The saying “work smarter, not harder” is especially true when it comes to school. Check out these 10 tips to help you study smart and get better grades.
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a good grade on an exam you studied for. But sometimes those grades don’t come so easily. Many believe you need to have your face in a book nonstop to get good grades, but that’s not necessarily true. What you need to do is study smart.
But what does it mean to study smart? And how can that work better than studying hard?
Studying smart basically means applying techniques that help you retain information better and in a way that isn’t so overwhelming. Here are 10 tips to help you study smart to get better grades.
Proximity Is Key
While it may be tempting to head home after class and forget what the teacher just said for a while, it may not benefit you in the long-run.
Scientific studies have found that you can retain up to 80% of the information you just learned if you study it within an hour of hearing the lecture. The information will still be fresh in your mind.
And you will be more likely to understand what you are studying versus if you have to refresh your memory constantly over time.
Set up a Study Routine
Setting up regular study sessions in your schedule will help build a routine that will make studying become easier and less of a chore.
And you can set this up however fits your schedule and study style best. Decide which subjects you will study in each block of time. Are you not one who likes to study for long periods of time? Schedule two or three study periods throughout the day to break it up. Rather study at one time to get it over with? Schedule one longer block of time and pound it out then.
By setting up this routine, you’ll be able to better retain the information and relieve any stress of cramming may cause.
Space It Out
Cram sessions are overwhelming. When you are faced with retaining a huge load of information at one time, the chances of you retaining it all are pretty weak. And even if it is enough to get you through the test the next day, it won’t carry over to your long-term memory to help out with any final exam.
Split up your study sessions into smaller, regular portions over time. This will prevent any burnout or mental exhaustion that cramming will cause.
Put Pen to Paper
Have you ever experienced reading a portion of a textbook then realizing you have no idea what you just read after you are done? Yeah. Many of us have experienced that horror. Not only is it frustrating, it’s a major time suck.
Make notes as you are reading. And do this in any form that you study best, whether it be bullet points, summaries, or in any other way that works for you.
By re-wording what you just read in your own way, you have a better chance of retaining important information rather than coming up blank at the end of your study session.
Location, Location, Location
Having a regular study location will not only help you study smart, it will put your brain and your mood into “study mode” every time you are there. And this doesn’t have to be just one location. If you find there are two or three locations that you study well in, you can establish those locations as study spots as well.
Just make sure they are locations away from where you spend your free time and have limited (to no) distractions.
Read Out Loud
Some people tend to learn best by sight. Others need to hear the information to better retain it. So why not try both?
Read the information to yourself first. Then read it out loud. By doing both, you’ll be helping your brain to receive the information in two different forms, which will help with recall later on.
But be sure you’re not anywhere that reading out loud will bother other people. That’s just bad form.
Ditch the Distractions
Between checking your social media feed, people watching, and returning those text messages, distractions can tack on way more time to your studying than you realize. Not to mention making it difficult to retain whatever it is that you are studying.
Designate your study sessions as a distraction-free zone. Turn off your phone. Do not sign into your social media accounts. If others nearby distract you easily, go study someplace where it’s just you. And let your friends and family know when your study sessions are so they can respect that block of time.
You’ll be amazed how much more information you retain and time you save. This is the time you can spend later on catching up on everything else in your life.
As odd as it may sound, studies have found that studying just before you go to bed when you’re the most tired, your brain may be able to retain much of the information. It’s called sleep-learning.
During sleep, your brain tends to strengthen recent memories, which could explain why you are able to retain what you just studied.
Just make sure you’re not studying in bed. Separately work and rest will help you be able to relax when the time comes.
Quizzes are great ways to study smart! They can help you realize how much of the information you’ve retained and which parts you may need to study up on more.
Take the practice quizzes. Quiz yourself with flashcards. Have a friend read off questions to you. Whatever you have available, quiz away!
Treat Yo Self!
Let’s face it, studying isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So why not reward yourself when you reach set study goals you set for yourself? When you know that you have something good waiting for you just over the next study hurdle, it will give you the extra push to keep going until you make it.
Especially when you finally make the Honor Society. Your hard work has paid off, so treat yo self!
Study Smart, Not Hard
By following these study smart tips, you will find your study sessions pay off big time with the grades you are after.
Have a question about studying smart? Contact us today!