Many students have heard that there are really only two ways to get to the top of the class. It is dependent on either natural ability, or work ethic. Unfortunately, not every student will have the mental capacity to understand material after hearing it only once, so hard work will be key to getting top grades. That is why following a strict study routine is essential to beating out the others. There are a few simple steps to follow, but understanding them will help any student learn how to study smart, hard, and with great results.
For starters, any good study habit will require a routine. One of the key elements to any studying routine will be finding a comfortable area to study in. Now this doesn’t mean the same for everyone, so it can differ from person to person. Some people prefer to study at home, others in a library, and some will even prefer to study outdoors. While some may enjoy a quiet atmosphere, others may enjoy a bit of background noise to help them focus. Whichever fits best for the student, it is important to use that spot consistently. Part of studying smart is to study consistently, and studying consistently means using the same area as a perfect spot for learning. Using the same spot every time studying is required will allow for more focus and a better comprehension of the material.
Learning how to study smart is also dependent on the student, but there are many options to help. One of the best ways to study is to outline all of the necessary material, and relate it back to oneself in a more easily understood manner. For example, once a chapter of material has been read, a good studier should go back to the beginning and go through the same material once again. As the student goes through it the second time, they should highlight important information and rewrite it in their own words. This method is typically seen as teaching oneself the material. The student acts as the teacher and the pupil, talking in the information as it is covered, but relating it back in a more recognizable voice and manner. Textbooks are often written using an abundance of tough language, so rewriting the information in a way that’s more easily understood will allow the student to comprehend the necessary details more thoroughly.
Once a chapter has been outlined and all of the important information has been rewritten, it is time to review. Rewriting the material is one of the most effective ways to commit something to memory, so reviewing becomes a much simpler task when a student is rereading their own material. To review properly, it is best to continuously peruse the details that have been written, applying all of the information in hypothetical examples, and explaining it to oneself in as many ways as possible. This method allows for the most thorough understanding of the information, as it is taken from all possible angles.
It is important to remember though that learning how to study smart isn’t all about constant work. Keeping a fresh mind is key to learning, so taking breaks in between chapters or checkpoints isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Often times a student may feel their attention begin to stray. When this happens, it is time to take a break, as an unfocused mind will waste time and energy going over material that can’t possibly be comprehended properly. A good general rule to follow is a 5-10 minute break after each chapter. This can consist of listening to a song or two, calling a friend, or simply taking a quick walk. Too much stress on the mind is never beneficial, and can hurt any studying process, so breaks are certainly a must.