What are some good study tips?

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Nina Berler, College and Career Readiness Specialist

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Depending on what you are studying and the course curriculum, you may have some really good resources right in front of you. I found that many students who (still) have textbooks don’t always realize the wealth of information they contain, including chapter summaries, glossaries, and timelines. Whether you need to clarify definitions, sequence items, or just gain better understanding, use these resources! If your text is strictly online, it should still have these capabilities, perhaps even better.

More and more, teachers are working out problems and posting them online. If that’s the case, understand what is available to you. Math teachers, for example, may show their solutions to difficult problems, the same types of problems that are likely to appear on tests and quizzes.

One technique that really helps is to set up an online journal to recap the key points in lectures and link examples. This is a way to reinforce learning and identify gaps and areas where you may need to see the teacher. And speaking of seeing the teacher, that’s a sure way to be sure you’re studying the right material, particularly before exams.

Finally, identify a time of day that works for you to regularly review notes and key ideas from classes rather than waiting until the last minute.

Jessica Sillers, DC Freelance Writer, MFA Grad

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One study nuance that I think hasn't been covered here yet is finding a study rhythm. Here's an article I found interesting, from FastCompany: The Exact Amount of Time You Should Work Every Day

In a nutshell, the author advocates for a 52-minute intense work session, followed by a 17-minute break completely away from the computer (think: take a walk or relax with a cup of tea). This ratio of focus/break time supposedly helps your mental energy stay fresh as long as possible. Of course, you may need to tweak it a bit to fit your needs and available time.

Another trick I love, especially for reviewing lots of reading, is to start at the end of the chapter. Many textbooks will offer a short quiz or comprehension questions at the end of each chapter. I recommend doing those first. If you get them all correct, don't bother studying that chapter, because it appears you've learned the critical points already. When you get a question wrong, reread that section only, then take the quiz again the next day. When I was in college, this tactic helped me streamline my study sessions to cover only the material I was struggling with, while avoiding spending hours rereading chapters I already understood.

Hannah Miller, World Traveler, TEFL instructor, Education Hacker, and Freelance Writer.

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Great question! I second Julie. Knowing your particular learning style is a good place to start and will help ensure that you retain the information you're studying. For example, I have to listen to a lecture or have something verbally explained to me three or four times before I can store away the information I've learned for further reference, but if I read the same information once or twice, I'll be able to tell you exactly what I read a week later. Find your learning style, and stick with it.

You should also be focusing on time management. Set time aside to study, during a part of the day when you're energized and able to focus. It can help to write down the time you'll be studying for on your calendar, or to tell someone when you'll be studying. This helps to "set the date" in your mind, so that when the time comes for you to sit down and get to work, you will be less likely to postpone your study time, or procrastinate.

Keep in mind that sleep is just as important as study time. Studies have shown that students who get a good night's sleep before a test often get better grades, presumably because they're awake, alert, and focused. Always try to get your studying done well before a crucial exam, so that when the big day comes you are relaxed, confident, and have had a full night's sleep.

Good luck with your studies!

Julie Gordon, Special Education teacher

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That's a good question. A good thing to know when you are trying to study is to know what type of learner you are. Many people can read material over and over again and can memorize it that way. I find writing information down is beneficial. You can try quizlet, which are online flash cards that you create. The nice thing is that you are creating your own cards, which a good way to remember the information. The site also allows you to quiz yourself in. Variety of ways. With technology, you can access this anywhere. By taking ten minutes here and there the information becomes second nature. I hope this helps. Good luck!

JackDawson, Here

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I can recommend you to visit best writing services and there you will able to find a lot of useful tips on how to study. Believe me, it will be an amazing help for you in the long run and will have a huge influence on your future.

M. Erez Kats, Seattle Language Arts Teacher

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I agree with many of the points the experts above have recommended. I definitely agree with finding the right time of day and keeping a somewhat consistent schedule that allows you to focus on what you need to study is key. I find that often times, when it comes to work, our brains can be very patternistic, and if we begin to study at around the same time as we did the day before, it turns out to be very effective. I am also a big fan of skimming or previewing chapters or sections before you necessarily read the entire thing to see if you already know what you are about to study. No need to use extra valuable time on things you already know - time management becomes very important in college, and when you have to constantly switch subjects and subject matter, keeping things concise is important. Bigger concepts that you are not grasping well however, I believe you need to read carefully, and re-read until the main points sink in. If you are not familiar with content, or it is brand new to you, you can't expect to really "get it" by just skimming. Take your time and let the concepts sink in, and you may even need to let them marinate in your brain at times for a day or two. But once you do this, they will become skimmable subjects later on. And always find a comfort zone when studying, a place that's relaxing and free of distractions. Whether it's listening to music on headphones, going to a coffee shop or cozying up next to a fireplace, make sure you are in a relaxed place and state so you can do your best learning. Good luck!

Anonymous, Biomedical Engineer who loves to teach and help others.

Different study habits work for different people. But generally, putting yourself in an environment where you can concentrate and focus is most effective. For many people, it's a quiet place free from distracting background noises and distractions in general. Having your phone or your Facebook feed right next to you causes easy distractions and will detract from effective studying. Some people find that they study better with soft music in the background or ambient noise, such as that of a coffee shop. It's really up to you to discover what works best for you.

One tip that I learned (although maybe not the most practical) is to study where you will need to recall your studying. For example, if you have an upcoming midterm in a certain lecture hall, try to study in that lecture hall. The ambient sound, smell, etc. will make it easier for you to recall what you studied when it is time to take the test. Of course, obtaining access to the lecture hall you will be testing in may not always be possible, but it's worth trying out if you do get the chance.

A Youtube channel called AsapSCIENCE made a helpful video on studying tips. You can view that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p60rN9JEapg

Dr. Aaron Smith, Co-Author of Awakening Your STEM School

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It's really important to know what modality is the way you learn. I suggest taking this test which comes from Howard Gardner and once you see the results, find ways that revolve around the strengths.

It's also important to look at the weaker modalities as well so that you can know the ways in which learning the material is not suited for you.

Colleen Clemens, College Professor, Writer, Editor, Tutor & Parent

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You are getting great advice here. I would also suggest you learn about yourself as a studier. Are you more alert in the morning or evening? For example, I work best in the morning. I feel fresher and more alert. But plenty of my colleagues feel like they are just waking up at 7 PM. If your schedule allows, study when you know you are at your best. Also, do the harder things first. It is easy to want to cross the little stuff off the to do list, but then when you sit down to do something more taxing, you might not have the energy. Think of your work you need to do as a marathon. That burst in the start is when you have the most energy. Learner, know thyself! You will be a better studier using all of the other great tips offered above.

Stacey Ebert, Educator, Writer, Event Planner, Traveler

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Definitely, knowing the type of learner you are helps. If you're unsure of this as of yet-test out a various ideas as all of the above have mentioned. See how you do listening to information vs reading it. I do much better reading something and then writing notes about what I read. Often times, the act of writing itself is helpful and you can also create helpful hints for yourself or take the time to put a spin on something to help you remember. Online flash cards are great for easy access. Setting time aside for your studies (perhaps in the beginning try varied times to see what works best for you). Also, if there's someone you can 'retell' what you've studied or parts of it, that might be a big help. Having to know enough to share that information or teach it to someone else can be a great study tool. I also agree with Hannah, setting aside a specific time and keeping to that time (along with telling others about it) can keep you on track-like noting an appointment that you wouldn't want to miss. Don't forget to check out other online resources that might work best for you. Good luck studying.

Nicole Eredics, Educator, Inclusion Specialist, Writer, Podcaster & Parent

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Study tips really depend on your learning style. For example, some people are auditory learners (they like to listen and learn), while others are visual learners (they like to look and learn) or kinestetic learners (they like to move and learn). Here are some different study strategies based on these different learning styles for you to try out: - use a highlighter to focus on specific vocabulary or key concepts - alternate between sitting and standing during study time - write key concepts on index cards to memorize - create a "mind map" of key concepts at sites such as www.mindmup.com - create a distraction-free work area or move away from tvs, music, outside movement - study with a buddy so you can quiz one another, clarify questions about material and stay on task. Good luck with your studying!

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