You sit down to study for a test you have coming up next week. You crack open your book, pull out your notes and start reading over all your work but it does not feel like anything your are reading is sinking in.
You start breaking out into a sweat, wondering how in the world are you ever going to pass your test if you can’t remember any of your work summaries. Your start wishing that your lecturer will get sick and postpone the test until a time more appropriate so that you could have more time to study. Is this an occurring feeling that you experience when you have to study for a test? Maybe it is not that you need more time to study, you just need to change the way that you study. Here we have a few tips to help you study more effectively.
Make use of Audio clips
Instead of only reading through your work silently, record yourself reading through your study notes and listen to it. Try uploading it onto your iPod and listen to it before going to bed, or ask a friend to read and you record them – as some people don’t like the sound of their own voice.
Teach your friends
After you have gone through your work, try teaching the information that you just studied to a friend that is struggling to understand. The better you memorised the information, the better you will communicate this to your friend. When you explain a difficult topic to a friend(s), the better you will remember what you have studied – as you have now put the work into your own words.
Try and visualise your work
Ever wondered why you cannot remember your work like you remember the details in a movie? This is because you are most likely a visual learner. Create an image around that work that you are studying and try and put it down in your notes to help remind you of the image(s) that your formulated in your head. Use colours and diagrams in your notes to help you remember different topics.
Put it into your own words
Most textbooks are written in a formal, academic tone of voice – this makes it more difficult to memorise. Read through the text, formulate what you have just read into your own words and put it down on paper. When you start studying for your test, chances are better that you will understand and memorise that information a lot faster.
This is a very popular memorisation tip, break down complex terms into 4-5 letter acronyms that will help you remember then better. Important that you do not use too many acronyms and then end up confusing yourself. Use and formulate acronyms around certain topics so that you can remember which acronym describes which concept. Good idea also is to link different acronyms so that you can remember the relationship between them. If you try and remember too many acronyms you might forget what each of them stands for and confuse yourself in a test.
Try to Skim your reading
Instead of reading through a 150 page textbook the night before, try scanning through the text and pick up the important information so that you only take in the key points from the text.
Break down your study sessions
Before you start studying for a test, setup a studying schedule with times for yourself. Include times that you are allowed to break with times dedicated to study time. This will help you break down your study sessions effectively and not rush everything all at once.
Use real examples
A lot of the information that you have to study, would not have any real-life application or interest to you. We suggest that you relate what you have read to real life; use current events, past situations or other real life examples to memorise your study material. You might find this technique fun?
If you would like to read up on more study tips, check out “Tips for SMART Studying“