When we were in school, we always heard the typical line: “do not highlight everything, that is not studying” or “reading over your notes is not enough.” Many of us made flashcards and diagrams to help us remember important vocabulary and did practice quizzes. However, how can we study more effectively to retain information and get the grades we want? Oxford Learning says it’s important to know: “There is no one-size-fits-all approach when learning how to effectively study. Studying methods should be tailored to each student. Everyone has different abilities, so it is important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. (Find out what type of learner you are and which study techniques will work best for you!)” You can be a visual, auditory, a hands on learner—or a mix of things. So let us take a look at all of the different ways you can study effectively.
Setting Up Your Space
The first step to starting your studying session is to make sure that you have a clean, spacious and comfortable environment. You can check out this previous article where we discuss how to organize your desk for success. Have all of your materials ready depending on your method ahead of time as well. You can also buy a timer so that you do not have to depend on your phone. If you are unsure of what kind of learner you are, you can take a quiz on Chegg’s website!
Color Code Notes
Whether you have seen the fancy note taking skills on Instagram or TikTik, there is a trend in a lot of them and that is color coding. Instagram user Emmastudiess shows us an example on how to organize and color code notes in order to write and visualize effectively.
When it comes to mind mapping, you start out with a word or phrase that needs to be studied, then you branch out into the major ideas, keywords, and you continue to put down whatever is related to what is at the center. This is especially great for those who are strictly visual learners and need to see everything in front of them. Check out this Ted Talk on why mind mapping is an effective way to learn and study.
Create Rhymes or Songs
For auditory learners, this will help you and memorize information. Even though I don’t practice mathematics in my everyday life, I still remember PEMDAS because of “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.” If you create a song and practice it every day, it will be stuck in your head like a song on a radio. You can also create a poem or a rap song to help you create something that has movement to
Maybe you did not realize it at first but you might be a kinesthetic learner. However, you have noticed that you learn better in groups by being a leader or you are able to retain information better outside of the classroom with students from your study group. If this is you, you might need to step away from the typical desk and grab a study buddy. It is important to keep it in a professional and studious environment such as a library—keep it as least distracting as possible. Create a study plan and learn from one another!
The Endless Possibilities
There are so many different ways to learn, to study and to retain all of the information without becoming overwhelmed. Every single person is unique in general, so it is impossible to hold everyone to the same standards of learning. We all have individual learning styles, we all have ways that will help us grow! There is an abundance of free resources out there to help you learn and make sure you take the quiz. Happy studying!