You just have to make up your mind to work on your study skills. For some people, it might be easier said than done; however, effort plus practice will bring success. So, having said that, how do you study successfully? You will need to utilize as many skills as possible; you will eventually find out what works best – for you. Let’s get started.
You need to use: eyes (visual), ears (auditory), and mouth (oral expression/ speaking); in some cases, you will need to add touch (tactile) to really do well! Some people are visual learners so they must see in order to understand and remember; others only need to hear and they will understand and remember; others have to touch with their hands and still others have to hear then repeat what they heard in order to get a full understanding. Still many of us have to combine two or more of the above to do well.
If you are a morning person, try to study more in the morning hours; if you are an evening person then study during the evening hours. Study when you are most alert. Eat healthy meals/snacks before you study and try to eat a nutritious breakfast. Some foods that are beneficial include: fresh fruits like avocadoes, oranges and blue berries, strawberries and blackberries; nuts, for example, almond, walnuts and cashews; grains like oatmeal and whole wheat cereals; protein such as eggs, sardines and salmon; vegetables like red cabbage, broccoli and spinach; dark chocolate, and green tea. While coffee does not fit into one of the truly nutritious groups, it is often used to help a person to be awake/alert.
Here are ways to hone your study skills: A-C
A). Read material prior to class (this will give your brain a jump start); B). Tape lecture so you may play back on audio as you drive, or even when you are working at home; C). Review material as soon as you get out of class (if you have to go directly from one class to another then do it as soon as possible).
D). Highlight main words/points in book/lecture; E). Make your own flash cards, writing down only main points/key words; F). Make up your own acronyms for words/terminologies that you need to memorize;
G). Join forces with a couple of other people and form a serious study group.
H). Set time to get others to quiz you – either do it in your study group or get family members/friends to help; I). Read aloud and tape your own voice – you know what you need to cover; J). Form key words into shapes, adding the meaning or explanation as part of the shape; K) Use chain of reference to associate words/terminologies (e.g., think of what the stomach is shaped like then draw that object as a reference to remembering the stomach).
L). Use Play- Doh for body parts (e.g., shape the dough into parts of the body then use straight pins with a small label attached to study and remember the various parts); M). Write terminologies/key words over and over until it is settled in your brain; N) For Math – practice repetitively, going over all examples to get a clear understanding then memorize formulas where applicable.
O). Make songs to memorize words, formulas and terminologies (make rhyming, rapping or silly songs);
P). Take pictures of visuals then look at it as often as possible to help you remember parts/illustrations/terminologies/formulas.
After you have studied for a while, get up and do something else for a few minutes then go back to your studies. Some activities that will help include: a short walk, a few minutes of exercise, a quick face wash, a cool (not ice cold) compress to the eyes as you rest them, a few minutes of light-hearted material on the television, music and sing along (not slow music that will lull you to sleep). Finally, if you are tired, rest! It is impossible to understand or retain anything when you are brain–tired. Rest- then get up fresh! Work hard! Be consistent! Do well!