10 Super Study Tips
Here in the UK, back to school and college is back in full swing with university students not being far behind. I will be returning to uni in just 2 weeks time to start my Masters studying!
As I prepare for another rollercoaster year I am reminding myself of my own personal study tips that work well for me. I thought why not share some of my top tips for studying with my readers? We are all in the same position as students, we all face many challenges and distractions when studying. What are the best study tips? How can we be better at studying? What is the best way?
The truth is, there is no certain special way that everyone uses for studying. Some ways work for some students and for others it doesn't. We have to find our own way and create our own toolkit for studying to help us. Below is just some of the things I do when studying, it may work for some, it may not work for others but this may give some more ideas or inspiration for studying.
1) Write it all down-
Let's face it, many of us do not bother to write things down because we convince ourselves we will remember it... then an hour or two later...poof! Its gone. Save yourself the brain frying and the pancining and write it down. Keep a little notebook on you or even write a memo down on your phone. Any homework that's due, ideas we have for homework or projects, questions for class. Do not fool yourself into believing you will remember.
2) Prioritize -Its 2 weeks before you return after christmas break,you have a mountain of homework and have no idea where to start. Breath. Ask yourself which is due first? Do anything that is due first then work up to what is due last. Make notes about homework as your going along to if you need to.
3) Mind Maps- Personally I find mind maps super helpful to get my thoughts down. For some they don't find this helps. If you have an essay, review or anything you need to write a long piece about write down your ideas in a mind map.
Just write the ideas down first, even if they are just key words you think of. Then when you have the ideas, expand on them and branch of that main idea one by one. If you need reasoning behind your ideas ask yourself why you thought of that ideas and branch it on to your ideas.
3) Link ideas- Teachers, tutors, professors love to see link between ideas. It gives work a more structured flow, even if you have to google link between.... and .... anyway you can link your ideas and give reasoning to do it.
4) Group work/collaborative work- Those dreaded words we all hate to hear. 'Get yourselves into groups... find yourself a partner...with the person next to you...' We can all relate to this. Yes it is a dreaded thing but we have no choice but to do as they ask of us! Group work is a weekly if not daily thing in college and university. As much as we may dread it, tutors are helping us built our skills and our ideas. By doing group work we build communication, thinking and listening skills and sharing our ideas helps us to build on our own thoughts or others ideas.
(If applicable) Delegate responsibilities between each other.
Be open minded to new ideas.
Listen to each others ideas, don't interrupt because you have an idea or because you disagree.
Make suggestions to each others ideas.
If you disagree with someone, do not argue. Instead simply ask What made you think that? or Have you maybe thought... Be respectful, we all think differently.
6) Ask for help- If you are stuck, you don't get your homework, you have questions... do not be afraid to ask someone for help. We all need help sometimes and it is more than likely someone else in your class or on the course is in the same position as you. If you need to ask your tutor, they are there to help.
7) Make use of resources- If you have an assignment or homework to do and the tutor gives you extra things to look at such as websites, book extracts, use it! Do not see it as extra work, they are giving us these to help us with our work.
8) Feedback- You've done the hard part now comes another dread part.. feedback. As much as we all worry about getting that feedback, we need to look at it. I will admit, my stomach turns at the thought of my feedback but I know it is there to help me. Tutors gives us feedback so we know what we have done well and what we need to improve on. Take it on board so next time you do work you know what you need to work more on.
9) Learning styles- There are 7 different styles of learning. The main ones are Visual (seeing) Aural (hearing) and verbal (talking). For me I am a visual learner, I learn best from visual aids such as demonstrations or being shown in person. Everyone has their own preference. Find yours and use it to your advantage when doing work. Use Youtube videos, search google, talk out your ideas... do what you need to, to help you think.
10)Reflect- When I started college I was always asked to write reflective logs and I always found this to be a challenge. Now nearly 7 years on I am confident in reflecting in my work, by reflecting I am identifying what I feel I have done well with my work and what I think I may need more help or practice with. Sometimes reflecting even allows me to think 'Okay this didn't quite work for me so maybe next time I will try it this way.' Look back on your work and reflect on your progress!
I hope these tips help you guys with studying! If you want to find some more ideas I can recommend Palgrave the study skills handbook . Also try pinterest for some more ideas!