We’ve all done it. Promised ourselves that we would go straight home after our busy day and study for that test we’ve been dreading all week, or finish that essay that we waited until the last minute to do because we just could not be bothered by it, or start working on that three-part ISU project that we know will take what feels like years to finish. It happens to the best of us. As teenagers, the desire to procrastinate has never been higher, no matter what grade you’re in. However, we all know that test, essay or project needs to get done at some point. Here are some personal study tips and habits to help keep you on a productive grind.
Now, everyone is different. We all work at different paces and in different styles. The same goes for studying. Some of these tips and tricks may not work for you, and that’s okay. Something will work for you, and it's only a matter of time before you find out what that is.
Try rewriting your notes. Maybe even colour code them if the organization helps you focus. Going back and rewriting your old notes that you haven’t read over in a while will help refresh the topic in your brain. After, try reading your notes out loud to yourself. Hearing yourself say the words will help you make sense of the content. Don’t just highlight, annotate. While going through your textbook, notes, or even while the teacher is talking, write down what that word means, or what this theory is in the margins of your page. You’ll have a better understanding when you go through the content later. If you’re trying to memorize something, record yourself saying the content out loud on your phone. Then you can listen to yourself through your headphones as if you were listening to music. No one will ever guess that your listening to your history presentation instead of... you know... music. On the other hand, sometimes finding that perfect chilled out playlist is the perfect idea. Finding a quiet place to work, getting out all of your books and notes, and then pressing play. The soothing songs may help you focus and concentrate on the studying at hand. You may even associate the information with a certain song, and listening to it could bring back the memory of the information you studied.
In terms of procrastination, we are very familiarized with our technological devices. Our phones, tablets, laptops… they’re all things that distract us during our precious work and study time. In order to diminish this, work in intervals. Put your phone down, work for thirty minutes to an hour, and then take a break. Answer that text, check your Instagram feed, post that tweet and then get back to work. You’re more likely to retain the information if you take more time to study and take breaks, rather than if you try to speed study for an hour late at night. If your self-control isn’t that high, try giving your device to someone else, like a family member, while you study. This may eliminate the desire to check your phone and distract you from your work. Also try comparing your study notes with others in your class. Maybe they have an idea or answer that you can’t seem to find and/or vice versa.
As I said before, we all learn and study differently. Some study tips may work for some, and not work at all for others. It's only a matter of knowing and understanding what type of person you are, and how you learn best.