Wouldn’t it be great if there were a set of simple, easy-to-use study habits tips and tricks you could use to take your grades to the next level? Well, there are!
In this article we are going to learn study habits, tips and tricks you can use anywhere, anytime to help you remember, recall and organize the information you need to ace your exams. Sound good? We thought so. Let’s start!
1. Use Web Blocking Software
We all know how social media and our favourite websites can interfere with our studies. I’m sure you can think of at least one time when you promised to set aside an hour or two to read up on a subject and ended up spending a lot of it liking pictures of friends on Facebook or reading articles about celebrities without makeup on Buzzfeed, right?
Luckily for us, software has been designed to combat this problem. Software like Cold Turkey or Big Brother allows us to actually force ourselves off these sites by not allowing access to them at designated times.
Of course, we can change the settings so when using these programs it can be a great help to get someone else to set the password.
If you have a problem disciplining yourself and staying away from online distractions, get yourself some web blocking software today.
2. Use Mind Maps
When remembering a lot of facts under a certain heading or topic it can be really helpful to create and use a mind map. So what is a mind map?
A mind map is simply a diagram like the one in the picture below which we can use to create mental associations that will help us remember which facts belong in which category and are associated with which topic. This can be very useful in language classes or in subjects which require us to learn a lot of facts such as history.
Here is an example of a mind map. Use these to form associations in your mind. Why not try a practice mind map by writing down the name of a friend or family member and associating all of the facts you know about him or her in bubbles around their name?
3. Write Down Formulas
Do you have trouble recalling and applying the formulas and equations needed in subjects like math or science? Believe it or not there is an extremely simple study tip you can use to make things easier on yourself, one which is often overlooked by many students sitting exams.
Just write down the formulas you can remember at the beginning of the exam on a blank piece of paper!
All of these subjects will provide you with blank paper on which to work out equations and formulas, yet many overlook the remarkably simple fact that you can also write down the formulas you need to use, freeing up your energy and attention so that you can actually solve the problems rather than trying to remember the necessary formulas.
Simple, isn’t it? Yet many people either don’t know to do this or forget.
4. Utilize Media
We are fortunate to be born in a world where we have technology and resources our grandparents couldn’t even have dreamt of.
One of the great advantages of this technology is the access to information we have! Did you know that you can now watch lectures or classes by some of the greatest minds on earth today for free on Youtube and Wikimedia?
If you have difficulty reading endless pages and extracting information from them why not try to mix it up by listening to a lecture or watching a video on the subject matter by an expert? There are even videos like “History of the Roman Empire in 5 minutes” which can help us grasp the basics quickly which we can then build on and fill out with other tools like a mind map.
Of course, we have to always be sure the source is reliable and the information is correct. Anyone can post a video online so make sure you only select the best, approved and if possible official videos and documentaries by established names and experts.
Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of educational resources previously reserved for students of the best and most exclusive universities in the world? Now you can access them for free, 24-7, online!
It is much easier to remember something about our best friend than it is about a historical figure, right? In the same way it is much easier to remember a date on which we have an important interview or appointment than it is to remember a date on which a historical battle was fought for history class.
That’s because of something educational psychologists call personalization. We remember things which matter to us personally and which we can associate with our own lives more easily than impersonal information.
We can use this to our advantage in certain subjects like languages by associating a word with someone we know. For example, if you are remembering a list of descriptive adjectives for your English or Mandarin classes, try to think of a friend who you can apply that word to and you will have a much easier time remembering and recalling that word later.
Do you have a short friend? Remember the Chinese word for “Short” above his or her head. Do you have a handsome friend? Remember the English word “Handsome” on a T-Shirt he is wearing. Create these images and associate these words with real people, places and situations in your life and you will increase your likelihood of remembering them when it matters.
Why not test this by trying to learn three words in a language you are studying or would like to study by the end of the evening? Pick a person you know and learn three words to describe them. In an hour, see if you can recall those words.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this list of study habits, tricks and tips. Apply just a few of these and you will notice an improvement in your grades. Apply all of them and who knows… perhaps an A+ lies in store for you?
Update: ReadPart 2 now!