Most students will try some last-minute cramming in order to get the concepts before the exams happen. However, this is rarely ever effective. Studying effectively needs to be part of your lifestyle to really work. Instead of focusing on rote memorization or the cramming of formulas that you just throw at problems, you should instead try to cultivate a lifestyle of learning. Here are some valuable tips you can apply:
- Use Metaphors
Metaphors are a powerful learning and studying tools as they allow you to internalize new information by comparing it to what you already know. A complex idea can almost always find an analog in a simpler one, and there are more often than not relationships between bits of information. Find your own fun analogies for the information you are trying to learn. The quirkier the metaphor then easier it is to remember later.
- Integrate all of your Senses
This is another important aspect of student life. It is quite difficult to get abstract ideas because they are rarely ever connected to all of our senses. To try and get them better, try to bring them closer to your physical sense. When trying to imagine a computer processing data, for example, imagine it physically moving the data around with its hands and doing stuff to it.
- You learn best what you Teach
This study is so powerful that Richard Feynman recommended it. So much so that it became a crucial part of his famous Feynman Technique to learn anything. By teaching someone something, you force yourself to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. Try to teach it from scratch to someone who knows nothing about the concept for the deepest possible understanding.
- Leave no Information isolated
This is important when you are going through a textbook. You should find out how every piece of information in the book connects to every other piece of information. If you leave any islands of information, they will prove inaccessible during the high-pressure environment of an exam.
- Test your Understanding
One of the hallmarks of having understood a body of subject matter is the learner’s ability to quickly jump between concepts with no loss of clarity. Can you explain concepts with reference to other concepts previously learned? It’s important to test your mobility to determine just how deep your mastery is. Alternatively, try writing an essay on what you’ve learned and send it to a Edubirdie’s premium essay service for feedback on how effective your essay is.
- Patterns are your Friend
Information, no matter how complex, is much easier to organize if you can find the recurrent patterns within it. You will find similarities in the subject and your ability to group them together will help you organize the entire subject matter.
- Give your Knowledge Tree deep Roots
One of the most powerful ways to build your pattern recognition abilities in my study life was to read both widely and deeply. When you read a lot of material on a wide range of subject, you are better able to find metaphors and patterns for your subject material. The greater your foundation, the easier it is to build upon it.
There are many ways to help you build your knowledge, such as reading lots of books and essays. You can buy professionally written essay to help you learn something new, for example.
- Don’t force Studying
Don’t force information into your head, especially in the last days before example. This can actually be detrimental to your learning ability. Instead, spread studying out so that the final days before the exam are used for recaps.
- Model Information
Models are basically simplified structures that you use to understand more complicated information. A model might not be true on its own, but it’s great for distilling the essence of a topic down to a few simple rules that recur. You’ll have to build your pattern recognition to be good at models.
- Use whatever works
There is no set formula for effective learning. It’s all in your head and how you best internalize information. Some people do well to take notes while others do well to doodle. Get as messy as you have to to make it all stick.
Making studying a part of your daily life is the most effective way to keep your grades up and also to learn beyond just passing exams. Not only will you do well on your exams, but you will also genuinely learn the information and retain it for future use.
Nicholas Walker is a researcher and content writer with a deep passion for self-development. He is also interested in technology and its impact on how we learn and live our lives.