Studying effectively, how do you do that?

At NewSkool, all employees study alongside their full-time jobs, part-time at a university or college. At first glance, an almost impossible achievement, but it turns out to do well in practice, in particular by studying smartly and effectively. We have developed a best practice method and associated training for this.

Do you also want to start well this academic year? Below are seven tips for studying effectively.

1. Always go to college

The first tip is simple and effective, but it does require the necessary discipline: always go to college! The lecture series should give you a cross-section of the material, cut into a number of more or less equal parts. Prepare the college well and ask questions. If this is not possible immediately (large lecture hall, lecture online), you can at least be alert during the presentation to the answers to your questions.

study in australia

2. Structure of the fabric

Human memory is made up of different parts, roughly short and long term memory. By making clever use of the structure and functioning of the memory, you can remember more with less effort. Short-term memory has a limited capacity. Therefore, it is better to study in Australia in phases rather than do it all at once, so that you have time to store the material in your long-term memory. The long-term memory is structured hierarchically (similar to an organization chart). Structuring the material hierarchically also makes it easier to remember it.

3. Visualize the fabric

Research shows that people remember a text long enough if they read it six times carefully. Most people, especially part-time students, cannot afford the time and concentration required for this. By summarizing the material visually you can pass the (essence of the) material six times without having to read the entire text six times word for word. For example, draw a map of the fabric with an overview of the different parts and the connections between them.

4. Study in a suitable room

Provide a study room with a comfortable temperature and good light. Daylight is best, but if it is not, it should in any case not be only fluorescent light or energy-saving lamps based on it. Your nervous system does not perceive neon light as light, so it encourages your body to sleep.

Of course, there should also be as little distraction as possible. It is not true that contemporary students are better able to handle parallel information flows. At most, they are more used to doing that. Studying is best done alone, in a quiet environment and without telephone and internet.

5. Make sure you are physically and mentally fit

Studying is a top sport: the brain uses a lot of energy. It is said that good study costs as much energy per hour as running. Either way, it is “the fitter the better”, but it is better not to exaggerate. If you exercise too hard, less energy remains for the brain. So no study on sports days or no sports on study days.

If you have things on your mind, it is of course also more difficult to concentrate. Sometimes it is better to solve them first and only then start studying. Please note that you are not going to SOGgen: it is a well-known phenomenon that all kinds of peripheral matters gain enormous importance when you have to study. You can solve that by taking this into account in your planning. For example, plan time to do laundry or run errands before you go to college. Put a to-do list at your fingertips while studying. If you think of things that you still have to do, write them down there, then they are out of your mind and you can plan them later.

6. Make a realistic planning

Many students think they are busy, but they don’t have a good idea of what they are spending their time on. If you keep a logbook for several weeks and write down twice a day what you did every hour, you will be surprised how much time you can make. If it turns out that you do not have enough time to learn the whole material well, it is better to learn half of the material very well than half of the material. First, it is quite likely that you will pass the exam if you know half of the material well. And if you do not pass the exam, you only have to learn the other half for the resit. If you have learned the whole material half, you will soon forget it and chances are you will have to study it again later.

7. Choose courses that you find really interesting

Many students have an extrinsic motivation for their studies. For example, they want to achieve the highest level, live up to the expectations of parents or experience peer pressure to do a certain study. It is quite possible to obtain a college or university diploma based on extrinsic motivation. But only if you are intrinsically motivated, so that you don’t have to, but want to learn, you are able to study really effectively. Therefore, always choose courses that really interest you.

Knowing more?

We provide effective study training not only to NewSkoolers but also to other students. Do you want to follow this training, for example together with your association or housemates? Please contact Sophia Dekker for the possibilities.