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Study Tips and Techniques

Uttara Manohar Aug 4, 2020
There are different approaches towards the act of studying, where each one will have their own way of memorizing text and formulae. Learn some study tips and techniques if you find it hard to follow a method of your own when it comes to studying.
When it comes to learning, every student prefers distinct pattern that suits their speed, grasping capacity, and other academic abilities. However, there are certain studying techniques that can aid the learning process to a great extent. Taking notes in the class, reviewing the notes, and rewriting the study material can seem too intimidating at times.
Here is a step by step guide that you might find helpful if you are in the process of chalking out your own plan. First of all, you need to acquire some useful study habits to follow a good plan.

Study Techniques for Students

Attending Classes

Classroom knowledge is interactive and important. The knowledge that one grasps in a classroom is extremely valuable. Make it a point to attend the classes regularly, so that you don't miss out on the important points and topics mentioned in the class.
Often, teachers mention important topics and subjects that might come in handy while cracking the class tests and exams. Attending classes will help you to understand and remember each and every concept clearly and get rid of any doubt that you have regarding the subject.
No amount of reading or self-study can match up to the level of interactive study that is the distinct feature of classroom sessions.

Maintaining Organized and Comprehensive Notes

One simple process to have comprehensive notes is to include the following steps:
  • Take Notes in the classroom.
  • While reviewing the notes during self-study, make your own additions to sum up your understanding of the topic.
  • Research further to include additional data to your notes.
A well-organized set of comprehensive notes is the key to studying correctly. Also, make sure the notes are clean in terms of writing and presentation; avoid scribbles in your final notes. It is always preferable that you type your notes and maintain them online or take prints.
Having a soft copy of your notes always works well, as you can take prints if and when required and in addition to that you never have to worry about losing your notes. However, don't worry if you do not own a computer or if you prefer writing you notes on paper, you can maintain files or notebooks as well.

Self-Study and Research

It is a common misconception that self-study can begin only after a particular topic or chapter is taught in class. You should start preparing for the class in advance. It is of utmost importance that you have time to review the notes you have taken during the class, and try to read more about the subject on your own.
Be it reference books, or e-books, try to hunt for more information about your subject, so that you have a comprehensive view of the topics taught under your syllabus.
Often while reading and self-studying, it happens that you come across doubts or questions that did not occur to you in the classroom. Try and answer these questions yourself with the help of books or the Internet, however, in case you fail to find the answer, jot down these questions so that you remember to clarify the questions in your next class.

Group Discussions, Debates, and Conversations

Yes, one of the important habits that one must acquire to enhance the studying process is indulging in group discussions, debates, or simple conversations about the subjects that you are studying.
Group discussions can be a great way to broaden your perspective over important issues since group discussions give every group member a chance to voice their understanding, which might not necessarily be similar to others.
Group discussions are thus a healthy and a rather informal way of exchanging information and discussing issues. Many teachers encourage this technique in their classroom as well.

Regular Planning

No matter how much people frown upon the planning process and the timetables, it is a known fact that having a clear and detailed plan makes it easier for a person to reach their goal. According to your convenience, make a daily/weekly/monthly planner for your studies.
Although the monthly planning process might seem convenient it is always better to have a weekly or a daily plan, so that abrupt changes in class schedule or any other changes can be taken into consideration accordingly.

Balanced Study

Yes, there exist some species of students who burn the midnight oil, and slog it out every single day. The studying process should be such that it leaves enough room for a student to indulge in recreational activities and relaxation.
Always chalk out a schedule that will not hamper your sleep, your health, your sports / recreational activities, and other routine tasks. Also, studying a single subject at a stretch (like an entire week or so) can get boring, hence plan a schedule that helps you switch from one subject to another in sufficient time.

Build the Right Attitude

Normally, students get too caught up with the grades, the percentage, and the entire marking system. Always remember that if you study with the aim of acquiring knowledge, the grades will be brighter by default.
However, if you just aim for high grades, there is a chance you might get the grades, but you will miss out on acquiring comprehensive knowledge on a particular subject. Always study with the right attitude, and you will never have to worry about your grades. Knowledge is way beyond the grades.

Efficient Note-taking Techniques

While you are in the classroom, it is very important to pay attention to your lecturer and attempt to grasp every single thing that is being said or discussed. Since students cannot solely rely on their memory to retain all the information, note making is an essential part of classroom studying. Take a look at some note taking techniques.

The Cornell Method

This is one of the best methods for writing your notes. It is precise, comprehensive, and most importantly it does not include too much re-writing and can still be clean and organized.
While using the Cornell method, all you have to do is, rule your paper with a 2 ½ inch margin on the left which leaves a six-inch area on the right. While in a classroom, take down your notes in the six-inch area. For every significant bit of information, write a cue in the left margin (the 2½ inch area).
When the lecturer/teacher moves to a new point, skip a few lines after the earlier notes. Once the class is over, what you will have is succinct notes with cues in the left margin and space below every point, where you can expand the point and jot down the subject in your own words.
While reviewing the notes make use of a card to hide the notes, leaving the cues exposed. Now, say the cue out loud, and then reproduce as much as you can of the material underneath the card, and move the card to see if what you said matches the written content. Rest assured that if you can say it, you know it pretty well.

The Outlining Method

The outlining method involves listening and then writing important points in an organized pattern, which is based on space indention. The major points will be written farthest to the left, whereas more specific points will be written following the main point, but will be aligned to the right.
The distance from the major point will indicate the degree of importance of a specific point. The indention can be labeled with Roman numerals, or even decimals. Although this system is well-organized, requires minimum editing, and is easy for reviewing notes, it does have some disadvantages.
Disadvantages of this system are that it requires strong concentration level in the class to achieve accurate organization and hence may not be easy to use in a speedy lecture.

The Mapping Method

The Mapping method is a rather graphic method to jot down your notes and hence helps you to visually track your lecture. This system can be easily used in speedy lectures, as it requires minimum thinking. The mapping method also makes it easier to edit your notes by adding numbers and color-codes.
Also, while reviewing your notes, the mapping method will require you to restructure your thought processes, which will in turn mean that you will recheck your understanding in the notes.

Extra Study Tips for Students

Make sure the place where you will be studying is free from all sorts of distractions. Ideally, it is always better if you study in a quiet environment, however for people who prefer studying with some music playing in the background, it is better to keep the volume very low.
Do prepare for your classes in advance, as this will help you understand the things taught in the class better. Attend the classes regularly, so that you have an idea of what is being taught in the class. Reading the borrowed notes, or textbooks will not match classroom learning.
Make it a point to research on the subject further, once the class is over. Do not limit yourself to the syllabus; always focus on obtaining comprehensive knowledge of a subject. Shallow understanding can get you good grades by chance, but comprehensive knowledge will enrich you in the true sense.