Everyone has different ways that they like to study. I like to write things out and recopy my notes. Some people like to read, read, and then read some more. Other people like to talk out loud while they study. Here are some different ways to study. Have a favorite way to study that’s not listed below? Let us know in the comments.
- The Reading Method. Read and re-read and read your textbook again, class notes and handouts one more time after that. Read everything you highlighted OUT LOUD. Reading out loud makes your brain focus more clearly on the words and you are less likely to find yourself drifting away. Make sure that you understand what you are reading. Finally, if there are questions at the end of each chapter, answer them.
- The Writing Method. Don’t just read – write! Rewrite the important things in your own words. Elaborate if you can. As with reading out loud, writing is active learning and you are more likely to remember things if you write them down.
- Flash Cards. Making flash cards is a great combination method, and it’s especially good if you need to learn dates, vocabulary/definitions, short facts or formulae. You remember how to do it from elementary school – on one side of the card you write down the word or the date or the name of the formula, and on the other side you write the answer. Then, you test yourself or have some kind and generous soul test you. Flash cards can be your best friend before an exam – write them up early and keep them in your backpack, and then every 10-minute break can be a study session.
- Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Mnemonics are an excellent memory tool if you need to know a set of information like the planets in order or the notes on a scale. Words are wonderful!
- Find a Study-Buddy. Students who study with other students do better. You can test each other, prompt each other, show each other flash cards, and encourage each other. One of you may know or understand something the other doesn’t, and then you will both get more out of a study session.
- Talk about loud. Explain hard concepts to yourself, your cat, the wall… Walk yourself through complicated steps in a math problem. “Ok, so I add this here…carry the one…simply this fraction…and…solve for X…Done!”