Yes, I know... so generic! There are sooo many tips and tricks on how to study correctly. I have read them myself many times - sometimes to make my studying more efficient, sometimes for motivation. Which ever you prefer, I would love to share my tips that have helped me to get through the hustle. Some are a bit more common, some are a little bit underrated (from my perspective).
- Prioritise your sleep! Not only your body gets weaker and weaker every single time you go to bed too late, but also your brain loses it's ability to process things. Sleep is the most important time of the day for your brain to go through all the collected information and to categorise it. If you lose too much precious sleep, you will strugle to rememer all the hard earned knowledge. Nothing more dissapointing than studying for eight hours and then forgetting half of it the next day.
- This one is related to the first tip. Finish undone work the next morning! I know, how hard it is to got to bed knowing there is still some work left. However: Especially after a long day your concentration is very low, so you are more prown to errors. Instead, go to bed early and then wake up very early in the morning to finish up your work. I have done this multiple times and it has given me better results than if I would stay up late.
- Take breaks! I don't like the calssic pomodoro timing, because 25 minutes are not enough for me. Instead, I like to do one hour of work and then 10 minutes of break. I manage to get more work done during the day, because my concentration stays higher. I also like to take 15 minutes power naps to give me an extra boost. Try out, what works best for you.
- Make your study sheets as you go! The only reason, why I had enough time to actually study for my exams, is that I made my study sheets immediately. It is less time-consuming and less stressful to work on a topic in smaller chunks than trying to make it all in one day. And a little bonus: If you don't have enough time left, don't make study sheets, because they take a lot of time and aren't even that necessary.
- Practise active recall and spaced repetition, instead of going through your study sheets over and over again! Passive learning teaches you, how to recognise information, but not how to recall it from your brain and apply it. But as you guessed, it is the latter one you want to do. You basically try to recall information from your brain and explain it (it's like filling a blank sheet of paper). Then you go over your notes and make sure you haven't miss anything, before you try it again. For better results you should do that with gradually more time inbetween each session (like from only 30 minutes apart to even weeks apart - this is called spaced repetition). This technique is harder and more demanding, but more efficient and less time-consuming in the long run. Plus, you can actually master your exams, because you have practised the skills you actually need.
- Practise with old exams! Knowing the information is not enough. You also have to be able to solve problems with that given information. Old exams are the best way to go, because they are authentic and prepare you for the worst case scenario. Ask your teacher, scout the internet or get your hands on books with old authentic problems. Most problems are best solved with strong methods. No better way to learn these methods than by practising a lot.
- Ask older students for tips! Older student have been through the same struggle as you and they have found certain methods that have helped them. They may even have really good study sheets or old books for you, which you can use for your own studies now. There may be some points that you have missed and which hold you back from a better grade.
- Look up some additional information on the topic and link it to other topics! Your brain is a network of trillions of synapses. When you learn something new, your brain makes a connection with something that you already know. There more things you learn, the more bridges you make to other areas of your brain. It makes remembering information easier and you can show off you knowledge a little bit to maybe get extra points.
- Make a detailed study plan and strictly work through it! When you divide a big topic in smaller sections, it's less overwhelming and you are less likely to miss something important. Go through your text book and your notes to identify the subsections. Write it down on a simple piece of paper (doesn't need to be pretty) and put it somewhere you see it often. Plan out your days according to that spread sheet and systematically work through it. You will spend more energy on the actual studying than on deciding what to study.
- Only have your relevant study materials on your desk! Anything other than what you need may spark your interest and drag you out of focus. Put anythings distracting and irrelevant away from your desk. You can put it on the floor or anything else. Just make sure that you won't see it during your study session.
Bonus: I don't think that you should put your phone away completely. I often times listen to music with it and research things on it. You need to make sure that you don't scroll through your phone. If you notice that, put your phone away immediately and go on with your srudy session. But if you are not endangered by that, you can also keep it with you. I am no fan of drastic rules.
These were my tips, but if you miss something, feel free to leave a comment down below. You can also email me or write me a DM on Instagram.
I wish you a beautiful day, bye ;)