Many students from different levels struggle with their grades. Because they find it difficult to keep up with their academics, they often end up feeling hopeless, frustrated, and bored with their studies.
However, studying does not have to be hard. The mind is capable of learning and absorbing new things and ideas in very amazing ways. To improve your performance in your studies, you can apply some simple techniques in your learning routine.
Organize Your Notes
Effective studying all begins with having organized notes. If your notes are a mess, then you cannot expect to study effectively; how you take down and keep your notes will determine how well you can study, so it is important to arrange them properly.
Start with taking down notes diligently during class. You do not have to write down everything that the teacher says, but you can take out the main points in the discussion and write them down. Write legibly, or at least make sure that you can understand what you have written long after you wrote it. And sit near the front where you will not be distracted during the class.
Some people keep two separate notebooks, one for writing down notes in class and another for rewriting and organizing the notes that they took down in class. This actually makes sense because as you rewrite your notes, you retain more information, and you also end up with a more organized notebook for studying.
Make a Schedule
Effective studying involves a lot of discipline and time management. You should set a specific time and place for studying. Some people like to study at dawn while others like to study at nighttime. Some people study with loud music while others prefer a quiet environment.
Know which time and arrangement works for you, and create your own schedule for studying. Make sure that no hour is wasted in your schedule. In addition, do not set your study time close to your bedtime, or you might end up sleeping with your nose between your books.
You can also include short study breaks of 5 to 10 minutes to keep your mind from getting saturated with all the information. You can use this time to prepare yourself a fresh cup of coffee, or you can get up from your study table to stretch and walk around the house a bit. Do something that will help relax your mind for a while. Avoid daydreaming or watching TV during your study break, as these may distract you.
According to studies, it takes at least three weeks to form a good habit, so condition your mind and body to stick to your schedule every day for three weeks. After this, it will become a habitual thing for you to do. Once your study routine is formed, you will instinctively follow it, and you will not have to force yourself to study.
Read and Reread Your Notes
Repetition increases your chance of retaining more information, so do not just read your notes once but read them again and again until they get lodged in your memory. As you read, make an outline summary of the main points with corresponding subheadings. Read and reread, write and rewrite. Repetition is the key.
You can also experiment with colors when studying. For example, you can use a blue pen or highlighter to mark topics that you understand but need to spend a bit more time on, and you can use a red pen or highlighter to mark topics that you are having difficulty understanding. This way, when you look at your notes, you will know which topics you should focus on.
These three simple techniques will help you study more effectively. However, you also should keep in mind that it will take determination and discipline on your part to apply these simple steps. As you set your will on improving your academic performance, you will find that studying can actually be fun and fulfilling.