No one wants to waste their entire youth studying. Although, when you’re in post-secondary it may feel like that’s all you’re going to do until you get your degree. But, if you learn how to study efficiently instead of more, you could really save yourself some time and still get good grades. Use our guide on studying efficiently and effectively to help you create a balanced life for yourself.
Recently, researchers from Princeton University and the University of California – Los Angeles found that taking notes by hand allows you to better recall all the information presented in your lecture. While it might seem like laptops are more efficient for note-taking, it’s more likely that students taking notes this way will just copy what the professor is saying word for word instead of really thinking about it. Additionally, taking notes by hand allows you to draw little pictures or diagrams quite easily. This can be really advantageous to your learning if you’re a visual learner.
For additional tips on writing that you could incorporate into your notes, check out our writing effectively article!
Our next piece of advice is to study the same information many times but in multiple ways. So, instead of just reading your notes again, why not write them down again, watch a video on the subject and pretend that you’re teaching the material to someone. Teaching the material to someone can be especially useful in helping identify gaps in your knowledge on the subject. Studying in multiple ways allows you to stimulate different parts of the brain, which in turn can help you learn much faster. Perfect if you’re aiming for studying efficiently and effectively.
This might be the hardest of our study tips, but it’s a necessary one. Do your absolute best to stay away from any distractions! Whether it’s your phone, your laptop, or other people, try to avoid it all and focus on your notes and textbook. If you have to, go somewhere like a nearby coffee shop or library and try leaving those distractions at home. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, at least turn all your electronics on do not disturb mode.
This tip is all about procrastination. Instead of waiting until the week before exams to start reviewing, you should be reviewing regularly each week. Keeping up to date on all the material you’ve covered will help you feel less stressed around exam season because you will have retained so much of the course content. Also, reviewing periodically could help you make connections with old and new material, deepening your learning experience.
If there’s a concept you really can’t grasp, don’t let it keep you from moving forward. Instead, ask for help and keep moving forward with your studies. There’s no point in wasting countless hours on trying to understand one small concept when you could just ask your TA or professor. They are the experts of the course and will likely be able to help you! Then, you can continue moving forward and not waste too much time on one thing.
Studying, no matter what you do, is going to be a big part of your university experience. If you’re looking for ways to spend less time studying so you can lead a more balanced life, there are ways out there. Use our guide to studying efficiently and effectively, and hopefully, you’ll have some success (and more time to relax!)