For some students, learning and passing exams are almost second nature. But for the majority of others, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and a meticulous approach via various learning strategies. Even then, some students may still find it hard to concentrate, while many other factors get in the way, rendering study sessions inefficient. So how can you improve your learning as a student? If you’d like to improve your study skills, here are proven suggestions our Sitalakshmi Girls school has found to be most effective.
Visualize concepts to improve retention
Fortunately today, students have many resources at their fingertips. You can get a ton of complementary learning material on the internet and even via online education platforms of various kinds such as Udemy.
If you’re struggling with a particularly complex concept, then visualization or graphical aids can make everything way easier in a matter of minutes. To prove this, research today has found that the human brain deciphers visuals 60,000 times faster than text!
Therefore, you need to tap into more illustrative or visual learning styles, and here are a few things we recommend to help you out here:
- Watch YouTube videos to complement lessons taught in class
- Try to represent data in visual form (pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs), etc. even when assignments don’t necessarily stipulate that you do so
- Break down huge textual concepts into flow charts that summarize important parts
Visualization offers tremendous benefits for you as a learner. It can improve comprehension, and retention and even make studying more fun.
Shift your study location
Why do I struggle so much with studying? Our students often ask us this question many times. And upon further investigation, we usually find that their study spot is not ideal. Obviously, for many people, it’s not effective to study in front of a TV or within environments with many distractions. If you live in a loud or noisy home where it’s hard to get some quiet time to revise, we recommend switching your study location to a more ideal place such as a library.
Overall, changing study locations can improve several factors that affect your learning ability, such as:
In fact, research has shown that you can improve your understanding of study material by simply switching to a quiet, outdoor location. That’s because of different sensory changes across settings, some of which can have a positive impact on your learning ability.
Get your timing right
How can time affect learning? Well, we must note outrightly that the effects of the time of day vary from one learner to another. Some are night owls who work best burning the midnight oil. Others are early risers who best grasp concepts before the crack of dawn, while another category of students thrives best in the periods in between.
So how do I know my best study time? You want to settle on a study period when you usually feel most focused and energetic. For most people, research has established the effective study time to be between 4 pm and 10 pm and 10 am and 2 pm. It must be said though that many students often hit their best brain power in the wee hours of the morning.
Avoid procrastinating your studies
To better master your concepts and become a better learner, you need to study frequently. How often you study matters more than how long you do it. Often, we see many students make this mistake, with what is called “binge reading.” Here, students wait around till exam time, then try to cram everything teachers taught in a trimester within a week. This is usually a very ineffective way to study, because:
- It’s easy to confuse and mismatch concepts
- You can easily forget what you’ve crammed
- This can increase pressure, stress, and fatigue leading to the exam
So try to study as early as possible during the school term. Preferably, have weekend sessions where you go over everything you’ve learned for the week before teachers start on new concepts in the next week. Choosing a good study location and studying with a group is a good way to learn how to avoid procrastinating while studying.
Keep gadgets away when studying
Unless you need a laptop or phone to do your research, we recommend a device-free learning environment if you want to advance your learning ability. Digital technologies can easily derail student engagement. It’s easy to find yourself wasting precious study hours on social media after you were lured away by a Facebook notification.
Gadgets can be huge distractions that counteract your productivity. Here’s how we recommend you deal with this to make your study sessions more efficient:
- Switch off devices you don’t need when studying
- If you’re using a device for research, turn off app notifications or at least keep them silent
- Most importantly, note down things you’d like to research online so that you do that later on after you’re through with the study session
If you’re fond of studying next to your devices, then this could be the reason why you’re struggling so much with mastering concepts.
Embrace student-centered instruction
Sometimes, the best way to learn is to step into the teacher’s role. Student-centered instruction is an approach we regularly implore at our school. We find that active learner participation improves the cognition of students, and gets them more actively involved & invested in the course work. Furthermore, it helps to create a free and conducive learning environment where students are free to ask questions and get clarification on what they don’t understand.
Here’s how you can go about implementing a student-centered instruction learning style for yourself:
- Join study groups where you can lead others in concept explanations
- Test yourself with self-pace assignments
- Use open-ended questions for your self-assessments
- Participate more in answering questions in class (You don’t have to know everything. Just try to attempt questions by reasoning out even unfamiliar concepts logically)
Don’t forget to make a study plan
To improve your learning ability, we also recommend you make a study plan. Studying without one can lead to imbalances while it can also result in a lot of wasted time. So create a timetable to balance out your subjects or courses and to ensure you can better manage schoolwork and your social life as well. In terms of how to make an effective study plan, you want to assess your current responsibilities, set realistic learning objectives, and consider your learning style, i.e. your most productive time of day. The productive Learning Structure of Sitalakshmi School will help to induce the natural learning desire of students.