Devising The Right Study Strategies

Asia Khanam Konica

23 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Devising The 
Right Study Strategies

Do you ever feel that your study habits simply aren’t working anymore for you? Do you wonder what you could do to perform better in the class? Well, the fact is that student struggle with university studies; when the high school study habits become less effectual. This is understandable, as the university is quite different from high school. The lecturers are less involved, exams are worth more, reading is more profound, and classes are much more precise. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or you choose the wrong major subject. It simply means you need to change your study strategies to make sure you understand the subject matter clearly.

When you place a stronger emphasis on understanding the study material rather than grades, you aren’t simply memorizing information and regurgitating it for tests. You are learning with the mindset of a lifelong keeping that information with them for years to come. If any student follows this conception, then good grades will automatically show up in their transcript. As we all know, good grades are essential for academic success. Fortunately, there are many active and effective study strategies which may turn out to be beneficial for you. Experiment with them and find out what works for you:


Find out your learning style

You need to understand that what works for a high achiever might not work for you. Some people find visual aids are the most useful, while others need to hear the content of the learning before it makes complete sense. Once you have figured out which style best suits your learning, the study will become easier than before. There are generally 4 types of learners:

•    Visual learners: These are the people who prefer to see some sort of illustration to further explain a subject. If you are a visual learner, watch educational videos on YouTube about the subject instead of reading the textbook. You may also use graphic organizers and other illustrations to understand a specific topic.

•    Auditory learners: These are the people who rely on hearing and speaking to understand information and instructions. They may struggle with understanding written instructions. If you are an auditory learner, try purchasing an audio version of your textbook, or simply read it aloud. As opposed to writing notes, record them with your mobile recorder and play them when you study.

•    Kinesthetic learners: These are the ‘do-ers’. They prefer to complete hands-on activities and experiment to understand what they are learning. These people excel in science-related subjects because of the hands-on atmosphere. If you are a kinesthetic learner, think of some creative activities or experiments to review information.

•    Reading or writing-preference learners: These, as the name suggests, prefer reading or writing the information repeatedly to understand it. If you are a reading or writing-preference learner, all you have to do is read whatever information you are required to know. Try to paraphrase the information and write it down to make sure that you understand it.


Knowing what your lecturer wants

The teacher-student relationship impacts every aspect of your educational experience. When you don’t feel respected, or truly known by your lecturer, you engage less in your education. Most of the time it happens in this way - when the lecturer starts grading you, they don’t even remember your face by reading your name. That’s why; they immediately think you aren’t an active student. To overcome this, make conversation with your lecturer and clear your doubts about the subject. This works both ways; lecturer gets to know who you are and how much you are attentive in class and you feel confident and positive about that subject. If there's a test or paper coming up, you can request for a sample paper to get to know what kind of question will come and how will you answer them. Knowing what your lecturer wants and changing your answer style according to it is important.


Using specific habits to ease studying

It is important to grow some habits if you are interested to concentrate more on your study strategies. Here are some habits:

•    Choose a quiet place to study: Removing noise and distractions can help you to focus better and get on with the study within a set time. That said, some people actually do study better with noise and people around. If this approach suits you better, use it as your advantage and study in your university cafeteria instead of library.

•    Listen to music: This doesn't work for everyone but some people find it helpful; listen to music, especially classical music or instrumental music. Don't treat music as a must-have because some days you may find the music soothing and helpful, while other days it's annoying and distracting.

•    Take regular breaks when studying: Study in 15-minute chunks and take 5-minute breaks. Or study for half an hour to 55 minutes, and then take a break. Get into this habit and stick to it, as it's good for your body and brain both to have a stretch, a walk around and a change of scenery for a few minutes.

•    Create a study group: It's easier to study with the people who learn the same way you do. By this, you can exchange your knowledge and understanding, discuss hard study materials and can learn from each other.


Prepare your own study notes

For a student, smart notes are prerequisites for study. At university, learning from huge and complicated books can be rigid and annoying. Also, lecturer sometimes speaks too slowly or too quickly or ends up talking on tangents that may or may not have anything to do with the theme of a lecture.

Overcome this crisis by creating your own personal study notes. Just make some time to review what you have learned today and write it down in easy language. Make sure your study notes are organized, use headings explaining each major topic and use a highlighter or colored pen for each specific topic. Explore through the internet; it will provide you enormous knowledge about the same things differently. Reach out to successful students of your class and try to plan study parties and review sessions with these students.

Finally, rewarding yourself for your efforts is an important part of making studying more enjoyable, as well as motivating yourself. This could be meeting up with a friend, a trip to the cineplex to see a film you’re looking forward to or anything else that will give you a way to relax once you achieve good grades.