Study Tips: Study Better with These 5 Smart Study Tips

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We realized that productivity tips for college students wouldn’t be enough. As the case is, it’s not just about studying longer or devoting more hours poring over the books – there are smarter ways to pick up knowledge and learn faster. Even though you could memorize your textbook, or cram your exam preparation, the trick really is to study smarter. Here are 5 ways to increase your study IQ:

1. Discover patterns and associations in what you’re studying

As seen in the movies, conspiracy theorists usually rely on a visual framework to work out the patterns and associations that they could see between different sources. Scenes with newspaper clippings plastered on the walls and red thread connecting one to another are particularly mainstream, depicting visual associations. Of course, doing this in this manner would be crazy for a college student, but the principle stays the same. Work out patterns, sequences, and associations between your notes, lecture notes, and reading material and use these as a basis for remembering the content. Simply said, every idea or piece of information should be connected to another, and the process of discovery makes it a smarter way to study.

2. Study – then write a song about it

Or write a mock essay, do a video – just about anything that will make you create something out of all the content that you’ve studied. The process of creation helps you not only to study smarter, it holds your attention in  a way that engages you many times more than just reading your textbook.

3. Share the concepts you’ve been studying about

Though classroom discussions are good venues for students to air out their concerns, there are other ways in which ideas could be exchanged. In the ancient times, the “in” thing to do was to go to a marketplace and talk to the resident philosopher or elder, but now we have the Internet to go to. Join online communities and forums which deal with the subjects you’re studying and co-create ideas with the other members. It’s not only a smart study tip but also an interesting way to get to know more people.

4. Study – then teach it to another person

Another smart study tip is to teach the content that you’re studying. Find someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic and then teach the subject as concisely as possible. Doing this exercise helps you organize your thoughts and put something into your own words, a process by which you become more familiar with the content ten-fold. With the same objective in mind, you could also write down a mock lecture of the subject for a young child. For example, you could figure out a way to explain the economic recession to a 5-year old.

5. Use analogies

Jean Piaget (a popular psychologist and philosopher) explained that we relate ideas either by assimilating concepts that we don’t know into things already know or by accommodating what we know to something that is new. For example, for a child who is only beginning to understand the concept “dog”, he may have started to assimilate every four-legged animal as a “dog” (even it it’s a cat or a goat) before finally accommodating each kind of animal (or in this case, that a cat, a goat, and a dog are three different animals). Though we may see it as wrong at the start, we have to realize that it’s our brain’s way of remembering concepts. Thinking of something as “just like” another creates a point for one to check and analyze in the future, making it a smart study tip that could save you more time.

One Response to “Study Tips: Study Better with These 5 Smart Study Tips”

  1. […] dealing with fractions: similar, dissimilar, and what-not. They’ve probably followed the best study tips while they were in school, but a decade later it’s as if a mathematical amnesia had taken place. […]

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