What is to study?
The application of oneself to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or practice.Active engagement is the process of constructing meaning from text that involves making connections to lectures, forming examples, and regulating your own learning (Davis, 2007). therefore it is important to note that studying isn’t just reading material but actually engaging actively in your studies in such a way that you get to know what you are learning about and it sticks in your brain.
Over and above everything else, one should first of all be motivated to study before you actually sit down to read your books. A student is usually motivated by their goals in life either short term or long term for instance what level you wish to attain probably in the next academic year or probably what career path you wish to pursue as a long term goal. Other factors such as your role models, family members and friends can also be motivating factors for one to study hard and successfully. This is therefore the first and most important study tip to follow since without motivation, one is likely to study in vain.
how to study successfully.
- Know your study habits. many students have a tendency of giving in to external pressures for instance “my friends are studying late at night, early in the morning or during the whole day so i have to do the same.” this however may just be a waste of time if your study habit is different from theirs because our minds have different rates and concentration times of which we should be aware of to be able to study successfully. if you are an early bird, make sure you wake up early, read your books and when you feel its enough rest. Some people are night owls while some people prefer the morning.
- Create a conducive learning and reading environment. it is important to make sure that your reading environment is one that allows you to keep your concentration levels very high, avoiding any distractions . For instance if you are an Arts student and you want to maximize your reading time, then its advisable to read in a quiet environment, without too many noises or voices such that you concentrate on what you are reading and internalize it. also if you are in the Commercial field, its recommended to use a little bit of music to avoid boredom and also external distractions.
- Plan your work. Make sure you know the subject and topic or topics you are supposed to study at a given time including the time you should take on each subject or topic to avoid neglecting other subjects and topics. You may want to integrate some topics, its still cool, write them down on your study time table and make sure you stick to it. Avoid frequent review of the planned reading schedule as it might disturb your focus trend.
- Evaluation. After a certain topic or number of pages, allow yourself time to evaluate what you have read by asking yourself questions like, ” what is the topic about?”, formulas read, quotes etc. you can also jot down what you would have read just to make sure that you are not running down the lines. However don’t punish yourself for failing to answer a question or failing to recall what you would have read, take the opportunity rather as a pointer that you may have missed some points as you were reading and revisit them or make an appointment to revisit them in your next study session.
- Rest. It is important to know the time frame that your brain can focus continuously such that you can take short breaks in between your study. normally people take a break after thirty minutes of continuous study to revive your brain and relax your eyes and if possible try and evaluate what you would have read as you relax. If you try to force yourself to study for too long in one sitting, you’ll soon start to nod off.
- Snack or brain food. At regular intervals, you may have some snacks so as to make sure you keep awake and also motivate your brain to continue working. However make sure you avoid heavy meals during you study time as it may distract your brain from focusing. It is advisable that you have enough food before you begin your reading session so that your brain has enough energy to pull through the study session. Also, after your session, be sure to have another meal.
- Simplify study notes. Make studying less overwhelming by condensing notes from class. Highlight words, create charts or outlines to simplify information as well as organize it thus helping you to remember better.You can also write down short questions in order to help you remember what you where studying.
- Vocalize to memorize. when trying to memorize important information, say it out loud. Study says saying information out loud helps to move it to your long term memory. Thus it is important that when you use this study technique, you avoid distracting others who may be doing their own work which means you need to be in an isolated environment or at least a distance from others to avoid disturbing them as you vocalize.
- Make use of study groups. isolated study is very useful but it is important to also take some time to study as groups so as to hear other students’ views on certain topics. it could be that you missed some parts while you where studying alone thus study groups help you to identify these missed areas. its also good because one gets the opportunity to test how much they are understanding by explaining to others what you would have read as well as answering and also asking questions for clarity.
- Write down notes in pen. when using the internet or a laptop to study, it is very important that you take down notes in pen. This helps you to better grasp what you are reading as it, according to some, sends signals to the brain of the information that you are writing down thus you can be sure that the information you write down sticks in your brain.
- Don’t give in to external pressure. Lets say you are studying for an exam, and probably you are a bit late in your preparations. Don’t allow yourself to be pressurized by the progress of other students. Calm down, plan your work in such a way that allows you to be able to meet your target and be ready by the time the exam arrives.Read calmly, making sure you internalize your work and make use of the above tips in terms of knowing your study habits, vocalizing notes as well as study groups. These help particularly in the event of late preparation for an exams
- Avoid using stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine to help you focus. Many students believe that these drugs can help them stay awake so as to maximize their study time. This is however a very dangerous habit as it may lead to addiction and also you may feel like you are really studying but at the end your brain will not be taking in any of the content yu will be studying thus besides the health effects, you would not have done anything productive in relation to your study. An additional factor is that if you see yourself unable to pull through the night without the use of any caffeine then you are probably on the wrong track in as much as knowing your study habit is concerned. Therefore instead of using caffeine or nicotine, try changing your study habit, i guarantee you will see a great improvement in your study.
- Revisit areas already studied. This is very important as it enables you to jog your memory as well as see whether you did not cram the material you studied earlier. You don’t necessarily have to re-read the whole topic or chapter, you can make use of study questions or even set a small test in relation to the topics you want to revisit. Keep the intervals short at first, then gradually increase them. For example, if you studied something one day, sleep on it and do a little review the next day. Test yourself a couple days later, and then again a week after that.
Take maximum advantage of the time you have to study.
Although the are many recipes to success, the surest way of making sure that you indeed succeed is by studying, motivating yourself to actually want to study, knowing your study habits, planning your work or study timetable, evaluating what you would have read, resting, vocalizing notes and making use of study groups among other factors mentioned above. These will help in making sure that you actually study to the bets of your ability and succeed in your exams and life. The list of tips is endless but this is a very good starting point.Happy studying.