BY ADELA BELIN
Habits usually go on for the lifetime and make certain things effortless. If you are conditioned to rote learning, then memorizing things will become easy for you. Similarly, if you develop smart study habits, learning becomes effortless. Therefore, for better learning and scoring high, you simply need to develop smart habits. After that, these habits will work for you and fetch pleasant surprises for the entire life.
Develop the following habits to make the learning process easy and exciting:
Focused Study Schedule
Disconnect yourself from the entire world during your study sessions. Barring the necessary items, shut everything – mobile phones, the internet, doors of your study room, and even all the lights other than study table light – during studies.
Make duration of your study sessions short and sweet. 30-45 minutes per session is a good time to concentrate on something without getting distracted or exhausted. Avoid everything other than studies, like – drinking water, coffee, and going to the washroom, etc. – during a session.
Learn one topic per session. Don’t try to complete the entire chapter during a session, until it is small. If you try to learn many concepts per sessions, things will be mixed up, and you will quickly forget whatever you have learned.
Note down the concepts that are either difficult to understand or you didn’t understand them at all. Make sure that you master these topics before moving forward.
Develop a habit of staying focused, and you will learn more in less time.
Time management is a skill that very few try to learn actively. Like communication skills, it is also a life skill that will differentiate you from the crowd.
University is the best place to learn time management skills. Once you join the corporate world, you will have everything but time to learn it. And, to learn time management, you don’t need anything but time.
So act now and learn time management as soon as you can.
Following lies at the core of the time management:
Focus on what matters the most and don’t waste time on things that you don’t want or don’t need.
We all have twenty-four in hours a day. Some people do what they love and excel at the university as well as in extracurricular activities alike. While others work hard and still have no time to do what they love.
The difference lies in the way people manage their time.
Following will create a habit that encourages efficient utilization of time:
- Create a fixed schedule for studies – Make consistent efforts to stick to the plan even if it requires giving up on some luxuries of your life. You need to take short term pains for long term gain.
- Firmly request your friends and family members not to disturb you during the specified time.
- Break the entire study time in multiple sessions of smaller durations
- Take a short break of 5-10 minutes between two sessions
- Study difficult topics first and spend more time in understanding them
- Make meditation an integral part of your life
- Give yourself enough time to discover and follow your passion
No matter how you learn and from which source you learn things, comprehending the concepts is paramount. Today you have a variety of sources for learning new concepts and skills. Thanks to the internet, we have access to unlimited content and resources that can be utilized to sharpen skills.
If you find something difficult to understand, search it on YouTube or other resources’ sites. You may find exciting games or videos which help you learn the difficult topics with great ease.
You can also use various software tools to simulate the concepts and see them working live.
Use technology to your advantage and not for wasting time. If you are facing a challenge, try to find out a solution through technology.
Humans have a natural tendency to forget 80% of the concepts within 24 hours of learning. Beat this tendency with what I call a “Summary Technique.” When you learn a new concept, summarize it in few lines before moving to the next topic. Write down the summary on a physical piece of paper and revisit it once or twice a week.
Doing it 3-4 times a month for every topic will make you an expert on the subject.
If you need to learn a lot of formulae or equations, try to make them funny by relating them to things in your daily life.
You must also have a weekly and a monthly timetable which is devoted just for revision. Many students even use email management tools through which they schedule a list of concepts that will be delivered to their inbox periodically. They will be getting the emails in their inbox at a pre-determined time. This helps them recall the concepts at constant intervals.
To do well in exams, you must develop an excellent exam temperament. No matter what level of command you have over a subject, if you can’t manage the exam well, the scores are bound to disappoint you. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare for the examination temperament.
The best way to develop examination temperament is to write as many exams as possible. For this, you need to take many demo exams at home.
Write practice tests at home in a time bound manner, assuming you are sitting in the examination hall. Do a thorough analysis of the paper after each test. Note down your strong and weak areas. Work on your weak areas before you move on to the next practice test.
Just by taking some practice tests, you can achieve significant marks in any exam. Thus, make sure you take some practice exams before you appear for the final exam even if you haven’t studied anything.
As John Dryden said, “We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” Once you develop these habits, you will automatically excel at university and beyond. Initially, you might face a lot of difficulties in doing this. However, if you stick to your plans embrace the initial pain, you will thank yourself later.
Adela Belin is a private educator and writer at writers per hour. She shares her teaching experience with colleagues, students, and writers.