Students develop better study habits when they devote more time to learning. When they spend more time studying, they can practice and hone certain skills. They discover what works best for them. There are several study techniques that successful students have in common. While there are other items that could be included in this discussion, I have, for the purposes of this post, elected to list 6 tips in particular that will help lead students to success. These study techniques are listed below:
- Establish a regular study routine.
- Read and then re-read your lesson material.
- Take notes as you work your way through the lesson.
- Try to write or recite the material in your own words.
- Ask questions if you do not understand something.
- Take time to review your lessons on a regular basis.
Establish a regular study routine. This is best accomplished by finding a quiet place in which to study with little or no interruptions. Set aside a specific time daily for study and adhere to this schedule as much as possible. There may be times you have to miss your study period and break from your routine. Try to limit these disruptions. If you do have to miss your study time, return to your schedule as soon as possible.
Read and then re-read your lesson material. Oftentimes, you will find that you have a greater understanding of the material when you take the time to re-read each lesson. Sometimes, it is beneficial to read over a chapter or two for a third time. When you take this approach, it is possible to catch things you might have missed on the first reading as well.
Take notes as you work your way through the lesson. Although it can be time consuming, writing things down can help you to make sense of the information you are studying. Taking notes helps to reinforce what you have read. Note-taking can also provide breakthroughs. It might result in a “light bulb” moment when things are suddenly made clear.
Try to write or recite the material in your own words. Putting things down in your own words helps to ensure that you understand the lesson. If you can explain how to do something, or you can write down the steps to follow in order to complete a task, you are demonstrating that you grasp the material. Your comprehension of the material can give you confidence that you are ready to proceed to the next phase or lesson. If you find that you are having problems, this might serve as a good indicator that you should spend more time on the current lesson.
Ask questions if you do not understand something. If you are having trouble understanding a lesson, ask your instructor(s) for help. It is better to ask questions and/or get things clarified than to remain stuck in the same place. You do not want to resort to guessing on the quiz. Sometimes, the best way to work through a lesson is to take the time to ask about the points you are unclear about. Most instructors welcome your questions and are happy to be of assistance. So don’t be shy. If you are having problems, ask questions!
Take time to review your lessons on a regular basis. Take the time to review previous lessons on a regular basis. This will help to reinforce what you have learned. Re-read a lesson or go over an earlier quiz to refresh your memory. This may seem like a waste of time but it will help. For example, select a list or some definitions and then try to recall the material while you are out for a walk or preparing a meal. The idea is to master the material. Frequent review helps you to accomplish this goal.
If you proceed with your studies in this manner, not only will it become easier when you are ready to take your quizzes but it will also be much less stressful when it comes time to take the mid-term and/or final practicum. You won’t find it necessary to sort through a vast number of notes at the last minute. You will already be familiar with and understand the material. These tips can also be used when you are preparing for a certification exam. You will find that they can be applied to your future career as well. You can use the same techniques on the job.
Successful students (like you) put the time and effort in to get the most out of their studies. They adapt and change study techniques according to their individual needs. The important thing is to determine what works best for you and stick with it.
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