Study Tips for a Strong Start to the New Year

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It is no easy feat to juggle schoolwork, co-curricular activities, family, and your social life, especially when everything seems to be vying for your time.

Here are some scientifically proven study tips to help you strike that effective balance in life without feeling like you are on the verge of running out of steam. Start the new year strong and finish the year well by trying these study tips.

Schedule your Study Time

Be intentional about planning study sessions and mark out on your calendar chunks of time you can devote to your studies. Find a good place to study that helps you focus so you look forward to studying. Changing study locations and taking short regular breaks often also promote mental health, creativity and productivity.

Study Regularly

Instead of cramming all the topics into a day, plan to spend time studying regularly. This can also help to reduce stress and anxiety as you study at your own pace. Spaced repetition is an approach which you can try. This approach breaks the information into smaller parts where you study small parts of a topic each time over a period of time. Revisit what you have learnt regularly during this period to produce a long-term retention of knowledge about this topic.

Minimize All Distractions

Interruptions from your phone are notorious concentration breakers. If you pull away to check a notification, you’ll have to refocus your brain before diving back into your studies. According to a University of California Irvine study, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus back to your task after being distracted. Power off any distractions until you have finished studying. Or you can schedule a one-hour study session on a topic where you spend 50 minutes of undivided attention into studying, followed by a 10-minute break to check your phone. Once the one-hour session is up, be disciplined and move on to your next study topic or activity.

Pick a Study Method

You can find out more and try out any of these study methods to help you better understand and retain information, instead of mindlessly browsing through your textbooks:

  • SQ3R Method (Survey > Question > Read > Recite > Review)
  • PQ4R Method (Preview > Question > Read > Reflect > Recite > Review)
  • THIEVES Method (Title > Heading > Introduction > Every first sentence > Visuals & Vocab > End question > Summary)

Join a Study Group

Studying in a group has various advantages like posing questions to others, explaining the topic to one another which reinforces understanding, developing soft skills like teamwork and problem solving and having fun through quizzes and review games. However, discipline is also needed to ensure the effective use of time and to minimize distracting one another.

Be good to Your Body and Brain

Regular exercise, eating healthy and getting enough sleep will keep your body in optimal condition to study more effectively. Exercise is known to help wake you up so you feel alert and ready. Snacking on brain food like nuts, grapes, apples, and dark chocolate is better than snacks high in sugar and fat.

Pen & Paper

In this digital age where we are so used to typing on our laptops, phones and tablets, did you know that the act of writing actually helps you to remember the information which you have studied? Use a pen and paper to write by hand to create these study resources: your own notes, memory flashcards, mind map and summary study sheets.