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How to Study Effectively – Part 3

Nov 10, 2021

Let’s be honest: Studying is not much fun, but, if you’re a student, it’s essential for success. In fact, effective study habits can help you with short-term successes as well as long-term career goals. With this in mind, we’re looking at the benefits of studying and how to make the most of your routine when hitting the books.

While the idea of “winging it” (without studying just taking one`s chances) sounds ideal to some students, charging headfirst into a test or paper you haven’t prepared for isn’t as appealing as it sounds when the day actually rolls around. Neglecting to study can cause testing anxiety, self-doubt, and a consistent fear of failure, thus tainting your school experience. It can also lead to lower grades, less interest in your education, and poorer performance in class.

In contrast, studying helps you stay more engaged with your learning experience. Practicing regular study habits not only helps you further understand the material in class, but it also encourages you to play a more active role in your pursuit of knowledge. Instead of just passively listening and hoping you soak up all those lectures and discussions, committing to a study regimen can be empowering — even if getting started feels difficult.

On the surface, the benefits of studying are apparent. Students who study effectively tend to make better grades and score more positively on tests, quizzes, and papers. Good study habits can also help you feel more confident in the quality of your work; students can feel assured that their work not only reflects their knowledge, but their time and effort as well.

Additionally, creating a study regimen can also relieve that pesky pre-test anxiety that causes so many to freeze up come exam time. These positive study habits can also have a long-term impact on how you approach responsibilities that, in the future, emulate your school routine, like preparing for a project or learning how to manage your time in a workplace. In addition to improving your time management and relieving your anxiety, proper study habits can support a person`s memory function and help you re-evaluate how you value your time and productivity.

It’s clear that studying is an important part of student success, but the question of how best to study is another matter.
Studying works differently with each individual, but here are some general tips.

• Consider how many classes you have on your plate and make a schedule noting what tests, exams, quizzes, and papers are coming up.

• You’ll also want to make sure you study in an environment that is free of any distractions.

• Yes, this means turning off any distracting devices.

• Keep a snack and some water on hand, so that you don’t break your concentration by getting up to grab them later.

• Even if there’s not a ton of material to cover, don’t save studying (for the first time) for the last minute. Cramming never helps you retain info long-term.

• Take detailed notes during class. (You’ll thank yourself later.) Plus, hand writing notes can help with recall, especially if you’re a visual learner.

• Speaking of those notes, be sure to highlight or underline important details or sections that your teacher emphasizes. This can help you direct your study time.

• Need some extra motivation? Join a study group. Not only will peers keep you accountable, but discussing the material can help you retain a bit more information, but also get you actively engaging with the work in a fresh way.

Above all else, be sure to develop a routine that fits your lifestyle in a natural way. That is, don’t work against the grain. If you know you need downtime after school, don’t force yourself to study during that block. Instead, trying diving in after supper or at another time that feels right for you.

Be sure to eat enough, drink plenty of water, and get a sufficient amount of sleep. Neglecting these healthy habits can induce brain fog or add to your stress. And if you need a little extra help, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher (or a tutor). After all, they want to help you succeed.

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