For ages we have been advised to study HARD to succeed in life. It has become so ingrained in us that we pass on the same advice to our younger generation. First up, ‘Study hard to Succeed’ is one of the biggest lies of our generation. If you haven’t tried studying smart before, then this article is for you.
The Art of Studying Smart
Image Credits: Shutterstock
The know-you rule
First, what type of a learner are you? An auditory learner, a kinesthetic learner or a visual learner? Do you read your notes aloud before a test, or do you write and re-write them over and over again? Or do you just need to read them silently a few times? The first step to studying smart is figuring out how you learn best.
Once you find your preferred learning style, study your notes primarily in that style. For example, if you are a learner that reads aloud – read aloud until you think you have learnt around 60 – 80% of the material. Then, the facts that you just CANNOT remember – read them silently a few times. Then, try again. You should be left with lesser material that you cannot remember. Now, write this material down – as many times as you need to. You will find that different ways of learning complement each other, as your brain is taking information in through different pathways. Basically, when you cannot remember something through one way, try it a different way.
You can complement this by using several different ways to test your knowledge – ask a friend or family member to read out questions to you, and tell them the answers. Try writing down a one-paragraph or one-sentence summary of a particular concept. Make up a silly song with a catchy tune about the most difficult facts in your study portion, and sing it every now and then. Make an acronym – for example, the stages of cell division are IMPAT = Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase.
Image Credits: Wikipedia
Even better, make a mnemonic! For example, if you’re trying to remember the colors of the rainbow (though I sincerely hope that you know them by now) – all you have to do is remember this funny sentence – Richard of York Goes Battling in Vain (ROYGBIV) – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Here’s one for something harder to remember, the cranial bones: Old People From Texas Eat Spiders (OPFTES) - this stands for Occipital, Parietal, Frontal, Temporal, Ethnoid and Sphenoid. Making your OWN mnemonics can be really have fun, especially in a group study! Additionally, you’re more likely to remember your own mnemonic.
Here’s one, for those of you who play music:
This works in the same way as the previously mentioned technique, of switching up your learning style between writing, reading silently or reading aloud – it allows your brain to absorb information through different pathways.
Image Credits: Classical-Concepts
Our last study tip for today is this – after doing a little trial and error ourselves, We’re happy to report that Classical Baroque (Bach, Vivaldi, etc.) is the best music to study with. According to research, classical music in general can temporarily boost IQ as well as lower stress levels because of it’s effect on your brain waves. Baroque, specifically, is supposed to help concentration, enhance creativity and boost focus. Mozart is another great composer to try studying to. However… classical music not your thing? It wasn’t ours either – but that was before we tried studying with it! The best part about Baroque music is that there are no lyrics or easily recognizable tunes to distract you. We also learnt that this music is best played at a low, barely distinguishable volume – if you are in a quiet place. However, if you’re house is noisy at best, and a complete zoo at worst – go ahead and blast that Baroque! Also, these playlists are easily found on YouTube – type something like “Classical Baroque Study Music”, or whatever you prefer.
Have an awesome study day. And more importantly, try the smart way; definitely way better than slugging out your entire day!