It can be challenging to get yourself into the zone to study, and the longer you try, the more difficult it becomes. Whether you’re studying in your off-campus housing at Ohio university or are pulling an all-nighter in the library, you need to find the best study strategies that actually work; lucky for you, they are right here.
1. Shake Up Your Location
Studying in different locations is proven to increase how well you retain knowledge. While you might have the perfect study spot at home, if you use it too often you’ll become too comfortable and familiar with it. Try studying in various places, mixing it up between staying on campus, going home, and finding space anywhere else you think you can get away from distractions.
2. Pomodoro Technique
We were not made to study all day long without taking a break. Instead, consider the Pomodoro Technique to boost your productivity while studying. Rather than work straight through the day, it would help if you worked in concentration blocks. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work without distractions until the timer rings. Once it does, take a quick break (three to five minutes), and get back to it. Each hour, you can take a slightly longer break, ideally between 15 and 30 minutes.
If these times don’t work for you, or you feel you’re on a roll, you can adjust them to best suit your needs.
Interleaving involves mixing multiple related subjects in one study session to improve knowledge retention and application. However, be aware that this tactic is more challenging to get the hang of, although it will lead to better results if you persevere.
4. Teach Other People
Teaching other people, also known as the Protégé Effect, is a fantastic way to improve your own knowledge. It forces you to think about the material in a new way, and if you find that you can’t teach it, you don’t understand it well enough. You can teach your roommates, classmates, or anybody who hasn’t already studied the subject themselves.
5. Rewrite Notes
You should write notes wherever possible, but oftentimes during a lecture you’ll try and write everything down, which is not always beneficial. After taking notes in class, take the time to review and rewrite them later as this can cement your knowledge and fill in any gaps that you missed or struggled to understand. You can also clarify any misunderstandings and remove notes that will not be relevant later on, streamlining the study process that will come later and making the notes easier to refer to before an exam.
Previewing the material will give you a fantastic foundation to build upon once you get to class. It means you’re already vaguely familiar with the material, and you can make lasting connections easily. You will learn the same material twice but in different ways that will cement your knowledge and ensure better retention.
Everybody is different, and the way you learn best might be different than how your classmates learn. If one study strategy doesn’t work for you, try another! Instead, you can try a few different methods until you find the one that works for you and ensures that you stay organized so you can excel in your schoolwork.