tudy isn’t just for the night before an assignment’s due or the night before an exam.
It’s never too early – or too late – to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve.
Here are our top tips for getting the most out of study
1. Pick a place and time
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. Whether it’s your bedroom at night or the library after school, find a study space and a regular study time that works for you and stick with it.
- Set up your study space – Your study space should be quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. It should make you feel happy and inspired. Decorate it with your favourite pictures or objects. If you want to listen to music or burn incense, pick a space that lets you do that.
- Find your best time – Some people work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don’t study much later than your usual bedtime – pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.
2. Study every day
If you study a little bit every day you’ll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.
Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on top of things. Later in the year you might need to study more each day.
3. Plan your time
It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time.
Set alarms – Set alarms to remind you about your study plans. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your plans on track.
Make to-do lists – Lists break tasks down into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
4. Discover your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know the learning style you’re most comfortable with and study in the ways you learn best.
Note that these styles are just a way to think about diffent studying techniques – they’re not hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.
- Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
- Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
5. Review and revise
At least once a week you should go back over the things you’ve studied in class. Thinking things over can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.
Quiz – Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzes are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.