You often hear the same advice when it comes to learning. Join a study group and find a quiet place However, there are many practical study tips you can follow when it comes to education,
A practical study plan requires a strategy, the right environment, and essential study tools to retain what you’ve learned.
It also requires numerous methods to gather and parse information so you absorb it more easily.
This article provides the most critical advice and tools to ensure you get the most out of your study sessions.
Moreover, it helps you avoid wasting valuable time and energy.
1. Have a Study Plan
A solid study plan can have one of the most significant impacts on your ability to learn successfully.
Your study plan should outline the most important topics and how you plan to tackle learning and retaining each subject.
Base these topics on how necessary they are for your class.
Pay attention to the areas you may be struggling with that are extremely important for your success.
If you are familiar with a topic, don’t spend all your time studying something you don’t need to.
Instead, focus on topics you’re unfamiliar with and develop a study plan that incorporates them into your education.
Also, focus on critical topics relevant to your class rather than non-relevant or trivial subjects.
For example, don’t waste time studying skin tissue if you have a test on the skeletal bones.
Understanding all aspects of the body and anatomical features is essential.
However, you want to save time by studying that subject when necessary.
That way, you can focus on the current subject matter more effectively.
It allows you to be very effective with your time and narrow down what truly matters at the moment.
Focus on the material that has the biggest impact on your grades and education. It’s especially important if you’re struggling to understand specific subjects. Focus on complex topics instead of re-memorizing something you already know. It will give you the best return on your investment of time.
2. Commit to a Study Schedule
Set aside a time of day when you can uninterruptedly focus your time.
It can be in the morning after taking a shower, eating breakfast on weekends, or after class.
If necessary, schedule your study time after completing other essential responsibilities.
It will help you stay more focused and keep critical information fresh in your mind.
You’ll spend less time juggling different thoughts and give more time and attention to what you need to study.
Most importantly, choose a study time when it’s easiest for you to concentrate and memorize your topic.
Don’t waste time studying when you are exhausted or distracted.
You’re more likely to waste your time struggling to memorize a topic than effectively learning anything.
Instead, study when your mind can more easily understand and retain the topic.
If you study while exhausted, you’ll wake up, read your notes, and realize you don’t understand what you wrote.
Determining a study schedule, like 10 am to 1 pm, helps you develop a rhythm that becomes easier with time.
3. Set the Mood
You hear advice that sitting in a quiet room by yourself is the best way to study.
However, we are different, and people learn better in distinct environments.
Studying in an area with quiet ambient sounds, like a library or coffee shop, is best for some people.
It allows them to focus on work while not feeling isolated or mentally bored due to a complete lack of sound.
Others may prefer LoFi music and hot cocoa in a room with soft light.
Determining the best study environment helps you feel more at ease and stay creative.
It also enables you to maintain attention and retain critical information more effectively.
Some environments inspire you to study, while others constantly distract you.
As a result, your environment significantly impacts your mood and ability to focus and study.
There are numerous things to consider when picking a study space.
It includes the room size, colors, temperature, lighting, ambiance, and odors (coffee, scented candles, incense, etc.),
You may be surprised at how much you can concentrate when your environment puts you in a studying mood.
4. Learn to Take Good Notes
Good note-taking is essential to making your study sessions productive and improving your retention.
Most smartphones now have excellent note-taking capabilities and apps.
It includes audio recorders, cameras, apple notes and files, and third-party apps like Evernote and StudyBlue.
These apps help you take, record, and edit your notes to organize and use them to your full advantage.
Create flashcards to help you memorize essential terms, theories, ideas, and other subject matter.
Take photos of anatomical models that point out important information.
Also, make audio recordings of topics you can listen to while driving, walking, or resting.
You can download digital copies of specific textbooks with a Kindle reader or iBooks.
Digital textbooks allow you to highlight and bookmark important topics or mentions.
That way, you can reference the material easily in the future.
Lastly, don’t forget the tried and true pen and paper notebook.
These are the easiest and often most available resources for taking and keeping good notes.
Purchasing a few 3 – 5 subject notebooks can go a long way toward doing better in school.
Having an excellent note-taking setup can drastically improve your success at studying.
5. Utilize Audio and Video Lessons
Many audio and video lessons are available related to subjects you need to study.
These study formats can be a precious tool in your studying arsenal.
They provide more ways to absorb the information you need to learn.
Videos help you visualize the information, so it’s easier to understand.
You can also use audio recordings and lectures to memorize complex topics when you cannot read.
An excellent step-by-step video brings new insights by breaking down those topics easier.
Audio lessons are great for helping you study while you’re on the go.
Doing topical searches on YouTube and Podcast networks is a great way to learn about various nursing professions.
Just make sure the information you are learning about comes from a good reputable source.
If you own an Apple device, check out iTunes University.
It offers numerous school lectures on multiple topics.
Whether on a commute, going for a walk, or sitting in a quiet room, audio helps you gather thoughts and learn topics.
It is beneficial when you find it difficult to continue reading the same content repeatedly.
It also helps you take a break from reading when your mind is tired or disconnected.
6. Take a Kinesthetic Approach
Sometimes the best way to learn a topic is to engage in the tasks you’re learning physically.
For example, students may find it easier to learn about anatomy using anatomical models.
Physical representations of the body make it easier to understand specific body parts’ location, function, and features.
You can order replicas of skeletal bones and other anatomical features from sites such as Amazon.
You can take apart the skeletal system and study it more effectively than just reading a textbook.
Some tools allow you to physically practice what you’re learning, whether studying anatomy, CPR or learning to use an IV.
Anything you can deconstruct and reconstruct physically can improve your understanding of a complex topic.
Laptops and tablets may not offer the same level of kinesthetic learning of physical models. However, there are a number of excellent programs that allow you to manipulate computer generated models. These programs help you better understand how anatomy works. It can drastically improve your study efforts.
7. Use Visual Aids
Visual aids are highly effective at improving human recognition and retention.
These aides significantly affect recall in the students who use them.
Perhaps you’ve heard that people remember twice as much what they see as they read.
The information you remember from visual aids can be significantly higher than what you retain from reading.
As a result, you’ll want to incorporate visual aids to help you better understand complex topics.
It helps you improve memory by providing critical visual facts and a unique perspective.
Visual aids like images, graphs, charts, videos, and physical models are excellent ways to retain information better.
Interactive videos and demos also help you memorize essential topics and concepts.
Websites like Amazon offer useful visual aids such as flashcards and physical models. It can help you quickly understand and retain information you are learning.
8. Have a Study Buddy or Group
Study buddies/groups can be precious when trying to learn about a complex subject.
Bouncing ideas and theories around and using your collective knowledge to solve problems is highly beneficial.
A study group also allows you to ask questions and view things differently.
As a result, it provides unique and distinct ways to learn about a topic.
Besides that, study groups/buddies make understanding complex topics more uncomplicated.
Each person can introduce their ideas and strategies to construct concepts that are easier to comprehend.
With a study group, you practice exams, understand complex topics better, and see different perspectives.
That said, make sure your study group is focused and accountable.
That way, you can quickly remove study partners who fool around or distract you.
9. Teach Others
One of the best ways to improve your learning is to teach others what you know about your topic.
Teaching others anatomy, physiology, chemistry, or medical procedures will help reinforce what you’ve learned.
In addition, educating others enables you to develop your cognitive understanding of the topic.
Students can ask various questions and provide feedback forcing you to consider the topic from different angles.
It helps your brain identify, dissect and reconstruct the lessons you’ve learned.
Finally, it’s a great way to improve recall because teaching constantly reminds us to recall what we know and understand.
10. Don’t Overdo it
Being effective at studying means not overdoing things and not taking on more than you can handle.
Managing too many difficult classes leads to more stress and less constructive study time.
As a result, you won’t be able to give each subject the time it needs to understand and learn genuinely.
If you try to make up for your study time by not sleeping, you’ll vastly reduce your ability to retain what you’ve learned.
It will only make your study sessions less effective and drain your energy.
Studying an extra hour the previous night instead of getting a good night’s sleep do more harm than not.
Stress also makes it difficult to concentrate and stay focused.
You may move frantically from one subject to the next rather than giving each topic adequate study time.