Students: Study Smarter, Not Harder

If you’re not getting the academic results you want, you may need to change your study habits. Use effective study habits to better retain the information that you take in. The key is to study smarter, not harder.


Think it, Be it, Believe it!

First of all, your attitude matters. If you are overwhelmingly distracted by something else in your life, it’s best to take care of the distraction first and then come back to studying.

It’s also important to maintain a positive mindset. Remind yourself of your strengths. Focus on what you have time to focus on. Think of failures as an opportunity to improve. And never compare yourself and your personal success with other people!


Get in “the Zone!”

Make sure you study in a place where you are not easily distracted. It’s worth it to try out different study places before settling on the one that’s “just right.”

Don’t use a computer unless you absolutely need to – they can be a huge distraction. Do have everything you need to study within reach, though, so you’re not wasting time running back and forth for an eraser or book.


Play Mind Games

Enforcing visual tricks like outlining information is a powerful tool because it chunks information and lets you put the information in your own words.

Involving your five senses is another way to move the information into your long-term memory bank. Mnemonic devices are very powerful – who doesn’t remember, “My very educated mother just served us nine pies”? The key is making sure the device more memorable than whatever you’re trying to memorize. They work because you’re using other parts of your brain to picture an action, not a fact.


Even Champions Have to Train

Quizzing yourself is also a great way to self-assess what you know and what you need to work on. Study groups, especially those that compare notes and quiz each other, can also be incredibly beneficial. Find out what type of learner you are, and study in the manner you learn best. Give yourself a deadline, and hold yourself accountable for your goals. You might even consider looking into tutoring: every pro-athlete has a trainer.


In the end, reflect on where you honestly are in terms of reaching your goals and plan accordingly. Figure out where your study habits could improve and work on making those changes first.Prioritize your commitments and you’ll radically simplify your academic career!


Written by Laura S., Novastar Prep Writing and Composition Learning Coach


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