Have your ever known a person who has good study habits? Sometimes these organized people – you even see them in high school, and they are the ones with regular cubicles in university libraries – are regarded with awe or pity by others who are more haphazard. Unfortunately, most never ask these dedicated scholars for study skills tips.
Parents are usually full of advice that may seem more like nagging than serious counseling. However, they often have the right idea. Turning off the television while studying will focus your mind on the task at hand. Getting a good light will let you read faster, take more legible notes, and get less tired. Sitting at a desk or table where you can have everything you need within reach will help you take what you are doing seriously, get it done as quickly as possible, and keep you from letting the fatigues of the day overcome you.
All of these suggestions actually have merit. You need a quiet place where you can focus on the task at hand without distractions, you need a good light so you will work more quickly with less fatigue, and you will concentrate better if you are sitting up at a designated work place. Lounging on a couch or lying in bed will simply make you sleepy, especially after putting in a long day at school.
There are different forms of studying, depending on the end result. Reading new information to learn new facts requires close attention, as well as jotting down things that you do not understand in order to ask questions in your next class period. Many students find that taking notes while reading makes the retention of ideas easier, as well.
Studying for an examination will be easier if you have noted down the important points of a lesson and then organized them so you can present a coherent discussion on the subject for an essay question or can follow a progression of facts to single out the one you need for a multiple choice answer. Going over your notes will be faster than re-reading the entire text. Having facts organized will help you understand the subject, remember it since you have gone over everything two or more times, and demonstrate what you have learned to your teacher.
Students who take notes on index cards will find this an advantage when it comes time to make an outline. Dividing the information into categories and putting relevant facts under each heading is an advanced method of studying which many college professors require. However, students of any age will find that this discipline will make their presentations of facts and understanding much more impressive.
With practice, you will find a system which works best for you, but any system works better than none. A disorganized approach to study and review will leave a chaotic confusion of facts rather than a clear understanding. Time spent in investigating study skills tips and deciding which are most valuable will pay dividends throughout your entire academic career.