Studying for an exam can sometime be overwhelming and challenging. Finding a studying method that works for you is always a good way to start and build confidence leading up to an exam. This article will be exploring various and effective home studying techniques that may help you prepare for exams and become more efficient. We hope you find this read useful. Feel free to comment your thoughts or any other methods you find may also be useful and worth mentioning.
Effective Studying Methods
There are many different methods/ techniques that can be taken to overcome distractions we may be faced with home studying and improve overall recall of information. Listed below are some techniques for you to try out yourselves in an attempt to improve home studying when preparing for an exam.
Active recall is the most effective method because it involves retrieving information from memory rather than taking in information. This allows you to put your newly acquired knowledge to the test and improve in areas where you may find gaps that need to be filled. Students frequently read over notes in order to memorise information, a practise known as passive learning. This method has shown to be ineffective since it does not allow you to actively test yourself on your own knowledge, which is why active recalling is essential.
Here are some ways in which you can incorporate active recall in your studying.
- Using flash cards. Writing the topic or word on one side with more detailed information on the other side. This allows you to quiz yourself on your knowledge of that particular topic/word and then instantly check the answer, giving you more of an understanding on the areas or topics that you may need to spend more time on.
- This can also be done by taking practice tests and checking your answers once you have completed the test. This is another great way of testing your knowledge on a topic and understanding areas that you may need to work on.
Here are some additional methods that many people find useful and effective:
1.) Mind Maps:
Mind mapping learning materials is a creative studying method of writing down information in a visual way, using words and images to help create strong associations that help you remember what you’re learning.
Processing information via mind maps can be very beneficial as we tend to process information quicker in a visual format.
2.) Being creative when writing notes
Rather than just writing down information, it is also key to be creative in a way and include questions, pictures etc. This helps towards recall as people tend to remember imagery a lot better than if they were to just remember words.
3.)Studying for shorter periods and taking regular breaks:
Many people find that studying for shorter periods of time with regular breaks helps them to study more efficiently. Since we are not machines, it is very difficult to keep the same amount fo focus throughout a 2hour straight study session. Therefore, regular breaks and shorter study periods is another home studying method that will allow you to soak up information and understand it better as you tend to be more focused.
Example: Study for 20-30mins take a 5-10 minute break. Repeat until you are satisfied with the amount you have learnt or until you have reached a goal that you may have set yourself.
4.) Exercising before studying:
This studying method is a great way to keep you energised and focused when home studying. It is also a good way to have an effective and efficient study session.
Exercising also releases endorphins, which can improve your overall mood, reduce and levels of stress, enabling you to have a clearer mind and more effective study session. This can include any form of movement that will get your heart rate pumping, such as walking.
5.) Studying before you go to sleep:
Sleep is crucial when it comes to learning. Not only is pivotal to getting the right amount of sleep, there have been many reports and studies suggesting that sleeping directly after studying or even going over some notes taken in class has seen great benefits on memory recall. We are constantly learning, even in our sleep!
Sleeping promotes memory consolidation, a major factor with the process of understanding new information learnt.
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