Good Ways to Study
How can you effectively study for an exam, and retain the
knowledge you need for your test? We will be looking at good ways to study and
some tips for getting good grades on exams.
Your exam is approaching soon, and you are unsure how to even start. What methods work, and what tips can help you get ahead in your studying? Here are a few useful suggestions that have helped me and many other students around the world.
Use a Mind Map
- A good way to study is by making a mind map to help you
organize all areas that you will be tested on for that subject. To make a mind
map get a notebook and a pen and write the topic that you will be tested on in
the middle of a page and circle around it.
- Then create branches from your central label and link words
and ideas that relate to that topic, this will help you gather and collect all
the knowledge that you have on the topic so far. The way to get the best out of
mind maps is to make them thorough and detailed and add ideas on as you do more
- For instance, you
could read your textbook and then add some key points that you encounter, onto
your mind map. Using bright colours like highlighters may also help you to
remember the points that you jot down, especially if you are a visual learner. Highlighting
different sections of the mind map, will also help you keep track of the
differences and similarities between items in a group. Below is an example of
how you might start a mind map about the digestive system for biology class.
More detail can be added as you re-discover important facts from your notes.
Why are Mind Maps such a good way to study?
- Mind Maps work so
well as a study tool because they engage you in whole brain thinking and allow
you to see the big picture.
- The way you connect lines and group ideas in mind
maps allow you to see how various ideas relate to one another and this helps
you to grasp important concepts.
maps help you to simplify complex ideas and break things down into bite sized
chunks. An obvious thing about mind maps is that they are quite creative so
they may even make studying fun- especially if you're not into reading a
textbook for hours and trying to let it all sink in.
Why not add pictures to your mind map to make it even more
interesting and appealing? You could search images on the web or have a go at
drawing your own. This would be good practice, particularly if there are
pictures or diagrams that you need to memorize.
- We think in pictures and remember vivid and
exaggerated images more clearly, so go for it and make your drawings as wacky
as you need them. The main thing is that
you remember the ideas associated with the images.
- Another good way to study is by breaking up the notes you
need to study into smaller sections. After reading and thinking about a section, use a
pen and paper to summarize the information without looking back at your notes.
your notes will help you gain a better understanding of the material as you
will be writing in your own words. Also a good way to study is by summarizing the information via talking to a friend or family member.
- You can make
a checklist to make sure you are covering the right points, and then get your
partner to tick the items off as you go.
Making Flash Cards
- Flash cards are pretty simple to make. Creating a flash card to study for an exam
involves writing a question on one side and the answer on the other.
- You can
also write a term on one side and a
description of that term on the other side.
- Then you can ask yourself the
question or try and work out the term and check on the other side to see if you
got it right.
- Shuffle the cards on a surface so as not to just memorize the
information in a particular order.
Here are some more ideas of things you can
put on flash cards: a formula, a
solution approach, a multiple choice question,
a pneumonic device, a symbol or even and image.
- Flash cards are a good
studying idea for studying in a group. Each person can make a few cards and
then you can swap cards and test each other on questions that somebody else
- This is good practice, and there is a high chance that one of your
friends thought of a question that you didn't, or phrased something a certain
way that expands your level of thought.
Good Ways to Study... they all involve not getting distracted
When studying for an exam, try not to get distracted. The television, radio, or computer are some
things that you should try to stay away from when studying for an exam.
That is not the time to try and multi-task. You aren't likely to succeed if you
try to catch up on your favourite TV show while reading and writing.
Creating the Right Environment:
- Make sure that your study space is not too hot, not too
cold. Also, make sure that it is quiet and well-lit, so you will not have to be
squinting to do your work.
messages on your phone can also be distracting when you are studying so it may be
a good idea to put your phone away during your study period.
- Find a space that is big enough to hold all your reference
materials, books, pens and paper.
- Get comfortable, but not too comfortable that you fall asleep or that
you stop focusing.
- Studying well involves creating a workable study environment
where you can keep focused and alert.
It is much better to study and memorize actively rather than passively,
so rather than just stare at a textbook, try the above methods: use a mind map,
flash cards, talk aloud, draw, and write.
Pace Yourself- Take Frequent Breaks
- When studying for an exam, be sure to take frequent breaks.
- Studying for hours without end can be wearisome so be sure to take 5 or 10
minute breaks for every 45 minutes of hard work.
- Our minds need occasional breaks to stay
alert and productive, so taking breaks is necessary, especially when studying
for long periods.
- During your break you
may choose to stretch for a while or walk around, get a drink of water or just
have a rest for a few minutes.
- But make sure your break is not overly extended, try and get back to work as soon as possible, do not lose your momentum!
Practice Makes Perfect!
- Another great way to study for an exam is by doing practice
- Practice makes perfect as they say and practice tests are really useful
when it comes to studying for exams.
- Practice tests can help you to get an idea
of the type of questions you may encounter in your exams and this can prepare you
a great deal.
- Practice tests in Maths and classes like Chemistry and Physics
are particularly useful as those subjects usually require a lot of time
practicing how to solve problems, so practice tests can give you a lot of
experience in working out questions that you may need to improve your skill on.
Practice tests can help you tackle questions that you may find challenging when
you work at them slowly and persistently.
- Practice tests with model answers are also brilliant because they
can give you some helpful hints on how
you can go about answering similar questions in the future.
- When working with practice tests, I like to:
- Firstly answer
the question how I normally would
- Then go over the model answer
- Tweak my
answer to improve it as indicated by a model answer
- Finally I jot down notes that will help me to answer the question better the next time.
- What I love about practice tests is that they often
give you a range of questions to work with; you don’t always have to do all of them, but
it is best to do as many as you need to master the subject at hand.
- Try to study at every chance you get. Study while waiting for
the bus, and even go over the material in your head while you try to go to
- Familiarizing yourself with your study material repeatedly will help you
to retain it.
- This method has helped me a lot in the past; it can help you
greatly if you ponder on and research the subject you will be tested on in your
own free time.
- This will also help to clear up any doubts you may have.
- Thinking about terms and explaining them to
yourself in your head will also help you to gain a better understanding of concepts and you will be able to apply them
whenever you need to.
So these are my tips on some good ways to study. I hope you
enjoyed reading them. Following these suggestions will help you to make the
most of your time studying and get good results!
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