How to Study Smart Not Hard?

By | 14/08/2015

Study smart not hardDon’t Study Hard, Study Smart

There is always that one student in class who seemingly spends a meager amount of time actually preparing for tests and exams but that does not stop him or her from getting the highest marks in class and from outperforming everyone. Some might that this is the inherent intellectual capacity of these people but another very possible alternative is the fact that they know how to study smart and not hard.

Instead of slogging through the entire syllabus word by word the key is to study smart and enable you to understand and retain actual usable information better. Here are top 10 study smart tips and tricks that can save your grades in the next annuals. So take out a pad and pen and scribble away.

Tips to Study Smart

Think Pen and Paper

Every time you see yourself reaching for your IPad or Tab, mentally reprimand yourself and instead take out your notebook and pen. Researchers have established that writing notes by hand in class enable you to filter through the information better and help you select, comprehend the essential points given in a lecture.

Not only that, writing notes by hand trains your brain to work on high speed and carry out multiple processes together more efficiently which further helps you’re thinking process during exams which include subjective type questions.

Set Realistic Goals

All of us have a tendency to procrastinate, feel supremely guilty about it and then make big unrealistic goals which of course we aren’t able to fulfill and that leads to a self sustaining cycle of unproductivity. What might sound like a small deal is one of the greatest tips to study smart. Set small everyday goals. Do not start off with trying to read that book for your English paper all at once; start off with one chapter a day.

Setting small goals gives a sense of achievement. This is a technique called chunking which has been backed by a lot of research. It involves achievement of small aims that lead to eventual achievement of a larger goal.

Stop Forcing Yourself

Forcing yourself to mug up a semester’s worth of syllabus in a couple of days is not only unrealistic but also a futile attempt at getting high grades.  Instead try and follow study smart tips. Be aware of the marking scheme of the exam and the syllabus that is to come. From the syllabus demarcate the chapters that have the highest weightage. Within those chapters focus on the areas that have been emphasized the most in class and have the highest probability of coming as questions.

This systematic analysis of the syllabus will not only allow you to understand what can be left out but also what needs to be very thoroughly.

Multi Task

How to concentrate while studying the same subject for long hours can be quite problematic. The best way to counter this is to multi task and juggles multiple subjects. Sticking to one subject for a long period can not only get boring and redundant but can also decrease your productivity severely.  Try and divide your days before the exams in a way that you at least cover 1 to 2 topics from 3 different subjects.

This not only enables the process of chunking information if also enables you to have a greater sense of accomplishment which leads to higher amount of motivation which then pushes you to study more.

Challenge Yourself

Probably the most important tip to study smart not hard is to challenge and test you. After the completion of specific topics, make sure you take a mock test. It not only enables you to quickly summarize all that you have studied but also let you check the efficiency of your study time.

Depending on your scores you can work on the areas that you think are poorly prepared which eventually leads to great familiarity with a topic. This ensures revision which is the key to becoming thorough with different topics.

Organize

When it comes to studying smart, the first step in being able to do so effectively is to be extremely organized. It often so happens when you sit down to actually study, you don’t have a particular handout, assignment or you forgot to issue that book from the library. The first step to accomplishing complete organization is getting a daily planner and feeding in all important deadlines and study group dates that you have. It’s very important to be abreast of all the handouts being given by respective teachers and to keep a tab on all the stationary that you’d require for classes and personal study sessions.

Being organized not only makes you feel more prepared but also increases efficiency and prevents wastage of time.

Raise your Hand up

Another point which isn’t emphasized enough when telling students how to study smart is the value of class participation.  It might sound unlikely and odd, but researches have established that asking questions or indulging in arguments about different academic topics leads a very proactive understanding of that issue which leads better retention of the topic and it ultimately takes less time for preparing for these particular topics because of deep prior understanding.

Study Spot

Find your study spot. It’s a simple tip but one that has the capability to shift your entire mood and motivation level. Studying in a particular area increases goal directed behavior if the area is modified and organized according to the preferences and personality. It helps the student gets into an established routine which then has a higher chance of turning into a habit that sticks.

It has also been observed that having a particular spot to study conditions the person to elicit responses in which people tend to study.

Mind Mapping

Another very important technique to retain information is to form mind maps. This involves making coherent correlations and associations different concepts learnt. This not only increases the capacity of memory and recall but also solidifies concept in a way that recall of one leads to as systematic recall of the others. This not only increases retention but also increases the conceptual understanding of different topics.

Switch your Phone off

It’s extremely easy to get distracted, and nowadays phones are the primary source of this problem. When studying make sure, you switch off all your gadgets. Being on the social media constantly is related to attention and concentration issues. Attending to gadgets leads to derailment of concentration and thought which essentially leads wastage of time.

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One thought on “How to Study Smart Not Hard?

  1. Nishank Dubey

    Both seems important. If you study hard but don’t understand, it’s not effective. Also, if you study smart but don’t work hard (like revising more, managing time, researching etc) you can’t really go very far.

    Also I think,
    -If you’re smart student, you’ll study smart.
    -If you’re not as smart as other students, you HAVE to study harder.

    Reply

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