yourself, or employ someone else to check for you.
4. Micro Study sessions
Flashcards. Love or hate, they’ve been a study tool for a long time. With good reason too, they are a very good way of remembering details in short, manageable chunks. But what do they have to do with Micro study sessions?
When we’re busy, it makes sense to make the most of our downtime. Whether you’re a teccie and like to use the latest in technology to study, or whether you prefer more traditional methods, the important thing is to make the most of your downtime.
Some of our students use their tablets, smartphones and similar to study when on the train, bus or just during downtime. But if you don’t like, or can’t afford these, then you can study just as well using a pad of post its and a pen. The trick is to break down your studies into bite size chunks and study regularly.
Sites like Headmagnet can be really useful if used well, as they allow you to track study time, accuracy and identify weak points. As with all tools, remember that they should be used as supplements and not exclusively.
5. Study Environment
Images courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/bofh/30902399/
Normally, we seek out a quiet corner when it’s time to study. It’s a time honoured tradition, but is it the best solution? This is a time when it’s worth experimenting – you might find you are better off in a moderately noisy room than in an utterly silent one. Sometimes complete silence proves a distraction. Now, we’re not saying to blast your music so loud that the neighbours have to move out, but a little in the background can help.
While having a stable study location is essential, remember that it can help to change location from time to time. Doing so can help keep your mind alert and it’s always good to have a change of scenery from time to time. Take a break from the desk every so often and swap locations.
Remember, not every tip will work for you. The important thing is to find out what works for you as an individual and keep at it!
So there we are, our top 5 tips for studying. What have we missed and what works for you? Let us know in the comments below.