Studying Effectively


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Attitude is everything. In order to study effectively you must first have a mindset of determination, a sense of focus and place high value on your education. If you lack these essential qualities of a good student, if you are prone to chronic procrastination that you are unable to control and if you lack even the slightest passion for your field of study then this article is probably not for you. However, the fact that you have begun reading indicates that you are indeed concerned about your academic welfare and you desire to improve your performance through studying more effectively. The tips outlined in this article should assist you in improving your study methods drastically.

The good student, a student much like you, will note that studying does not begin a mere three weeks before examinations. It actually starts from the beginning of your semester and, yes, it also includes your precious holidays and weekends. Sacrifice is an integral part of achieving your goal, so be open to giving up some leisure time. At this level of your education, leisure time is a luxury. However, you may incorporate some leisure time into your schedule by using recreational activity as a reward for meeting a reasonable target in your studying. This will propel you to complete your studying without becoming distracted.

Be relentless but know your mortal limits as you study. I believe I should begin by asking you kindly not to kill yourself. It is important to keep healthy. A healthy mind cannot survive in a weak body. Your health is not one of the things you are expected to sacrifice. Sleep and proper diet (which is not comprised of just snacks) is essential for you health. A student who is well rested and eats well is more alert and receptive. What better proof is there of this than the story of the three Hebrew boys in the Daniel 1:3-15? Your emotional and social health is also very important. Do not neglect your friends and family. After all, they can offer aid and support when your work becomes overwhelming and they will celebrate with you when you are successful.

Choose your study group wisely. If your colleagues lack focus, tend to be unproductive or do not possess the positive work attitude you value, then it may be an opportune time to tiptoe away because you are a good student seeking to become exemplary. In such a case, you may choose to study on your own. Nothing is wrong with this method if it will increase your efficiency and productivity. On the other hand, for some persons, understanding and retention of material is a challenge and an effective study group, through dialogue and discussion proves helpful.

Be creative. It is reality that reading and studying does sometimes become boring. At these times, it is not uncommon to tend to fall into a deep ‘Snow White’ sleep. Find ways to make studying fun. Do online quizzes, practice past paper questions, sing it, dance it, draw it, you are never too old for colourful charts. Manipulate the material so that it makes sense to you without making you bored to tears.

Organization is key to studying well. Know where to find all your material and how much time you will need to cover each topic. Time management is important. Have a study plan and ensure that it is flexible. Schedule breaks and time to sleep. If an emergency should arise (not ‘Teen Wolf’ or FIFA ’14), you should be able to attend to the emergency yet be able to make up the time lost. Remember, a good student, like you, does not procrastinate.

Do not avoid material you do not understand. To the contrary, this is where you should be working hardest. Focus and right attitude will take you far. Also, try not to become frustrated. Do not get upset when there is material you do not yet understand. Allocate sufficient time to study so that you are able to go over material more than once. However, if you find that you are reading the same thing over and over to no avail, it may be time to take a break or change your approach.

Environment is another essential element that will impact how effectively you study. Do not expect to retain material when studying in noise. Note the difference between noise and music. It may not be wise to ‘buck’ your Kartel or RDX when studying though you may listen to music quietly if it helps you to stay awake and alert. Also, it is not a good idea to study in front of the television or in bed. It is a sensible decision to silence your phone and avoid that extra social network tab on your laptop or tablet; your facebook friends and twitter followers won’t wither without you. You are human and everyone is susceptible to distraction. Study in an area where you are sufficiently comfortable so that you can concentrate fully on your work. However, you do not want to be too comfortable; avoiding all temptation should be your mantra.

A good student is driven to become an exemplary student and this is achieved through effective studying. When you approach your work with a positive and determined attitude, and study effectively, success will be inevitable.

© Kandace Downie 2014

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