Nowadays modern technology has changed our approach to effective study skill. Learners no longer wish to delve into the pages of their textbooks. They rather keep themselves engaged in copying notes from other sources or by hand from blackboards. If any assignment is given to them by the instructor or teacher, some of them go for copying it from their classmates. In order to prepare presentation, students prefer a typed-up copy for the computer can check their spelling and sometimes grammatical errors as they go. Thus they avoid the true learning system. Their talent remains unexplored. This write-up is going to focus on some key ways to improve basic study skill.
Here the first thing is notion and concentration. According to Will Durant, “Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul”. In the process of gathering knowledge, ‘concentration’ is an unavoidable issue. There are some “dead spots” that distract our concentration in the moment of our study. Some of them are external while some are internal. The external ‘concentration killing’ issues include chaotic home environment, using Facebook in the time of studying, sitting on an uncomfortable chair in a rather dimlight room, having a study location with physical distractions, street noise, music, TV, interrupting friends’ calls, mobile phones, conversations from people at nearby table etc. The internal distractions originate from inside our heart. We can avoid external problems but avoiding internal trouble causing issues becomes difficult sometimes. More often internal distractions are stress or emotion related. You have to avoid them by trying to control your mind and motivating yourself to focus on the ‘study’ only. Tell yourself that, there is a lot of time ahead to think of those issues. Since there is no shortcut way to study, it should be the prime concern. For achieving concentration, you can start practicing ‘self-talk’ on the subject matter of your study. ‘Self-talk’ can be motivating. A quiet peaceful mind talks with the writers effectively. So learn to communicate with a silent and effective mindset. Since, in this age of competition, we need to boost up our image as a dynamic and resourceful person, gathering as much information as possible in the quickest way is recommendable. It also helps in increasing basic study skill.
Discipline is another skill related to study. To be successful in a world of constant rush, you must be disciplined to win the race. Organise your books, pens and study-related things properly. A sound preparation results in active participation into class activities. There are some other helpful points to consider for improving study skill as follows:
► Read a lot specially the textbooks
► Avoid procrastination. Do not leave everything for the night before examination
► Set up your time-frame for study
► Plan and prepare your own notes just after each class or lectures given by the instructors. A good time planning strategy is probably one of the most effective ways to control procrastination
► Study the syllabus beforehand and collect books, study materials from library, digital sources, and friends and then compare them with your own understanding
► Remember to write more since the examination process focuses more on writing
► Attend and follow classes regularly and guiding yourself actively
► Expand your memory capacity up to 100 times and more beyond
► Never underestimate your brain
► Double and even triple your reading speed and comprehension ability
► Study the previous year’s questions to generate ideas
► Sit for mock examination as much as possible
► Eat good and healthy foods and lead a balanced life
► Avoid fear, stress, distractions, low self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed, low level of will power
► Feel relaxed, positive not stressed or anxious
► Do good work always as it acts as internal power to be a good student
► Prime your brain for study by activating prior knowledge
► Study for pleasure not for pressure
► Read Loudly
► Think Silently
► Write Profusely
► Speak Confidently
► Listen music and view nature as refreshment.
Lastly, we can say that there is no alternative to study so as to improve study skill. Once Pablo Sarasate said, “For thirty-seven years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!” So being a genius is not always by luck. Most of the time, hard work wins the race. Let us work hard to improve basic study skill.
The writer is an Associate Professor and Former Director of Centre for English Language of Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh