Every classroom has at least one of them: the impossibly high achiever whose results have everyone else hanging their heads in shame or shaking them in disbelief. "Just how on earth do they do it?" you ask yourself. Is it because they've got an IQ that's on par with Einstein?Maybe. But what's far more likely is they simply follow a clever study strategy.So read on to unveil the secrets to study success with these Top Learning Tips for Students.
Creating a study plan may seem like an obvious suggestion, but, more importantly, it's also one of the most effective. As the old warning goes "Fail to prepare: prepare to fail!"Which is why top students never fail to plan ahead. Indeed, it's actually the main ingredient to their success.So, start off by getting organised. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work you have on your plate, creating a nice, clear study plan will help simplify things, put what needs to be done into perspective and guide you through the chaos until you've regained total control.Every time you tick a task off your to-do list, you'll also feel less stress and more satisfaction. But remember, the main thing is to be both methodical and consistent in your study approach. Do a reasonable amount of work frequently rather than a mountain of work frantically.
In order to understand and remember key concepts, facts or figures, it's important to take an active role in your learning rather than merely a passive one. Putting together your own study notes is a great way of taking control of your learning and creating a more personal connection between you and your learning material.Generating your very own learning resources - such as Mind Maps, Flashcards, Slides, and so on - is an extremely effective way of learning as you go, summarising the most important points of a lesson and deepening your understanding. In addition to this, because it also gets your creative juices flowing, it's also a fantastic way of keeping you energised during your studies.
Why, how, who, when, where and what. It's a funny thing really, the fact that words so small can open doorways to so much new information. But then can, and they do.That's why asking questions is so central to education. If there's something you don't understand about a lesson, why leave a gap in your knowledge by saying nothing? Questions don't make you look silly, they make you look interested, curious, eager to learn. They show drive and ambition and help create a stimulating learning environment in which discussion is welcome.
Cramming the night before an exam is not something that even enters the mind of a top student. Reviewing material in regular bursts ensures that the information is stored in the memory over the long-term, extending the learning experience beyond the test. Many top students use the spaced-repetition concept to optimise learning by systematically reviewing notes to embed knowledge in the brain, but another highly effective way of engaging with lessons and committing the important facts to mind is by taking regular practice quizzes.
When taken within reason, study breaks aren't anything to feel guilty about. In fact, they're absolutely crucial to study success.Spending too much time on your studies can actually have an adverse affect since your ability to learn and absorb new info actually diminishes the more you force yourself to study. There is even a name for this breakdown - "mental congestion".Activities that help shake this off include going outside for some some fresh, taking a walk, or having a quick nap!
Of course while taking short breaks to keep your mind fresh is important, actually making sure that you get enough sleep each night is absolutely essential. Why? For lots of reasons, such as:
The brain can process complex information even while asleep, thereby preparing you for action upon awakening
The brain consolidates memories during sleep. Consistent lack of sleep can adversely affect recollection
Sleep can boost the brain's creativity - researchers at the University of California linked sleep with the brain suddenly coming up with those "a-ha" moments!
Sleep helps protect the brain by giving it a chance to clear out potentially harmful toxins.