How you approach studying matters
Don’t see studying as a necessary task needed to pass an exam. It should be an opportunity to learn. A change in mindset is imperative in order to study smarter.
Here are some ways to hopefully aid you in improving your study mindset.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Aim to think positively when you study, and assure yourself of your skills and abilities.
A simple change in mentality from thinking “I always mess things up” to “I didn’t do so well that time, what can I do to improve?” helps as well.
Outline your notes
When studying for an exam, it is always easier to mentally connect similar concepts together. Most people find outlining as an effective method of boil down complex information into basic components, which they can start forming mind maps from. This technique is called “chunking” by psychologists. However, it is important to know that this technique only works when you are using your own words and structure, and failure to do so is why so many students get stuck or forget information in exams.
Make a schedule you can stick to
Schedule your study time just like how your class times are scheduled! You will feel studying becomes much less of a hassle in the long run. Too many people treat studying as something to do only when absolutely necessary. Instead of last-minute cramming sessions, spending 30 minutes every day throughout the semester will make studying for a subject a lot easier which will allow you to actually learn more of the material.
Reward yourself and take breaks!
One of the biggest mistakes students make is simply viewing studying as a chore. If you view studying as a chore or a task, then it’s just human nature to avoid it! However, if you find rewards to help reinforce what you are doing, you may be pleasantly surprised by the change you find in your attitude over time.
For example, breaks are a great reward. Studying for 4 hours at a time with no breaks is not realistic or fun for most people. Studying for 1 hour, and then taking a 5 minute break and grabbing a snack is usually more sustainable and enjoyable. Divide study time into segments that make sense and work for you!
Keep healthy and balanced
As you attempt to balance different aspects of your life, it will become easier and more enjoyable. For example, if you spend all of your time focusing on a relationship or a game, you can see how easy it is to be out of balance. The same thing applies to studying! Don’t spend all of your time studying – have friends, keep in touch with your family, and find interests outside of school that you can pursue and enjoy.