There are few hours in a week. If you’re a student, you probably feel like this isn’t enough. Because you have so many assignments to do, projects to work on, and tests to study for. Plus, you have other activities and commitments. In addition to having a social life, especially the social ones. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could study smarter (not harder), get good grades, and lead a balanced life? Here is how
Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects.
It’s more effective to study multiple subjects each day, than to deep-dive into one or two subjects (Rohrer, D. 2012).
For example, if you’re preparing for exams in math, history, physics, and chemistry, it’s better to study a bit of each subject every day.
This approach will help you to learn faster than by focusing on just math on Monday, history on Tuesday, physics on Wednesday, chemistry on Thursday, and so on. Because you’re likely to confuse similar information if you study a lot of the same subject in one day. So to study smart, spread out your study time for each subject. In so doing, your brain will have more time to consolidate your learning.
Take notes by hand, instead of using your laptop.
Scientists recommend this, and not just because you’re more likely to give in to online distractions when using your laptop. Even when laptops are used only for note-taking, learning is less effective (Mueller, P. 2013.
Because students who take notes by hand tend to process and reframe the information. In contrast, laptop note-takers tend to write down what the teacher says word-for-word, without first processing the information. As such, students who take notes by hand perform better in tests and exams.
As you read your notes, underline the key concepts/equations. Don’t stop to memorise these key concepts/equations; underline them and move on. After you’ve completed this, for the entire set of notes, go back to the underlined parts and read each key concept/equation out loud as many times as you deem necessary. Read each concept/equation slowly.
After you’ve done this for each of the underlined key concepts/equations, take a three-minute break.
When your three-minute break is over, go to each underlined concept/equation one at a time, and cover it (either with your hand or a piece of paper). Test yourself to see if you’ve actually memorized it. For the concepts/equations that you haven’t successfully memorised you can start all over again.