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Start Studying Smart

Monday, April 30, 2012

Is it difficult for you to study? Do you find that you procrastinate when it comes to studying and then cram the night before an exam? Well, this has got to stop. The key to effective studying isn’t cramming or studying longer; you just have to study smart. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Approaching study matters
Have you ever ‘forced’ yourself to be in the right mindset, and then you simply avoid studying? If you’re distracted by an upcoming game, or finishing an important project, then studying is just going to be frustrating. 
These four points were given to me by one of my secondary school teachers and trust me, they will really help to improve your mindset when it comes to studying:
• Aim to think positively when you study, and remind yourself of your skills and abilities. 
• Avoid catastrophic thinking. Instead of thinking, “I’m a mess, I’ll never have enough time to study for this exam,” look at it like, “I may be a little late to study as much as I’d like, but since I’m doing it now, I’ll get most of it done.” 
• Avoid absolute thinking. Instead of thinking “I always mess things up,” the more objective view is, “I didn’t do so well that time, what can I do to improve?” 
• Avoid comparing yourself with others, because you usually just end up feeling bad about yourself. 
2. Where To Study
Do all reading, writing and studying at a table, sitting upright in a chair. Good lighting and fresh air is an important tool which helps your studies and grades to improve. Many people lay on their beds, sofa or floors to study. I believe if you are lying down, chances are you’ll get sleepy. You must focus when you are seated, not lounging; in the latter position your mind drifts out of focus. Sitting upright in a well-lit room means your studying will be focused. In this way, every hour of study could be worth two hours of “studying” on the bed or sofa.
3. Outline and rewrite your notes
Outlining and rewriting your notes can be very helpful when studying, because information is retained. That’s why writing notes work in the first place – it helps you understand the terms and words used in the information. Saying the words out loud can be one method for involving another sense. 
4. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses with Tests
Students vary in how they respond to various types of testing. Some do best at essays, while others do better with multiple choice or short answers. If you are given testing choices, choose the ones in which you excel. If you have a weakness in one of these areas, then learn what it takes to do better.
5. Sit in the Front of the Class
Sitting in the front will help you to focus and pay attention while helping you to retain more information. It will also help the teachers to get to ‘know your face’. Teachers are sometimes more lenient on students they know than the ‘faceless’ students in the back of the class. 
6. Ask Questions and Volunteer Answers in Class
Not only does this get more attention from the instructor, but it also helps to keep you from getting bored or falling asleep. This benefits you with extra credit for class participation whether they tell you so or not. 
So, have you been studying smart? If not, then start now!


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