The secret of becoming a successful student lies in the way you study: you should do it not harder, but smarter. Healthy study habits that every adult should teach their kids from the first days at school will turn out to be even more helpful when elementary students become teenagers and move to middle school. Every year the responsibility and workload grow. It may be enough for high school students to study for a couple of hours a day to make it through with satisfactory grades. However, in college, the majority of the students wish there were more hours in a day to manage to accomplish everything they are assigned to.
Are you wondering how to get better study habits and what are their benefits? Want to get done more in a shorter time, and score better grades? From the famous article “Forget what you know about good study habits” written by B. Carey back in 2010 to the most recent scientific findings – this piece offers you the list of simple yet effective changes that are worth being introduced into your study routine.
How to improve study habits based on your dominant style of learning
It is important to understand that there’re various learning styles. The way one retains information better always depends upon a person. There exist:
- Visual learners who use a spatial understanding and perceive information best through images and pictures.
- Auditory or aural learners tend to use sounds, music, or both.
- Kinesthetic or physical learners memorize things best when using their hands, body, and sense of touch.
- Logical or mathematical learners prefer using logic, reasoning, and various systems.
- Verbal or linguistic learners use words in speech and writing.
- Solitary or intrapersonal learners desire to learn alone and use self-study.
- Social or interpersonal learners will rather choose to learn in groups or together with another person.
Try to figure out which of these learning styles refer to you most. It may be just one type, but usually, people mix several styles of learning being, for example, a visual and a solitary learner at the same time. Once you know what works for you, you’ll be able to determine where, when, and how to study. Besides, you’ll realize what may distract you from your studies and what learning materials will aid you.
Develop best study habits by setting realistic goals
Success is the best motivation in studies, but to succeed, you should create realistic goals which you’ll be able to accomplish. The goals that are too big might set you for failure before you even get to pursuing them. Next step after you’ve figured out your style of learning is to assess your grades and study habits. Give the answers to these questions, to measure your boundaries and build up a realistic plan of studies:
- When and how long do you usually study? Is it effective?
- Are you satisfied with your current grades? Will they let you pass?
- Which subjects seem difficult and require more time and focus?
How to develop good study habits and structure your study time right
Develop and maintain a healthy routine of studying every day instead of cramming everything into a few days a week. Check which appointments, chores, and activities you have planned for the next month or week and adjust your studying schedule accordingly.
For your studies use hours during the day when your performance is at peak. Write a detailed schedule for each day and stick to the routine. Structure the schedule into two 30-minute to one-hour blocks and take 5-10 minute breaks between them. Make sure the plan is flexible and can be changed for unforeseen events.
Comfortable study zone – one of the best ways to improve study habits
Whichever place you choose to be your study zone – a quiet room, a library, or a nearby coffee-shop, it should have proper furnishing. You’ll need a desk big enough for your laptop and all the books, a comfortable seat, and good lighting. Turn off the TV and log out of social networks. Avoid studying in bed – you may end up falling asleep!
Taking great notes is among the most successful study habits
Develop a skill of taking good notes: they should be clear, consistent, yet concise. You don’t have to write down everything. If you use a laptop or a smartphone to note material during the lectures, don’t distract self by going online!
Write down all assignments as soon as you hear them. Don’t run the risk of forgetting something and missing a deadline, or preparing a task in a wrong way. Always mark numbers of pages and chapters, names of books, due dates, days of tests, etc.
Keep your notes organized. Use highlighters, colored pens, labels, sticky notes, and folders while researching and revising at home.
Revision is key. Looking through your notes before you go to bed will cement the knowledge.
A few more effective study habits tips
- Make sure you get enough rest and sleep. Not only studying at night is ineffective because you are sleepy, but also it’ll make you feel tired and inattentive the next day during your classes. With a good night’s sleep, you’ll be sharp, fresh, and productive, especially for the tests.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before a study session. You can feel sleepy because of fullness, and find it difficult to concentrate. It’s better to eat frequently and in small amounts. Choose healthy products and drink enough water.
- Take a walk or do a few simple exercises before a study session. Physical activity increases the level of oxygen in your blood and brains, which boosts productivity and concentration.