We all know that studying is an essential part of education. From elementary school to university, students spend countless hours pouring over textbooks, taking notes, and attending lectures. But despite all this effort, many students struggle to retain the information they learn, and as a result, their grades suffer. So, what can you do to improve your studying techniques and achieve better academic results? In this article, we will explore the top most effective study technique you were never taught in school.
1. Practice Retrieval
One of the most effective study techniques that you were never taught in school is called retrieval practice. Retrieval practice involves actively recalling information from memory, rather than simply re-reading or reviewing material. This technique has been shown to improve long-term retention and recall of information.
To use retrieval practice, start by studying a particular concept or set of information. Then, set aside the materials and try to recall as much information as possible from memory. This could involve writing down what you remember, drawing diagrams, or explaining the concept to someone else. The key is to focus on retrieving information from memory, rather than relying on the materials.
2. Use Spaced Repetition
Another effective study technique that you were probably never taught in school is spaced repetition. Spaced repetition involves spacing out your study sessions over time, rather than cramming all of your studying into one marathon session.
The idea behind spaced repetition is that by spacing out your study sessions, you allow your brain to consolidate the information over time. This makes it easier to recall the information later on, and helps prevent forgetting.
To use spaced repetition, break your studying into smaller sessions over time, rather than trying to study everything at once. For example, if you have a test in two weeks, you could study for an hour each day, rather than trying to study for ten hours straight the night before.
3. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is another important study technique that is often overlooked. It’s important to take regular breaks during your study sessions to avoid burnout and maintain focus.
Research has shown that taking breaks can actually improve productivity and focus. So, if you’re struggling to stay focused, try taking a short break every 25-30 minutes to recharge your brain.
4. Teach Someone Else
Teaching someone else is another effective study technique that can help improve your understanding and retention of information. When you teach someone else, you have to explain the concept in your own words, which requires a deeper understanding of the material.
To use this technique, try explaining a concept to a friend or family member who is unfamiliar with the topic. This will help you identify areas where you may not fully understand the material, and give you the opportunity to reinforce your own understanding.
5. Use Active Learning Techniques
Active learning techniques are another effective study technique that you were probably never taught in school. Active learning techniques involve actively engaging with the material, rather than simply reading or listening to it.
Examples of active learning techniques include:
- Summarizing information in your own words
- Creating mind maps or diagrams
- Asking questions about the material
- Participating in group discussions
By actively engaging with the material, you are more likely to retain the information and improve your understanding.
6. Create a Study Plan
Creating a study plan is another important study technique that can help improve your productivity and focus. A study plan can help you organize your time and ensure that you cover all of the material you need to before an exam.
To create a study plan, start by breaking down the material into smaller, manageable sections. Then, create a schedule that allows you to cover each section in a reasonable amount of time. Be sure to include breaks and time for review in your study plan.
7. Use Visual Aids
Visual aids are another effective study technique that can help improve your understanding and retention of information. Visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, and graphs, can help you visualize complex concepts and relationships.
To use this technique, try creating visual aids to represent the information you are studying. For example, if you are studying a process or system, create a flowchart or diagram to help you understand how it works. This can be especially helpful for visual learners.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is another important study technique that is often overlooked. Sleep plays a critical role in memory consolidation, and lack of sleep can make it difficult to retain information.
Research has shown that getting enough sleep can improve academic performance. So, if you’re struggling to retain information, try getting more sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
9. Stay Organized
Staying organized is another important study technique that can help improve your productivity and focus. Being organized can help you avoid distractions and ensure that you have everything you need to study effectively.
To stay organized, try keeping a study schedule, using a planner to track assignments and deadlines, and keeping your study materials neat and organized.
10. Practice Self-Care
Finally, practicing self-care is another important study technique that is often overlooked. Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally can help you stay focused, productive, and motivated.
To practice self-care, try incorporating activities such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies into your routine. Taking care of yourself can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being, which can have a positive impact on your academic performance.