With the latest technology, life has been so easy and convenient but in some ways it is also taking people away from the true essence of life. Digital distractions are too much out there for the concentration, for conventional things, that it hinders one’s education sector and unfortunately most of the young mind has been affected by it. They are so hooked into the technology thing that they forget to adhere to the path they are supposed to. Times when studying came naturally and the time when it is arduously done but even couldn’t retrieve what is studied seems problematic. Whether it is from the distraction of vibration of one’s phone that keeps buzzing or the advanced game that one couldn’t take his mind off from. So, it’s important to overcome all the hindrance that comes in getting quality studying.
Reading over and over by waking up late night to cover the syllabus and still find difficult in retrieving have drained the energy and leave students stressed out. But the students who have complaints of not getting good marks even after studying for hours and hours need a strategy of studying smartly and better time management for it. One just need to prepare his mind and body for it. Reasons that are affecting your studying need to be taken care of. We are aware of certain things but not all. Things we never thought can be the reason behind it. Let’s enlighten the ways how one can study effectively.
i) Routine of studying: Habit doesn’t form out of nowhere; it takes a lot of time with consistent effort. So to make studying a habit, it needs everyday efforts, studying even if it is for short period of time in the beginning. Getting to a fixed routine of studying will help to improve concentration and mental stamina over time. So make a routine by observing every day activities and spare time from that, and form an aim. With time, you will get a study rhythm that works for you.
ii) Revision: When you come back from school or college, you may remember things that have been taught but that won’t last if you don’t go through it again at home. To make sense with the context, you have to study and need to keep updated with the context. It lessens the burden of studying later, also it doesn’t take much time to revise it than to go through it before the exam. And the preparation a night before an exam will only prepare you for the exam, not for long term. One should not study just for the sake of passing but to learn something, and revision is the best way for that.
iii) Chunking: It is the process of breaking large contents into chunks. Chunking means to create meaningful visuals and units of large content to make sense. Studying large content must be tiring and boring, but if those contexts are divided, it helps a person to scan easier and improve the ability of comprehending and recalling it. It helps students to distinguish key words, concepts and to develop the ability of paraphrasing. It also makes it easier to organise, compose, and functional content through Chunking.
Eg: let’s take a mobile number, 865746848957. It can be chunked into 865-746-848-957, and the chunked part is easier to remember than the unchunked part.
iv) Retrieval rehearsal: It isn’t like you are going to remember everything that you read once. It takes a lot of rehearsal to store the information, and to transfer that information from short term memory to long term memory so that you can access it whenever you need it. Do not confuse retrieving practice with repeating, they aren’t the same thing, repeating is just saying information over and over while retrieving practice is forcing oneself to bring specific information.
Ways to do retrieval practice:
- Using keywords: For different contexts, use different keywords, and it will be easier to recall the context by seeing each key word.
- write it down everything: In blank paper, write everything you know about a particular topic. It will help you to know how much you have covered.
- Explaining concepts to others: Explain it to your friend, a pet or any objects.
- Link to favourite things: When you link context to your favourite thing, it helps to recall the context easily.
If consistency is there in retrieval practice and make routine of it to your study session, then the improvements will be drastical. It is like an utmost workout for the brain.
v) Pre-test: Research has shown that practising writing answers is a very effective way for the preparation of the exams. Even if the answers are incorrect it improves the future post-test results. It gives the idea about one’s knowledge in the context.
vi) No digital context: We think that studying on paper and studying digitally are the same but not. Even if technology is advanced, still research suggests a conventional way of studying that is studying from print materials. Psychology study finds that reading digitally needs repetition more than reading hardcopy. So effective studying could be done by using print materials. As we all know reading digitally can be tiring for the eyes and the mind.
v) Exercise: One can wonder how exercise can help studying effectively. It seems so but we don’t know what all is hidden in exercise. The effects of exercise on the brain are healthy and powerful, even when exercise is done for a short period of time. It boosts the brain, as our body pumps oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Some researchers suggest that the sweat from exercising before studying is beneficial, it helps a person to remain active, more alert and able to learn new information.
vi) Relax: Studying continuously for hours never worked but studying with relaxing gaps is better. Stress hinders the learning process, also the creating and storing memories. So it is better to take breaks in-between while studying, and doing exercises and breathing in and out, this will help to overcome stress. The lower the stress, the more effective studying. Also one can do walking, taking naps and mediation in breaks.
vii) Listening to music: It doesn’t work for everyone but many people refer to listening to calm music while studying. Music creates a good mood and it touches different regions and lobes of the brain, maybe that’s the reason we can learn lyrics so much faster than any context of academic books. Even music is made to motivate studying. Some people try to rhyme the context they are reading as a song which helps them to recall it better.
viii) A good night's sleep: Not a proper strategy but can work on a great deal. When we get a good night's sleep, our brain starts working on things that we studied. It rehearses those things and distinguishes important among them. Enough sleep ensures that one can concentrate and recall it in an easier manner. Students who don’t sleep at all the night before an exam can impair the recalling power. Also, a tiring brain cannot function properly in whatever purpose it is used.
Most people think multitasking is a great deal and are for legends, in reality it is just a myth. It can’t be done, even if it is possible it won’t be effective. Scholar students never go for multitasking, it’s never been successful because the brain needs time to restart and refocus. So one never uses multitasking, it will just drain energy and time. And the Routine should be set as it plays an important role for managing and organising day to day activities which helps to distinguish important things and trivial things.
Forming an example of context, pretending to be a teacher for better understanding, highlighting main points, scarce out the unnecessary context and so on. There are other many ways for effective studying but it won’t work unless one is ready to do all of it.