Smart Study always Better than Hard Study
- Feb 11, 2016
Smart study makes sense. Always! No matter how many hours you put in and claim to have studied hard, an unfocused approach costs a lot of time and energy without leading you anywhere. Instead of diving head on into a topic and toiling endlessly,create a study plan to get it right in your first attempt.A clear objective and a firm plan helpin avoiding extra study hours and steer your focus towards important things.
Smart study is pursued through an effective study schedule that is based on your exams rota and time in hand (weeks or months) before the exams begin. Categorize the time into separate phases including refreshment phase, revision and practice phase and intensive study phase. Follow the steps to prepare your smart study plan:
- Identify the date you commence your preparation for exams
- Design a daily record of topics you want to cover during preparation
- Write a clear to-do-list prioritizing the topics and exercises
- Specify the study material you need to study important sections from, for exams
- Get going!
A study plan is a part of studying smart. Apart from this, here are a few pointers that can be incorporated to bid goodbye to hard study days:
- Compress the Content: A book may contain roughly 1000 pages and reading all of them every time you revise is time consuming. Instead, summarize and create synopses while reading so you have the basic concepts to dwell upon during the revision phase without having to go through the entire content again. Identify the main statements that are crucial for exams and skip irrelevant details while preparing summaries.
- Note Down: While listening to a lecture or reading a text book, note down key points your teacher mentions and add footnotes to your lecture notes. Making these notes will help you grasp the logic behind the concepts during revisions. Also, you can highlight important passages from the content so you can simply sieve through unimportant information in your book.
- Maintain Constancy: Studying hard through the night before the exam and rushing through the chapters is not a smart way to study. You can consider spending some hours each day reading a chapter, making a synopsis or doing exercises. This preliminary work will reduce your study time during exams. The last few days before exams should be set aside for revisions. Read through your notes, formulae, and synopses rather than spending sleepless nights engaged in inefficient tasks to catch whatever you can. If you complete the groundwork through the semester, you can focus more during the term end.
- Forget Memorizing, Understand Instead: One of the common mistakes we commit when studying hard is memorizing- learning without understanding. Learning by rote is practically fine but only when the exam calls for repeating exactly what we learnt. While learning by heart is time consuming, it will not come handy when you climb higher up in the educational order. At this level, memorizing and repeating will become less important, rather our understanding and aptitude to draw conclusions will be put to test. In majority of cases, mugging up corresponds to hard and not smartstudy. Emphasize your concentration on understanding the information. When it comes to understanding complex topics, forge associations and links to transform information into knowledge. It is impossible to understand a complex concept if you fail to relate to it. But, no sooner you find links and similarities between new information with concepts that you have already understood, comprehending the information at hand becomes simpler. Make an effort to recognize links between different concepts and form links between topics that overlap.
- Use Your Imagination: Apply your imagination to the subject and visualize the topic vividly. Instead of considering your study material as figures, sentences,and text, imagine it as pictures. By thinking visually, you can run a film in your mind that will let you remember information quickly and for a long time. This exercise will, in essence, associate active pictures with rather passive data. Take for instance, it would be difficult to remember the number “586245”, but if you connect each digit with an image and weave a funny story around it, you will realize that it will be easier to remember the digit-sequence for a long time. Incidentally, this is the same memory trick that artists apply to remember apparently complex digit sequences.
- Simplify through Analogies, Patterns, and Acronyms:Several complicated facts and situations can be compared to simpler ones, which will help in understanding the core of the complex situation by breaking it into simpler and smaller issues. Again, it is not uncommon to notice repeated patterns in the subject content. By paying attention to these patterns, you can understand the outlineof the topic and thus, gaining new information based on these patterns will involve less hard work.In case you bump into difficult formulae and names, form an acronym to memorize them.
- Focussed Mind: Have you sat through classes without grasping a word of what teacher said? You were supposed to be studying hard for extended periods without actually focusing on what you did. Distractions like mobile phones, the internet, friends, radio, telephone etc. make situations worse. You can deal with this by adapting a determined approach towards study. Even if you study for a couple of hours at a stretch, try to give it your 200%. Keep distractions at bay and avoid procrastination. With a firm mindset and positive approach, even a 2 hour study will be more productive than staring at books throughout the day. If you have ticked all the points on the to-do-list for the day, go out and have fun. Studying with a focussed outlook and avoiding distractions helps you utilize time to the maximum.
- Emotional Connect: Associating your subject with emotions will really help you in internalizing the concept. Develop an interest and be inquisitive about your subject. Learning becomes more joyous if you associate emotions with it.
It is really important to be positively connected with your studies as it is a smart way to study.
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