When trying to learn new material, there are a variety of different studying techniques that can be beneficial. Because everyone learns differently, what works for one person may not work for another. This is why it’s critical to experiment with a variety of studying methods to see what works best. This could be as simple as rereading notes or making flash cards, or as complex as forming study groups or mock exams. All of these methods can be effective; it just depends on whether a person learns better alone or in groups, and whether he or she needs hands-on learning or can study reading.
The most effective studying methods begin in class with good note-taking abilities. When it comes to studying later, taking notes will come in handy. It’s important not to jog your memory writing down everything the instructor says. Instead, make a list of the most important points. When the instructor writes something on the board, it means it is extremely important. Many people use an outline format for their notes and highlight important points with a highlighter; this can make studying much more productive later on when trying to remember the lecture.
Reading over the notes and comparing them to the text, if applicable, is one of the most common and simplest studying techniques. Using the textbook to look up any questions can also help to reinforce the material. If that doesn’t work, some people find that rewriting their notes or important facts on flash cards allows them to quiz themselves on whether or not they understand the material. Others prefer to work in a group setting with other students, where they can quiz each other and learn the material together. Studying in a group can be one of the most effective study methods, but only if the group is capable of concentrating on the task at hand.
Whatever method a person chooses for studying, it is critical to make it a daily habit. Students who review their notes after class or set aside time at the end of each day to keep up with the reading and review their notes are more likely to truly understand the material and recall it for tests. Students who cram the night before a test are less likely to learn the material and are more likely to experience anxiety, both of which can lead to poor test results.