How to Study Efficiently and Effectively

Studying can be stressful. Forcing yourself to learn, understand and memorise large amounts of new information is not an easy task. Improper study habits can make studying much more difficult and frustrating as you waste countless late hours cramming for a test. You can spend less time studying by adopting good study habits. These habits can make learning new information both easier and quicker. Good study habits will make the time you spend studying far more effective and efficient. Here are FIVE (5) tips:

  1. Avoid cramming

    Cramming refers to an intense study session the night before an exam or test as you try to absorb as much information as possible. Cramming can have a detrimental effect on recall ability; the brain will have a difficult time retaining any information gathered during a cram session on both a long-term and short-term basis, even as early as the next morning. Instead of cramming, space out your study sessions over the course of a semester. Yes, it PAYS to study on a consistent basis.

  2. Eliminate distractions in the environment

    Ever heard the saying that Environment is stronger than Willpower? The more your brain has to fight to focus on while studying, the less it will be able to concentrate on understanding and retaining information. Turn off unneeded electronic devices, such as TVs, computers and music. While low-key, quiet music can act as a type of white noise to help drown out other distracting sounds, music that is too loud or complex can hinder the study process.

  3. Take breaks

    Your brain needs time to rest and digest the information it has received. Every 45 or so, take a 15-minute break. Get up and move around, get some water or take a short walk. Avoid any complex or distracting tasks, such as watching TV. Studying in a 45-minute block with a 15-minute break can be more beneficial than studying for hours straight. And if we are talking about children, the younger the kids, the shorter the attention span, so the more the breaks are required.

  4. Differentiate the text

    Well, as much as it is the most basic technique, it is also one that works. Highlight important facts and passages to actively absorb the information being studied. Reading can become a passive exercise, and the brain may start glossing over the information. Use a highlighter to mark sections of vital information that has to be retained. Not only will this enable you to go back over important facts and read them again, but those facts are now easy to find when you read the material in the future.

  5. Master Visual learning

    Yes, there are other styles of learning, but for teenagers or adults, we often depend on visual learning as being the least time consuming, when it comes to studying for exam. Take notes on flash cards. Writing information down is an even stronger way of absorbing and retaining information than highlighting. Use a stack of 3 by 5-inch flash cards and write down quick blurbs of information as you encounter them. The act of writing information strengthens the ability of the brain to retain the information, and you can use the cards later as a study guide. Repeat the words out loud (auditory learning) to further stress the importance of the information.

  6. Get plenty of sleep after studying

    Sleep helps your mind absorb new information and form long-term memories. Getting a full night’s sleep after a study session is far more effective in helping you learn and retain new information than sacrificing sleep for more study time.

    Talk to us should there be anything we could help you with. We have 2 locations at Banyan Tree Education – visit us at Ang Mo Kio (near Hougang & Yio Chu Kang) or Bukit Merah (Tiong Bahru) and talk to us. We offer private and class tuition for Primary & Secondary School, feel free to talk to our teachers!

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