Being an effective student whilst studying does not mean you must memorize the whole book, however, it does mean being able to study smarter and add effective habits to your study routine. The majority of students that are able to ace their grades without memorizing every inch of their textbook usually follow effective study habits. It’s time for you to approach your study routine with the right attitude, the efficient material and set a realistic schedule. There are minor behaviors that you’d have to ditch in order to make room for the better habits of studying. However, it will all pay off when you begin to watch your grades slowly increase and expand your knowledge.
Here are 5 study habits that have been proven highly effective to many!
1. Realistic study goals
The first question you need to ask yourself is: are the goals you have assigned to yourself really realistic? Will you be able to finish those 5 chapters in 3 hours? The problem with assigning study goals for yourself is to neither overestimate your abilities nor underestimate it! If you know you can really finish several chapters in a certain number of hours or days, then assign yourself to slightly more than that just in case. If you’re aware that you prefer taking your time in studying, fix yourself up for a chapter divided to a few hours depending on how dense it is and how much time you have. Plus, setting unrealistic study goals will drive up anxiety and you wouldn’t want that in the finals season! On the other hand, maybe you keep daydreaming too much when studying that you assume you take too much time, but really, you don’t! So this brings us here, is the way you assign your goals really correct or not?!
Re-adjust how you divide your goals by answering this question to know:
- How long do you usually study for?
- Is this time period effective for you?
- Are you satisfied with your grades?
Use S-M-A-R-T to re-adjust your goals, set Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals and you’ll be good to go. If you’re not feeling satisfied with your grades and you still don’t know where it’s coming from, try calculating your GPA on https://gpacalculator.io beforehand so you can accurately set your goals with the needed grade in each course!
2. Be effective
How to be effective? Introduce different studying techniques embedded in your studying sessions.
Introducing different studying techniques is simple, you just need to get the hang of it. You can start by watching a recorded lecture or a YouTube video on the topic you’re struggling with. Next, you can move onto a few hours of personal studying with 2-3 breaks in the middle. In addition to reflect on the notes taken on the watched lecture or YouTube video. This way, you were able to add different learning styles and repeat the information you studied in the very beginning. Start with more difficult subjects first because a person is usually more concentrated in the beginning.
Here are a few learning styles we recommend besides the usuals:
- Visual learning – videos or pictures
- Interpersonal learning – studying with a friend
- Auditory learning – studying through listening
3. Be efficient
How to be efficient? Set priorities, take good notes but not long ones. Know what needs studying more than the rest. Make sure you make the most out of the available time without putting too much stress on yourself. This is a continuous habit after applying #1: realistic study goals. The idea of prioritizing your goals is to make room for more important subjects. In order to tackle the harder topics and courses earlier on and the easier things can be studied later on. After setting priorities, taking good but-not-long notes is essential. This is to study smarter without studying extremely hard. The key to taking good notes is to write down the important things, not all the things. Add diagrams to summarize a long explanation into a cycle or simple diagram that would help in having it pictured in your mind!
4. Have a positive approach towards studying
We know it’s hard to not look at studying like it’s a task, sometimes it’s even hectic. But the way you approach studying matters a lot. When you look at studying with an opportunity to expand your knowledge, it affects the way you absorb the knowledge. This is why subjects you like are easier to study. Researchers found that its not only what you do that will make your study easier, it’s how you approach it as well! You don’t have to love the subject, but a positive mindset is important when studying smarter. When you feel anxious towards studying, try to mediate first and create a calming environment for studying, then start your studies! Here are a few ways to improve your studying mindset:
- Think positive, study positive. Always remind yourself of what you’re able to do and your skills.
- Avoid thinking of how you might mess things up but think of how things can be improved and how you’re already starting to study even if you’re late. Better late than never.
- Simplify your studies as much as you can, try to make it easier for you to study and to memorize as well.
5. Finally, choose your study zone wisely
Are you the type that is concentrated in quiet places or do you prefer some background noise? Maybe it’s time for you to change the place you’re studying in, especially if your house is too noisy. Explore a new place and have a desk to spread your tools properly without having a disorganized space that brings in negative energy. Don’t go for a ‘good enough’ place but go for an ideal place.
Take time to find the right place that feels comfortable and quiet to study in. Here are essential tips for choosing the ideal study zone:
- A wide desk
- Good lightening that would not cause eyestrain
- Establish basic rules of not being disturbed
- Try to switch off your phone
- If you want to listen to music, make sure its soft instrumentals or beats without lyrics.
We’re super confident that with these study habits, you’ll be good to go! What we would recommend is changing the time you study in; so instead of late at night studies, try studying early morning. Extend your studying time for your next final and see how you would perform. Time yourself and take a break every time you’re done with a chapter or each hour. Change the place you study in as we’ve discussed and add different learning styles. Finally, always be realistic in each study habit because that’s the most important aspect that would help you apply each one of them.