Yes, this is the How to Study page of wikiHow.com which four million students have read and benefited.
The author advises us, students, to develop good study habits, to be able to study and assimilate what is read as knowledge in the neurons of our brain.
I advise you, if you want to improve your skills, to read that page sincerely and put the ideas into practice. The link is here: https://www.wikihow.com/Study
The page gives its advice in 4 parts. I shall try to present it in a smaller space:
Part 1: PREPARING TO STUDY
- Manage Your Time
- Prepare a study plan and schedule your reading hours. A workable plan should consider all your expenditure of time in a day, including eating, dressing, commuting, etc.
- Prioritise your education as the first one and balance your other activities.
- If in college, the hours of study of a subject should be based on its relative level of difficulty to you.
- Pace Yourself
- Find your own speed of study of each subject and topic. Take the time you need to study comfortably.
- Get Enough Sleep
- Your schedule should allow you to have good sleep every night. Good sleep improves your mental ability of memory and attentiveness. Avoid cramming all night. Instead getting a good sleep will help you perform better.
- If you feel sleepy again, take a short nap of 15-30 minutes before studying. Doing exercise after waking up will help.
- Focus your thoughts on the subject and topic and clear your mind of any other thing. If you have a lot in your mind, write a note to yourself on what are you thinking and how you feel before starting study.
- Eliminate electronic distractions. Switch off your mobile or silence it and keep in the bag. . If you can, don’t open your laptop or connect it to the internet . You may also use apps in your PC to instantly block the social sites. You may unblock after your study time is over.
Part 2: SETTING UP YOUR STUDY SPACE
- Setting Up Your Study Space
- Select a relatively quite study spot where you will feel comfortable, so studying is more enjoyable.
- But let it not be too comfortable as to make you feel sleepy. Avoid the bed as study space.
- Outside traffic may be fine white noise, but shouting siblings and blasting music next room are a hindrance, so choose the study spot carefully.
- Choose background music carefully
- Some prefer silence, some prefer music in the background. Stick to instrumental music, like baroque, classical or trance music, that helps to to be calm and motivating you in your study.
- Play music at moderate to low volume.
- Avoid FM radio as the commercials and the DJ’s voice can take you out of your concentration.
- Listen to background sounds. Natural sounds such as waterfalls, rain, thunder and jungle sounds can give enough white noise and block out other sounds.
- Keep the TV off. Best distraction is TV viewing, so better avoid watching TV. Voices are engaging the language center of your brain and are thus extremely distracting.
- Snack Smart. Eat healthy, nutritional, energy boosting foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Drink enough water to keep you hydrated and tea if you need a caffeine boost. Avoid sweets, noodles, chips, energy drinks. Have your snacks prepared when you begin a study session so you don’t go hungry and go rummaging for food.
Part 3: USING EFFECTIVE STUDY TECHNIQUES
- Use SQ3R. Survey-> Question -> Read -> Recite -> Review.
- Glance through the chapter looking for tables, figures, headings and bolded words.
- Make each heading into a question.
- Read the chapter trying to answer the questions you made from the section headings.
- Recite the answers to the questions verbally and important information you remember from the chapter.
- Review the chapter to make sure you include all the main ideas. Then think about why this is important.
- Use the THIEVES strategy for preview. Title-Heading-Introduction-Explanation-Visuals & Vocabulary –End of Chapter questions – Summary. Do this with every new chapter.
- Title will tell you about the topic. Think what do you know already about it. What should you think about while reading?
- What do the headings and subheadings tell you ? Turn each into a question.
- Find what the introduction tells you about.
- Read the first sentence of every paragraph, which is usually the topic sentences.
- Look at tables, graphs, charts, bolded, italicized words, colored words and lists.
- Look at questions at the end of the chapter, keep them in mind as you study.
- Look at chapter summary to grasp what the chapter is about before proceeding to read the chapter as a whole.
- Highlight important details.
- Use a highlighter or underline the most important points, useful when you review the material. Too much highlighting will spoil the purpose. Make notes in pencil in the margin in your own words on important points.
- If the textbook belongs to the school, use highlighted sticky notes.
- Periodically review in this manner to retain the main points you have learnt fresh. This is very useful for a final comprehensive exam.
- Summarize or outline.
- One good way to study is to write the material in your notes and in the textbook in your own words. That way you can think about it in your own terms. Incorporate your summaries into your notes at relevant places. Make an outline by main ideas and only the most important subpoints.
- If you have privacy, recite your summaries aloud in order to involve more senses. Verbalizing helps you learn faster.
- If you find it difficult to summarize, pretend teaching it to someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic.
- You can also make an outline. Organize it by main ideas and only the most important subpoints.
- As brain remembers information associated with color, use different colors when making summaries.
- Make flash cards, using index cards. Write an idea or question on one side and the answer on the other. Or you can use just folded paper as cards. You can refer to them while waiting for a bus, or in a down moment or before the class starts. Put the question on the side visible when the paper is folded and unfold it to see the answer.
- Make associations.
- Tying new information with existing information available in the mind is the most effective way of retaining information. Use memory techniques to help you remember difficult or large information.
- Build your method according to your learning style. Like song lyrics? -> then write as a lyric.
- Use mnemonics. Example: To remember the notes of the treble clef lines, a music student uses this mnemonic: EveryGood Boy Deserves Fudge = E.G,B,D,F. You can use an image in your mind if the list is short.
- Organize the information with a mind map. The end result of mapping should be a web-like structure of words and ideas that are somehow related in the writer’s mind.
- Use visualization skills. Construct a movie in your mind that illustrates the concept you’re trying to remember, and play it several times over, remembering every little detail.
- Break things into small parts. Lessen how much you learn at one time.
- Make as study sheet, in one or two sheets to condense the information. Read it in your downtimes. Take your notes and the chapters and organize it into related topics and pull out the most important concepts.
- If you type it out on a computer, use different font sizes, margin spaces or bullets.
Part 4: STUDYING MORE EFFECIENTLY
- Take breaks. Take a five minute break every half hour or so. This helps you relax the mind, remember and retain better. Do some physical activity to make your blood flow and keep you alert. Jog, run, play just enough to get yourself pumped but not worn out. Try integrating standing into your studying, walking around the table as you study or standing against the wall as you read your notes.
- Use keywords to refocus. Find a keyword related to the topic and when you lose concentration, repeat that word until you come back to the topic.
- Take good notes in class. Not necessarily full sentences. Write the terms a teacher says and go home and copy the definitions from the book. This keeps you alert in class and attentive to the teaching.
- Use abbreviations. This helps you so that you can quickly jot down words without spelling anything out. Try coming up with your own abbreviation system.
- Ask questions in class as they pop into your brain, or make a contribution to the class discussion. Jot it down in the margin and later at home you can piece together the connection.
- Rewrite your notes at home neatly so that you can fill in any gaps from memory. When taking notes in class, focus on the information and less on understanding or neatness. You may keep two notebooks, one for ‘rough draft’ notes and one for rewritten notes.
- Make things interesting. Try to find the beauty of every subject, and most importantly, try to link it with the events of your life and things that interest you. Use your creativity to stuff things up.
- Study hard subjects first. Start with the most difficult subjects or concepts at the beginning of your study session. Save the easier stuff for later.
- Learn the most important facts first. Don’t just read the material from beginning to end. Stop to memorize each new fact as you come to it. New information is acquired much more easily when you can relate it to material that you already know.
- Study the important vocabulary. Look for vocabulary lists or words in bold in the chapter. Find out if your textbook has a vocabulary section, a glossary, or a list of terms and make sure that you understand these completely.
- Make a study group. Get 3-4 friends or classmates together and have everyone bring over their flash cards. Pass them around and quiz each other. If anyone is unclear on a concept, take turns explaining them to each other. Divide concepts and lectures among the group and let each group summarize the main points. Spend each week covering a new topic. That way you study throughout the semester instead of just at the end.