Whenever the subject of study tips and advice comes up, everyone will tell you something different; things they have tried and tested themselves, study methods that teachers or fellow students have recommended or they’ll try to sell you some quick fix solution to not having studied up until this point. But quite often people fail to mention the things you should avoid doing whilst studying, which is the information that, in my opinion, is more valuable.
And so here are my basic study “don’ts”:
Don’t forget to set up – one of the biggest time wasters is searching for materials or loose pages and handouts. Make sure that when you sit down to study you have everything you might possibly need in front of you or at least close to hand. That way you won’t find yourself, every few minutes, getting up to go hunt down some other item located in another room.
Don’t leave it to the last minute – a study plan can be extremely useful when you have a lot of course material to get through, especially if you actually stick to it and use it to get ahead. That feeling of preparation will give you the confidence get over any last minute exam jitters.
Don’t study in an unlit room – natural light creates a generally nicer study environment, preventing strained eyes and headaches, which are never helpful to a hard study session. The other thing to consider is that a dark room will always make you feel a little bit sleepy, or even slightly depressed that you’re stuck inside instead of being out having fun.
Don’t study in your pyjamas – one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a full day studying is to have a decent shower and get yourself ready as if you were leaving the house. It’s all too easy, when studying at home, to just pull on some comfy joggers or even stay in your pyjamas! But the downside to this is that it’ll put you into that relaxed state that you’ve come to associate with your “in the house” getup.
Don’t just read the course material – it’s important to actually study each individual bit of information and by study I mean repeat it to yourself, talk about it with someone or any other exercise that helps you remember the content. Personally, I find explaining what I’ve learnt to someone else is one of the best ways to ensure that the information sticks in my mind. However, the “how” is not the important bit, just make sure that you don’t simply skim the page, because when it comes to the exam you’ll never be able to recall the necessary information.
Finding your own individual way of studying is important, using the method that works best for you, but you might as well avoid the already established pitfalls whilst you’re doing it, if only to save yourself some time!