In every class in every educational institution, there are three categories of students – the toppers, the average ones and the poor performing ones. The Toppers are the ones everybody looks up to. They generally sit on the front benches, take down notes diligently, are attentive in class, are doted on by the teachers, and to no one’s surprise, always ace the exams. The average students merely manage to get by, while the poor performers struggle with avoiding failure in the exams.
Many students feel demotivated when they see these toppers thriving and feel as though they lack the skills required to match them. However, the learning ability of brilliant students cannot be simply attributed to good genetics. It’s more likely that they are using better study strategies than the average students. Psychological research studies done in schools from junior high to the university level have uncovered many previously unknown facts about learning. Finally, the secret is out! There are strategies that even average to poor performing students can apply to give the usual toppers a run for their money! Here are the Top Secrets of Effective Studying for Students:
- Goal Setting
‘Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare’ – Japanese proverb.
There is great wisdom in the above words. If one doesn’t have a clear goal, he is bound to fail. This seems like a complete no-brainer, yet many students miss this crucial step. Additionally, the goal needs to be SMART – Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Setting too high a goal is setting oneself up for failure and disappointment. For example, a student getting 35% in one exam cannot hope to jump up to 95% in the next one. He must aim to become average first, then good, and finally great.
- Having a Study Plan
‘He who fails to plan plans to fail’
All successful people, be it athletes, businessmen, artists, etc. have one thing in common –they plan. Not having a study plan will make any student feel disoriented and overwhelmed with the amount of work to be completed. It is also possible that she/he may miss out on important study topics if there is no proper plan in place. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Similarly, any study subject needs to be broken down into smaller pieces. Next, a detailed plan needs to be drawn, with timelines, in order to tackle these small pieces.
- Making one’s own notes
It is very tempting to simply borrow and copy the notes of the topper students. This is the easy path, and almost always leads to poor performance in the exams. There is nothing like creating, reviewing and studying from notes made by oneself. This is because writing is one of the best ways to ingrain new knowledge, according to psychology. Additionally, creating the notes serves as one instance of studying in itself. When the notes are read later, it’s like a revision round. One way to improve one’s notes is to Get Study Notes from students who have aced the exam in the past. However, it is always advisable to write one’s own notes.
- Using study groups effectively
The phrase ‘Two heads are better than one’ can be very true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables one to Get quick help from others when struggling to understand a concept as well as teach others, thereby helping both the other student and oneself to become an expert on the subject matter. However, caution needs to be taken with study groups. If they’re not structured and if groups members come unprepared or are not serious about studies, study groups can prove to be counter-productive.
- Testing Regularly
Creating practice quizzes and mock tests is another way to ensure top performance in the examinations. These tests should replicate exam-time conditions so that the student gets a real feel of what to expect during the actual exams.
Cramming is something that a top student never does. Reviewing study material regularly ensures that information is stored in the memory over the long-term, and is easy to recall on the all-important day of the exam. Many top students use this spaced-repetition concept to optimise their study efficiency.
- Professional Guidance
If a student requires help with a particular subject, he/she should not hesitate to Hire a tutor. When one goes to the gym, there are physical instructors available to help him out with his training. Similarly, in today’s times, it is extremely simple to find a study tutor using the internet. Group tuitions in classes or look out for apps to have a private tutor at your doorstep are both options.
And last but not the least, students must not forget the importance of study breaks and a good night’s sleep. Exhaustion is the enemy of performance. Proper sleep ensures that the mind retains all the knowledge inculcated.