When you’re in high school or at college, studying will be an essential part of your day-to-day and week-to-week life. There are two big dangers - not studying enough and not studying efficiently. If you haven’t developed a routine that works for you, studying can both take up a lot of your time while at the same time failing to deliver the results you are hoping for. To maximize the use of your time and become a better student, here are some time-saving studying tips.
Find your learning style
One of the best ways to make the best use of your studying time is by figuring out what kind of a learner you are, and then modifying your study habits to fit your learning style. There are roughly seven different learning styles: (1) visual, (2) audio, (3) verbal, (4) physical, (5) logical, (6) social, and (7) solitary.
For example, if you are a visual learner, then you understand information best when it is presented visually to you. If you are a physical learner, then you absorb information best when you use your body (your hands) to kinesthetically process it. Social learners thrive in group settings and learn by listening to others and bouncing their ideas off of them.
The sooner you can figure out your learning style, the sooner you’ll be able to maximize how you use your study time. If you have been using flashcards to study (which is a visual/physical method – since you write down the information), but discover that you are an auditory learner, then you’ll realize that flashcards are no longer the best study tactic for you, and you can move on to a tactic that works better (recorded lectures, study sessions, YouTube videos, etc.). How to find out your style? Take an online quiz at Educationplanner.org.
Find examples to learn from
Sometimes the best way to learn is by following a path to success that others have already carved out. For example if you are trying to improve your writing skills, find examples of great essays to model – not to copy, but learn from. There are many websites and archives out there with free student essays that you can download and review to get ideas. Take a look at them and ask some questions. What do they have in common? How do they structure their essays? What do you see when you compare those papers to some of your own earlier essays? Learning from other writers will ultimately help you save time, improve the quality of your work and give you a recipe for success. By consulting other proven examples that others apply, you can discover a pattern that works for you that you can use consistently moving forward.
Another great way to find examples is by looking to a mentor or teacher who you can learn from. This is a great approach in fields of study like math or science, since they’ll be able to teach you different methods to solve problems. Observe how they tackle a formula and get to a solution. Chances are their approach is different from the textbook. For many common problems, you can watch a range of Internet videos, see the varied approaches of different instructors and choose the one that works for you.
When you’re studying, it’s easy to lose track of time or become distracted and not use your time efficiently. First you need to budget time to study for all of your classes across the week and not last minute. Remember school is a marathon, not a race.
Second, you should try to practice time blocking to combat distraction. Work in 20-minute time blocks, where during those blocks you do nothing but study and work – no checking social media, no looking at your phone, and no distractions. Then, when the 20 minutes are over, take a 10-minute break and perhaps give yourself a small reward (some time on your phone, a chocolate, etc.). You’ll be able to work and study more efficiently during these time blocks because you know that you have a break coming, focus your concentration and utilize your time much more effectively.
While you can always use a clock or the timer on your phone, there are a range of study apps for your that will help you to block out your time across the week and maintain your discipline. For example, apps like myHomework can be used to track all your classes, assignments, and exams and then set reminders and budget your time each day and across the entire semester.
Remember that your attitude has a great impact on how much you get done during studying. You must strive to focus on positive outcomes and to not say negative things such as it is too hard or you can’t do it. Your environment and study habits can go a long way in establishing the positive mindset. Ask yourself where do you like to study? The library, your home, or study with a friend? You can also increase your motivation by thinking of an activity or thing that you love to do and that by completing your study goals, you can then reward yourself with what makes you feel happy.
Studying is always going to be a chore, but you can make it easier and faster with these timesaving tricks. Get started on improving your study habits today!