Many students have little motivation to study because they lack the tools for effective study. Here are some general guidelines to help you get the best out of your studying.
Learn time management skills. Organization is the key to improving study skills. Set out a plan before you begin and stick to it. Allotting a certain amount of time or a period of time each day when you feel that you learn best and studying during that time is usually a good strategy. It will not only help you accomplish your goals, it will keep you on track time-wise. Don’t get behind on your studying or homework; keep up to date with your assignments to relieve some stress in the long run and to study more effectively.
Study in short bursts. There is nothing worse than burnout when you are trying to study. Don’t try to do a marathon session of studying, as you will not be able to remember everything all at once. Take breaks every now and then between chapters or subjects to give your brain a rest! Cramming is not the answer–don’t put off studying for a test until the last minute. Most teachers give you plenty of advance warning before an upcoming test, so studying in small sections at a time over a span of days will help you to remember more. Then you can review everything right before the test if it is necessary. You might be surprised at how much you actually remembered!
Block out distractions. Turn off your phone, shut off your IM program and the TV, and close your door. Nothing will derail your studying as quickly as interruptions. If you really want to be successful, you need to focus. Another great tip is to make sure you have everything you need–books, paper, and pencils/pens BEFORE you start studying to cut back on distractions.
Most importantly take your time, make a plan, and stick with it. The key to improving study skills is to study smart, not hard. Don’t procrastinate and don’t get distracted and you’ll be acing the test sooner than you think!