There is no magic answer when it comes to developing good study habits. Not everyone learns the same way. So, not everyone will study the same way. Some people need absolute silence to review textbooks, lecture notes, and handouts to prepare for an exam. Others study better in a group bouncing ideas off one another. The study skills you develop will be based heavily on your individual learning style.
What’s Your Learning Style?
Make it easy on yourself. Ask yourself a simple question:
- Are you a visual (see), auditory (hear), or kinesthetic (hands-on) learner?
- What if you aren’t sure what category of learning you fall into?
Just think back to all those classes you have taken before and all the previous things you have learnt throughout your life. There would have been forms of learning that came much easier to you than others. Did you find it easier to follow visual, practical or listening instructions when being taught things? There’s your learning style.
Develop study skills that are tailored to your unique style of learning to achieve more productive results. Maybe you need to physically do something and practice it to learn how to do it effectively, maybe just listening to how is enough or by visually watching could be the best way of picking up that particular skill.
These can be applied to theoretical study too with regards to learning a subject for a theory exam. You could talk into your phone and record yourself reading key parts in the text book and play it back to hear it, You could re write the text in the chapter you are revising in your own words, highlighting those key points. You could even ask someone to hold the book and ask you questions on what they read on that page.
How to Successfully Study
Here are a few key elements every successful student needs to include in a study plan:
- Time-Management – It is not the amount of time you spend studying that matters. It’s what you can accomplish during that time. So make it productive with no interruptions scheduling and uninterrupted 60 or 90 minutes of study is much more effective than 4 hours at a time with distractions. So diarise your time, make an appointment with yourself and make it happen!
- Motivation – If you are not motivated or not feeling very positive, your study session will not be very productive. If it helps, exercise before you begin to study as exercise is proven to stimulate the brain.
- Concentration – The ability to concentrate is one of the more important study skills you need to develop. Choose a time of day when you know you feel more alert. Learn how to overcome distractions so you can focus all your attention on your studies. If this means switching of your phone and social media channels then do it!
When in doubt, ask – If you aren’t sure about a particular topic, don’t be shy. Ask your tutor, family, or friends for help. It is important to address the problem area as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend even more time studying to catch up.Remember you are learning a new subject or skill and that we all learn at different paces. Never compare yourself to anyone else and be proud of all achievements.