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3 Hacks to help you study better

July 29, 2017 General Enakshi Dasgupta

Studying for a test is probably the most gruelling thing that a student ever does. Most students try cramming at the last hour, which creates more stress than anything else and does not really help the student in any way. Today in India, most students’ preferred method of studying is cramming. In fact, teacher prefer that students cram.

I once knew a student who failed consistently in psychology for a whole year and then in her twelfth boards got a 91 percent in the subject. How? Because the teacher had failed her consciously for the whole year, even though she had been writing correct answers in her papers. Why? Simple, because she didn’t quote the book word by word. She was no good at cramming, and she preferred not to memorize anything.

Anyway, horrible teachers’ aside, everyone needs a proper system to study properly. Here I’ll outline some of many ways that you can use to study properly for your tests.

1. Motivate yourself

Find out what motivates you. Do you want to get into a prestigious university? Do you want to top your class? Do you have a frenemy? Think about the goals that inspire you to succeed academically and set realistic goals that are achievable. A few examples include always finishing your homework on time, maintain a straight A for a semester.

Rewarding yourself is also a great way to stay motivated. Rewards may include going out to the movies if you do really well on a test, or even going out with friends.

Remember to stay motivated no matter what. Regardless of failures try your level best, and ultimately you will get results.

2. Stay organised

Being organised is the first step to academic success.

Get a digital or physical calendar and divide your days between studying, and other activities. Make sure to leave so space for extracurricular activities as well. Set timetables for short and long term goals and due dates for assignments.

Figure out a study space and stick to it. Make individual copies and binders for different subjects. Organise your stuff by class and dates.

3. Develop good study habits.

Study habits you develop now will improve your high school grades, they will also carry you into college and beyond.

Some examples are:

1. Create your own study guide.
Creating your own will help you understand the material better. Outline the important information you need to learn. Make comprehensive notes. Write down questions you think may come in the test.

2. Start early on
Start ahead of schedule, that way you’ll never be cramming the night before an exam. You’ll also almost always perform better in doing so!

3. Take short breaks
You will never be able to memorize or comprehend all the material at once. Balance is the key – ensure that you reward yourself for learning with break times to recharge and relax.
There’s always a lot to be said about a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re well-rested so that you can be fully focused during your tests.

4. Quiz yourself
Think about and write down actual exam questions, you will become more familiar with what you need to study and, in the meantime, familiarize yourself with the type of language that will be on the exam. Draft potential exam questions and quiz yourself so that you can set expectations of what you need to focus on.

5. Colour coding
Create a system that allows you to colour code material that’s going to be on the exam by what’s most important, less important, etc. Highlight the important stuff so it’s more accessible when it’s needed. This will help you focus on the most pertinent information and prioritize the material.

Find out what works best for you and stick to it. And remember, work hard and you can achieve the unachievable!


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