How did you learn how to ride your bike? Someone probably gave you a few lessons and then you practiced a lot. You can learn how to study in much the same way. No one is born knowing how to study. You need to learn a few study skills and then practice them and apply them to everyday life.

Here are steps to smarter studying:

  • Pay attention in class.
  • Take good notes.
  • Plan ahead for tests and projects.
  • If you have a bunch of stuff to learn, break it into smaller chunks.
  • Ask for help if you get stuck.
  • Get a good night’s sleep!

Pay Attention:

When you pay attention in class and take good notes, you are starting the process of learning and studying.

Do you have trouble paying attention in class? Are you sitting next to a loud person? Is it hard to see the board? Make sure you’re sitting in a good seat that lets you pay attention.

Good Notes

Not sure how to take notes? Start by writing down facts that your teacher mentions or writes on the board during class. Try your best to use good handwriting so you can read your notes later. It’s also a good idea to keep your notes, quizzes, and papers organized by subject.

Some more studying tips:

Make sure you are studying in a clean, quiet and orderly room. 

  • Turn on the light!
  • Turn the TV off. 
  • Get plenty of rest the night before. 

Eat a healthy, light meal. Eat a balanced breakfast full of lean protein, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. A sample breakfast might include a spinach omelet with smoked salmon, whole wheat toast, and a banana.

Get to the exam room with time to spare. 

Find the right hours. Don’t study when you’re really tired. It’s better to get a good night’s sleep after studying for a short time, than to push on at two in the morning.

Start as early as possible. Don’t cram. Cramming the night before is proven to be ineffective, because you’re taking in so much information at once that it’s impossible to memorize it at all. Studying before and going over it multiple times really is the best way to learn the material.
Study for your learning style. If you’re a visual learner, using pictures can help. Auditory learners should record themselves saying notes and recite it afterwards. If you are a physical person lecture to yourself out loud while also using your hands or moving around; this way it will be easier for you to memorize.

Create a timetable. Budget your time wisely to ensure that you cover all the topics covered in the exam. Remember to take regular breaks and get out and exercise.

Use your notes. Rewriting your notes is great if you’re a kinesthetic learner. Mind mapping is the most effective way of doing this. Also, when you re-write something, you will probably think about what you are writing, what it’s about, and why you wrote it down. Most importantly, it refreshes your memory.

Take breaks. You need some time to have fun and it is better to revise when you are feeling relaxed than to exhaust yourself studying all day! Carefully structure your break and study time. Usually, 20-30 minutes of study and then a 5 minute break is the most effective method.

Think positive but work hard. Never think you won’t be able to pass the exam. Always think positive. If you say you can: you can. If you say you can’t: you can’t. Have faith that you will pass this exam. Self-confidence is important.

Following these study tips can really help improve your memory and overall performance. Apply these tips not only in school or university or college, you can apply these study methods in your everyday life. If you fail an exam, don’t stress. You’ve gotten so far, and you can make it back up there!