Learning to persevere and do well isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, you don’t have to sit around all day cramming or constantly rereading. If you catch yourself thinking that learning is hard for you, you don’t follow through, or you have signed up for a course/program, but your motivation drops, and it’s getting harder and harder to drag yourself to the computer—catch effective tips on how to study better.
Indeed, it’s not a question of what we’re studying, but how we’re studying. Many of us start studying incorrectly, and as a result, the information we have learned is quickly forgotten. Now we’ll give you a couple of tips to help make the learning process more effective.
When choosing how to study, you may prefer visual and auditory styles. Some people like to look more than others like to listen. But there’s studying research from cognitive psychology researchers at the University of Virginia that says there’s no connection between a student’s preferred learning style and their efficacy. According to another research, 81% who read books performed well on the exam, and only 59% of those who opted to listen to a podcast did so.
It turns out that even if you like listening to a podcast more, it doesn’t mean that this method works effectively. The style of learning depends on the type of subject — a foreign language is better studied with a teacher and programming in a text format.
Physical activity improves memory and learning abilities. Even if you just go out for a walk, your brain and memory start working better. And if you’re not drawn to sports, you should drink water, at least a small glass. It will help you concentrate and persevere.
The brain has two states: focused and diffused. As you read this text, you are in the first, and when you go to bed, the second begins. And the real memorization happens just in the diffused state. Remember how you learned something, went to sleep, and the next day you remembered everything? Sleeping is good for you.
There is a phrase — eat that frog. First, you have to do the most unwanted task and then move on to the rest. But hopefully, this approach will work only if the least desired task is the easiest, which is unlikely. It’s difficult for the brain to immediately pull itself together and perform a complex task. It’s better to start with the simple and then move on to the difficult.
This suggestion is also linked to the focused and diffused modes of the brain. Research says you can’t be focused all the time. We just start getting distracted, even if the task is not particularly difficult. To make it easier to learn, you have to give your brain a rest. One of the best methods is to work for 50 minutes (our focus limit) and rest for 10 minutes.
There is such a thing as the “forgetting curve,” which became famous thanks to psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus. He conducted an experiment by memorizing meaningless words and came to the conclusion that gradually the information we read is forgotten in a certain progression.
The majority of knowledge is forgotten within the first hour of being received. To avoid this, we need to repeat what we read. To do this, it’s necessary to:
But you must also correctly repeat the material. Rereading the material will not suffice. Students who did just that performed 18-50% on the final test. Those that asked questions and discussed what they had learned received scores ranging from 30% to 75%.
There are many educational services that are designed to help students learn and develop skills. We will now advise a few programs that can help you put our tips into practice and prepare for college.
Clockwork Tomato is a simple and effective timer based on the famous “tomato” technique in which periods of intensive work are replaced by short breaks. In one of the classic techniques, the ratio is 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest, which helps the brain to switch and rest, but the application allows the user to choose the number of time intervals. You can also customize the number of “tomato breaks,” the length of the big break that comes after going through several cycles, the sounds at the end, etc.
The main disadvantage of smartphones is that they constantly distract us. Messages from friends, alerts about long-time unfed fish in one game or a completed castle in another. Apps make life a little easier or a little more fun, but they make it absolutely impossible to focus. AppBlock is great for increasing focus. It will block distracting apps during the hours you set (e.g., dedicated to preparing for a test) so that you can’t access them during that time, and you won’t get notifications, allowing you to be more productive.
If you are familiar with the concept of “mind maps” and often use similar methods in your studies, this program will be a great helper for you. Mind maps are a visualization of the thought process with the help of a tree diagram. Such a map will help to structure complex topics and understand the material faster. It will be useful for everyone — from linguistic students to law students.
Movavi Screen Recorder is a great tool for students who need to make or save a video on the study. You can record a lecture in Zoom and then play it back later if you want. Learning how to record a video on Windows 10 with this program is very easy.
As you can see, learning more effectively is quite possible — the main thing is to apply the right strategies for this and don’t forget to reinforce the information you’ve learned. Soon you will form habits that will make you stop thinking about every step and make the aforementioned techniques a part of your learning life.