Do you sometimes struggle to stay focused in class or while completing assignments at home? Don’t worry if you do, just keep reading to learn some study hacks!
For those of you who have already come up with some of your own, there’s no harm in exploring some new ones, maybe you can compile all the effective study hacks and share them with your friends!
Contrary to the common belief, studying doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, there are a couple of hacks to help make the process more fun and enjoyable.
1. Jazz Up Your Notes
Study notes do not necessarily have to be in plain black writing against white paper. Try different sized markers, or glittery pens in all sorts of different colours.
Use them against coloured papers or cardboard papers in different sizes. Cut your notes into different shapes to differentiate between subtopics. Think of it as if you are completing an art project.
Just think,wouldn’t it be convenient to read notes about the cardiovascular system from a red coloured paper cut into a shape of a heart? Or the plant cells from a green coloured paper in the shape of a leaf?
At A Team, we encourage creating your own Neurobooks (or you can follow our template!). It is the process in which you create such notes that will enhance your memory of them when pressured by limited time and tense atmosphere in exams.
Besides, drawing diagrams can also be extremely helpful. For instance, sketch a chain of molecules in a compound using blue coloured pencil, and then associate that compound with water (H2O). Easy,right?
Another creative style of note-taking is drawing mind maps. They quite literally help you in connecting the dots to improve your ability to identify relationships and form links within the content you have learnt – which is often an important criterion in your assessments.
You might also want to consult the study pyramid from our CAS manual to help you in planning your notes!
2. Your Personal Memory Aids
This is a little trick I use to remember complicated facts. All you have to do is take an important word that represents the concept you are trying to learn, and then embed it in your mind by relating it to something personal, or an experience you’ve had.
For example, there may be a concept that you learnt for the first time in Science, and one particular word from that concept sounds like the last name of one of your relatives; so, when revising that particular concept, think of your relative –then the word – then the concept.
Whenever you need to apply that concept in your work, you will automatically go through that same process of jogging your memory and eventually, this newly learnt concept will come straight to you.
This may be a little complicated to start with, but you can associate any content with anything at all, whether it is a Disney character, a type of food you had, or a word from a different language.
In the long run, your mind will begin to make subconscious pairing between your personal experiences and the relevant material. This form of memory aid works differently for everyone, so it becomes exclusive to you and your understanding only.
3. Be The Teacher
After jazzing up all your notes and embedding them into your mind, the most effective way of finding out if you actually know the content is by teaching it to your classmates.
It is almost double revision, as you repeat what you’ve learnt by saying it out loud to your friends.
Not only is this beneficial to your ‘students’, it allows you to discover what you know or don’t know best, so that you can do some extra revision if need be. A good way of teaching is to incorporate questions and answers.
Who doesn’t love a good trivia time? Take turns answering each other’s questions as a form of test before your actual test.
Sometimes, getting an answer wrong may just heighten your recollection of it when you come a cross something similar and recall that you have experienced this in the pre-test with your friends
4. Turn Your Study Session Into A Musical
Remember how I said studying can be fun?
Sing your notes!
Ever had a dream as a kid to be a superstar? Well now’s your chance, you’ve got your own lyrics,all that’s left now is to create your tune.
This may sound a little odd, but give it a go, it works!
Simply sing your notes out loud (or quietly) in your own tunes or the tunes of your favourite songs, it’ll surely stick after repeating this for a couple of times.
Again, it’s the process of accomplishing this that will augment your memory. Practise makes perfect!
How is this helpful, you may ask?
When in the exam, you can hum quietly or mentally to evoke the sound of your own voice singing the notes in order to recall them.
However, if you classify yourself as not much of a singer, simply reading your study notes out loud for a number of times is just as effective for an aural learner.
The idea is for you to transfer all (or most) that you have written down into your brain, so do whatever works best for you!
To give you a hand, explore our learning languages blogs to find out the most effective method of studying that is best suited to you!
5. Study Early
This may go without saying but getting a head start is as important as the quality of your study sessions.
It is never ideal to study the entire term’s worth of work over 2 days.
Carefully plan out your study routine at the beginning of the term to ensure you have time for other curriculum’s.
This way, you won’t lose sleep from cramming all your revision into the day before the exam and subsequently experiencing the domino effect of forming other bad habits such as last-minute assignments.
By spreading out the workload to have a more balanced life, you might even find yourself left with some extra time to revise some unfamiliar concepts twice.
If you are struggling to plan ahead, consult your Academic Personal Trainer to draw up a timeline that is suited to your schedule and seek to follow that for the rest of the term.
You could also have a look at the study pyramid as it breaks down exactly what you need to do to thrive in your studies!
6. Exercise To Exercise Your Brain
Some of you may want to dedicate every minute before the exam to studying (I feel the same way sometimes), but, rather than bombarding your brain with information, why not try something more refreshing?
Exercising strengthens the quality of studying by releasing endorphins that improve your brain productivity.
You may feel more reinvigorated after a workout, and your brain may also be readier to receive more information.
For more details on the relationship between exercising and improving your memory and thinking skills visit the Harvard Health blog linked
It is defiantly a productive form of break that I strongly recommend you utilise to your own benefit.
To conclude, I have personally found these study hacks to be effective in lightening the process of studying, but I shall leave it up to you to discover how creative you can get!