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Tips for Studying Effectively

It’s a common tale among students – you put in countless hours to study and ‘mug’ for the upcoming exams, but end up finding to your disappointment that there is no reward of a good grade for your efforts.

Students often grow disillusioned by these difficult examinations, and this is a real pity as they put in significant effort but are foiled by ineffective studying techniques. Such examples commonly include a reliance on memorisation without actually going beyond a superficial understanding of content, or believing that last minute cramming will actually pay off. There are many benefits for students that adopt effective study tips, not least the long term retaining of information but also an innate understanding of linkages between concepts, topics and even subjects.

Remember, one should always seek to study smarter, not just study harder!

How can you do well on your examinations?

1. Use distributed learning

It is wise to space out your learning into smaller manageable chunks or periods, rather than do ‘marathons’, trying to squeeze everything in all at once. This helps facilitate long term learning, as the consistency in frequency of these study sessions will help in memorisation and information retention. It is natural for the human mind to forget information over time when not revisited. Cramming sessions are therefore unwise, as information tends to ‘leak’ from our memory.

2. Retrieval practice

Retrieval practice is a study method that involves an active engagement with the material, rather than passive absorption. It involves the student testing themselves periodically, aiding them in going over their blind spots instead of relying on memorisation and regurgitating what has been taught.

Students can quiz themselves, or they can involve a friend or teacher to quiz them. The latter is especially useful, as it benefits both parties in their learning process and can help you identify problem areas to target and improve upon.

3. Focus on understanding, not memorisation

Perhaps the most common mistake students make is to rely heavily on blunt memorisation of content, re-reading their notes and textbooks repeatedly which is an extremely ineffective study method. There has to instead be a focus on understanding the content, creating links between different topics and allow the student to not only critically analyse, but also eventually contrast and evaluate what they have learnt. Visual illustrations such as concept maps may also aid in illustrating the linkages and overlaps between topics.

One method to mix things up is known as interleaving. This involves working on a related set of problems that require different skills to solve, and being able to see trends and forms according to different contexts. For example, instead of solely focusing on addition or multiplication before, you can focus on questions that require multiple forms of arithmetic combined, where there is greater emphasis on a combined application of concepts.

4. Become the teacher

One interesting method is to play the role of the teacher yourself. Work through the content with a friend or study partner and try to help them understand it. This is a good way of ensuring you understand the thought process behind the questions as well, and identify potential gaps in your own understanding. When you attempt to think like your teacher, seek to paraphrase your responses and reflect on which areas your friend was unable to solve. Make connections and linkages between concepts and terms, even try reading aloud to better internalise the information.

Effective Study Methods with FamilyTutor

Never neglect the fact that practice makes perfect – these are not magic solutions and there must still be a level of discipline and commitment to these effective study methods in order for improvements to show.

In the end, we must remember to be kind to ourselves, that it’s okay to fail even if we tried our best. Armed with these effective study methods, you can hopefully welcome a marked improvement in grades. If what you have read so far resonates with you, do feel free to contact us at FamilyTutor agency today to discover the best home tutors and online tuition classes in Singapore! Explore further within our blogs for more information on effective studying tips for children.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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