Studying. It’s a chore we all have to face at some point, and like any chore, the earlier it’s done the sooner you can relax. In this article, I’ll be outlining my 5 best study techniques that help me study effectively and efficiently.
Opening with a controversial one, note taking has been a staple of rote learning since mankind invented the written word. Many studies point to it’s poor outcomes for the student, but what these studies don’t tend to take into account is HOW you take notes.
Don’t: Take down every single word the lecturer says verbatim, write in one colour for pages upon pages and miss crucial info because you were writing everything down.
Do: Summarise what the lecturer says in a way you can understand it, be clear and concise (use colours and highlighters!) and note questions you have to ask the lecturer or a mate after class.
Don’t: Toss your hard earned notes in the trash because you don’t understand a concept.
Do: Make tidier notes if you don’t understand a concept to help clear up confusion.
Spider Diagrams/Mind Maps
This is great for brainstorming ideas in design type classes. Mind Maps can be a great way of getting all of your ideas down on paper fast in any modules where creativity is needed. It keeps ideas and concepts linked to one another in a very visual way.
If you have definitions to learn, look no further than flash cards! There are a few ways to do these but my favourite is like this:
- First write out a question (or questions) on your card.
- Second write out the answer (or answers) on the opposite side.
- Now you can quiz yourself fast when you’ve got a few minutes to spare.
Doing in class examples is great, but what better way to prepare for an exam than by doing the closest thing to it; A previous year’s exam paper.
Eventually through practice you will start to see common structures in the questions which will make even the most daunting topics a breeze!
This is my absolute favourite way to learn new concepts. Listening to another student who fully understands a topic you don’t understand explain it in conversational, everyday language can be incredibly helpful.
Alternatively, you might understand a concept better than your friends do. Well it’s been proven an incredibly effective way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
Incorporating all the other listed techniques with group study is incredibly powerful and I highly recommend it.
Grab a few mates, grab a coffee or tea and have a chilled out study session.
Make sure to take regular breaks, stay hydrated, have healthy snacks to hand and you’ll go far!