How to study more efficiently

woman who doesn't study efficiently

I think we have all experienced that moment when you studied for an exam for a really long time, and then when the day of the test comes around, you don’t know the answer to half of the questions and you get a bad grade. That was because you didn’t study efficiently.

You put in so much time, but it wasn’t worth it. On the inside, you get mad because you could have done way more fun things during this time.

I have experienced this often last year where I would study for a long time, but I was always asking myself how I could reach my goals by studying more efficiently. I wanted more time for the things I love doing.

So, I started researching and found different techniques about how to understand the subject better, and how to remember and memorize more efficiently.

having ideas to study efficiently

Because of the coronavirus, and because we didn’t have exams before the summer most of us will be overwhelmed when school starts again. This is the perfect time to learn how to study more efficiently.

I split these posts into 3 smaller ones, the first one is about understanding, the second one about remembering, and the third one about memorizing. I will be posting these every Sunday in a row. I hope you can all learn as much as I did and that you can study more efficiently from now on.

What I did wrong

But first of all, I want to show you why my techniques used up so much of my time. What I did was rereading and summarizing. We all study differently, we study in a way that feels most productive to us.

But there is evidence that most of us use the wrong study strategies as you can read in this paper, written by Professor Dunlosky who analyzed hundreds of studies relating to revision techniques and he showed that these two popular techniques didn’t work efficiently when compared to other study techniques. 

Rereading

When we reread, we feel productive. It takes up our time and we can spend hours just rereading our school material. But the research has shown that this is not as effective as we think it is. When we reread a paragraph, the brain doesn’t have to work very hard, it is in the passive mode. And the brain is working the best at learning information when is being actively used.

Summarizing

I spent soooo much time summarizing, most of the time I was just coping out of the textbook. I just wrote the same sentence down or changed it up a little and always tried to make it look nice and tidy. That actually made studying more fun for me but it wasn’t really good use of my time. This time can be used way more efficiently by writing down questions and try to answer them. In that case, you use your brain actively, but more to this in the next post.

What are your study techniques and are they a good use of your time?

I hope you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to my email newsletter, so you never miss a post. Next Sunday I will show you how to understand fast and so you will be able study efficiently.

I already wrote one on understanding a topic and how to remember and memorize something.

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