Developing effective study skills is very important to succeed in any class or training session. Many smart people suffer because they never learned how to properly study or haven't developed any study skills. Follow these simple steps to ensure your making the most of your study time.
Did You Make a Plan?
Create a plan of attack. Start by making a schedule and plan your time to study. You can always revise your schedule, but it's important to try to stick to a schedule so you don't wander off plan. Always schedule your study time when you know you're not going to be tired. If you're too tired to study, you will resent the fact you have to study. Plan on studying for 30-40 minutes at a stretch. Study an hour after you've eaten. Don't study just after you've eaten, or when you're due to be hungry again.
Do You Know What You Don't Know?
Know what you need to study and make a list. Make sure you know exactly what needs to be studied, and as you study cross it off your list. This will help you to make sure your studying everything!
Don't wait for a test to study. Developing effective study skills doesn't work for last minute studying. Last minute studying is often a waste of time. Study several times a week, if not daily. Study after your lecture course, and review all your notes you took during class while it's still fresh information. Ask yourself questions when you're reading over material. Get yourself to think critically. Question the information and answer the information.
Shhh, Quiet Please
Study in a quiet place with no distractions. People find it a lot easier to study in a library, a study lounge, or private room. If you don't have a phone ringing, or people around that you know to cause distraction, your time will be spent harder on studying and you won't be developing effective study skills.
Get the Picture?
Developing effective study skills is about knowing what you need to study, before you sit down to study. Think about it and create a picture in your mind about the material. Think of who, what, where, why, when of the information you need to study.
Read, Don't Skim
Thoroughly read the material through. That doesn't mean scanning. Don't skim! Read it all, and read actively. Don't read out loud or move your lips while you are reading. That is not efficient reading. When you come across important information stop and make sure your understanding it correctly. You can even jot down more notes on that information, even if you already have it noted down somewhere. If the information is bold or in italics make sure you learn that information. The author is telling you it's important to know.
What Was That You Just Read?
Stop throughout the reading to recall the information. Make sure you are absorbing the information that you read. Ask yourself if it's truly making sense, and in your mind map out what it truly means. Try to repeat back the information you just ready in your own words.
Take Note of It!
Note taking is an important skill to studying. Take notes logically and legibly. If you can't read your own notes a few days later, they will be useless. Don't waste your time if they can't be of use to you.
Following these different ideas while studying, will help you to use your time effectively. Developing effective study skills sounds like a lot of work, but if you consistently study this way, it will become second nature to you. Studying is important!
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