How do Smart Students Study?
Did you know that the difference between students who get top marks and those who get average marks often isn’t their intelligence? It’s their ability to study smarter rather than harder.
While many of us spend hours pouring over the books and getting disheartened about the fact that it never seems to sink in, the top students know the tricks to help them study efficiently and effectively – giving them back their leisure time, while they gain top marks.
So, here are 5 tricks used by top students:
- Plan your study schedule.
If we sit down to study without a plan of attack, we will waste a lot of time, and feel like we never achieve anything as there will always be more to do. Rather than saying ‘I’m going to study Maths’, set yourself a definite time and goal such as ‘I’m going to solve 10 algebraic equations in 40 minutes.’ That way you know when the pain will end, and be able to reward yourself for completing a goal.
- Use a spaced revision schedule.
Revising information as soon as possible after first learning it helps your brain embed it more deeply. Revisiting the information in regular short revision sessions moves it to your long-term memory far more effectively than an all-night cramming session.
- Study different subjects in different locations.
This helps you to keep things interesting which prevents boredom and engages your brain. When you think about the location, your brain will associate it with the information you learned there, adding to your recall ability.
- Plan breaks and rewards
These help to keep you motivated and energised as you can study in short bursts. Keep your study sessions down to about 30-40 minutes per subject and get up from your desk regularly and move around. This keeps the blood and the energy levels flowing, stimulating the brain. Rewarding yourself for meeting goals is also a great way to stay motivated.
- Eat the frog
Not literally! If there is work you really don’t want to do or find particularly difficult (like eating a frog!), always do it first. That way the thought of it doesn’t drag you down and pre-occupy your thoughts. Once you’ve finished it, you know things can only get better!
Anyone can adopt these simple tips to help make their study more efficient and enjoyable.
Jean Yates has been a secondary teacher for 30 years and now runs Edvantage Australia, study skills workshops giving students the educational advantage they need to achieve their best possible results and follow their dreams.