Studying is time consuming and requires dedication if you want to achieve great results. Most students are also busy balancing study other commitments likes work, friends and family. So when you’re at the business end of the teaching period with assessments due and exams on the horizon, maximise your time by studying smarter, not harder. Read on for our top tips.
1. How you study matters
You might find that studying in shorter sessions and taking regular breaks increases your productivity more than studying in large chunks of time. A cycle of studying, taking a break and reviewing what you’ve just gone over will help you retain the information you’ve invested time in learning. Continuing to go over your study materials and notes as you progress through the teaching period will aid your brain in committing it to your long-term memory. It will make it easier to recall the information come exam time. Don’t forget to also plan enough time to study and revise for each of your units.
2. Test yourself out loud
Try verbally explaining a topic or theory to someone who may not know a lot about the subject. Going through what you’ve learned and speaking it out loud, even by yourself, will help to make the material clearer in your mind and may identify gaps of knowledge you need to revise.
3. Get the most out of where you study
The type of environment you spend your study time in can impact your ability to be efficient and commit what you’ve learned to your long-term memory. When you’re trying to get assignments done, study in the best environment possible by ensuring your study space is well-lit, comfortable and free of distractions. If you’re studying for an exam, it could make a difference on the day by revising and practising for it by recreating exam conditions in your study space.
4. Change the way study looks
It’s important to study using techniques that work best with your preferred way of learning and retaining information. If writing down or typing out notes won’t help you recall information when it matters, try organising important course material and learnings in a visual way. Start by trying methods such as creating mind maps and flow charts, colour coding your notes or making flash cards.
5. Relate your learnings
While you’re going over course materials and unit notes, take some time to think of how the learnings relate to your own life and experiences. What will learning the material allow you to do? How can you apply the material in the future? Creating associations between what you’ve learned and your own life will assist with recalling the information later down the track.
6. Utilise the online space
When you study online and progress through your course, it’s smart to utilise the online tools available to you. Start by getting yourself organised and eliminating distractions with apps such as todoist and SelfControl. Try an app such as Studies to aid recall by creating your own flashcards. Use the WSU Online Study Planner to create a weekly timetable around your existing commitments and download a weekly planner to help outline what you want to achieve for the week.
As you’re using these tips to help you study smarter, it’s also important to remember to look after and prioritise yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, fitting in exercise when you can and getting enough sleep. If you need further assistance, contact your Student Advisors.