Study Tips - Study Smart, Not Hard
It’s late, you are tired after a long day at school. You sit down & open your textbooks. It is time to learn for that mathematics test on Friday. How do you start? What topic should you cover? Is there anything specific you need to focus on? Do you know the work?
These are daunting questions that often leave students overwhelmed or unmotivated to study. By studying smart students can learn a lot more, a lot faster and a lot easier.
Follow below for tips on how to study smart, not hard.
How you Study Smart
There are a vast number of ways a student may study smart for a test or exam. The different methods used all have pro’s and con’s meaning it will come down to the preferences of the student. Students should test out different methods as they might find that the one being used feels right, but is actually limiting the amount of learning that can be done.
Below we have listed 8 tried and tested methods to study smart.
8 Tips to Study Smart
1. Plan it out
Planning your study routine is a proactive way to stay on top of your work, reduce stress and ensure you cover all your homework or topics. Create a timetable with each day of the week and allocate a day and time to learn a specific topic.
For example plan to work on Tuesday from 10:00am to 11:00am focusing on grade 11 maths exam and learn exponents.
Manage stress by providing structure and routine. Planning provides a visual map that highlights what needs to be done and when it will be done. Additionally it breaks down the workload into manageable chunks and provides flexibility to work on multiple topics or subjects in one day.
A simple way to do this is using a wall planner where a calendar is put up that highlights each day with important dates and what work will be done on each day.
Resting is often overlooked as being unproductive however taking breaks can actually be as important as the studying itself. Rest has been connected with better mental health, improved concentration, reduced stress and an overall improved mood.
It is important to take regular breaks between studying to prevent fatigue and burnout. Students may feel frustration and loss of concentration if they are overworking and not taking enough time to rest and recharge.
A study break can be as long or as short as you like. A break can be a 5 minute walk, meditation or it can be time for lunch – the choice is yours. Taking breaks is a highly important part of studying smart.
A well known method is called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique follows a simple structure of breaking down tasks into time intervals.
- Choose the topic to study
- Set a time limit (45 minutes)
- Work on the task for 45 minutes
- When the timer goes off, take a short break (5-10 minutes)
- Repeat steps 2-4
The use of examples is an effective way to grasp more technical concepts and encourage smart learning. Student’s are often provided with a very linear and limited method of completing question or technique.
With access to the internet there are plenty of methods students can learn something. Think about going to YouTube and searching for different maths lessons. Learn2 has a full bank of in-depth YouTube lessons on Maths and Physical Science which students can use to learn or gain understanding.
Using a variety of learning methods can help improve retention through use of practical examples that can be applied.
Learning apps are becoming popular very quickly. These applications are available for download or through the internet. Applications are fantastic as they provide a new dimension for learning.
Learn2 offers a unique and innovative application that covers the entire curriculum for Mathematics and Physical Science. The application provides students with lessons that can be taught through video or guided in writing. Student’s can also create their own assessments and test their knowledge on any maths or physical science topic. The major benefit of using Learn2 is that once students begin using the app, the AI will identify where students are struggling and target them with recommended lessons and tests.
5. Don't Just Read
Reading is a great hobby to expand vocabulary and learn, however it sometimes isn’t the best method for learning. Some students are able to read and retain information and this method works particularly well for them. The problem with just reading material is there tends to be a lack of retention. The brain will hold onto some vital points of information or something that stands out to the student. Although this sounds good, a lot of information is not retained and can lead to more time spent on reading to learn.
6. Test Yourself
Learning is only part of the puzzle. Student’s must also take time to test their knowledge on topics they have just covered.
Testing regularly is recommended to truly see the level of knowledge on the specific topic.
Students will be able to determine whether or not their studying efforts are paying off through regular testing. Additionally it preps them for real-life exams by becoming familiar with the types of questions and answers.
7. Stay Motivated
During intense periods of learning motivation levels tend to decrease. It is important to take action and keep motivation high.
Staying motivated can come in many different forms. Thinking about the end goal and celebrating top marks is one way to keep pushing, however there are other methods.
Changing up your learning space can create a new atmosphere and shake things up a bit or try rewarding yourself for completing a section.
Making mistakes is part of life and truly does provide a means for learning. How often are mistakes made afterwhivh we no longer make the mistake again.
If you have held the handle of a hot pan, you quickly learnt not to do that again. The same goes for studying Maths and Physical Science. A tried and tested way for learning something is to make mistakes on the topic and learn from those mistakes.