Monday, October 25th, 2010

Study Smart, Study Less

Study Smart, Study Less

Revamping your study system can boost your grades.

You don’t have to revamp your entire study system to boost your grades. Just make a few simple changes.

Change the way you concentrate

First you need to create a study environment that encourages concentration. That means set up somewhere away from people or things that will compete for your attention. That also means turn your phone off… I said off, not vibrate.

The rest is up to you. You’re the only one who can decide what works best for you. Some people concentrate better after school, others after supper. Some people need to take a study break every hour, others every 3 hours. It’s simple: do what’s worked before. If you aced an exam after you studied on the basement couch, study there again.

Change the way you procrastinate

There are as many reasons to procrastinate as there are ways to do it. Maybe you’re uninterested in the topic. Maybe you’re intimidated by the workload.

You’re not the only one who does it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you look at procrastination as a major personality flaw, it’s easier to succumb to it. But, if you think of it as a bad habit that you do sometimes, it’s easier to get to work.

Change the way you read

Of course you know how to read, but try incorporating 3 different ways of reading. This way you don’t waste time pouring through text that you only need the gist of.

First, there’s study-reading. This is when you’re dealing with complex things that you need to absorb and understand.

Next, there’s skimming. You probably already do this when you’re in a hurry. Basically, you’re reading at high-speed so you can get the main ideas in the text.

And last, there’s scanning, when you quickly read to find the keywords or points you’re looking for. Use this method when you know exactly what you’re looking for, and can disregard the rest.

Change the way you set goals

Setting lofty goals like “I’ll read this whole book tonight” may seem like a good idea, but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. It’s easier to set a few smaller, attainable, goals so you can feel better about what you’re doing. Time moves by faster when you feel like you’re getting things done.

Also stay flexible when setting goals. Sometimes things happen, and you won’t be able to get everything done that you hoped.

Change the way you pick your study group

Study groups can be either the worst or best thing to happen to your productivity. You can either tap into a group’s insights or pick up more bad habits.

You want to study with people who will motivate you and lift you up. A good group can bring out the best in you by motivating you to make sure you do your share of the work.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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