Below are some study tips to help you on your way put together by a local young person!
1. Introduce yourself to your teachers/lecturers/coordinators etc. early in the semester.
Then make regular appointments with them to and go through content you find challenging in a one-on-one setting. In addition to this being an effective and efficient learning tool, you will build connections with academic professionals who can provide great references when on the hunt for a job.
2. Revision isn’t reading over your notes the week before your exams or just during SWOT VAC.
The purpose of revision is to essentially strengthen the neural pathways in your brain associated with long term memory. This means the more you revise the better you will be able to remember and apply content. Revision begins the evening after you’ve learnt the content, usually a 10-minute flick through your notes will be enough to reinforce the learning. Throughout the semester/term keep coming back to your notes - read them, question them, edit them, form links between the content you have learned and the content you are learning.
3. TEST YOURSELF!
This is more or less related to study tip #2 but it’s so important we're dedicating tip #3 to it. Testing your knowledge of the content is probably the best study method there is. This can include:
• Practicing exam questions. Have a go without your notes, then fill in the gaps with your notes open, then finally compare your answer to the model answer provided. Using different coloured pens can help to easily identify content gaps in your brain and notes.
• Creating question and answer flash cards. Especially useful for super heavy content based subjects.
• Writing your own exam style questions and the model answers to go along with them. Show these to your peers and teachers and try to follow the structure that real exam questions follow.
4. Pick a comfortable, ergonomic, distraction free place to study.
If you have loud siblings, an uncomfortable chair or a cold bedroom it might be time to look for a new study den. The libraries in Moonee Valley have free Wi-Fi for members and fantastic chair to desk height ratios!
5. Having some down time is OK!
Whether that’s a lazy Sunday in the dead of winter, an extended dinner with your family or a leisurely ride along Maribyrnong river there is no reason to feel guilty for ‘wasting’ a few hours. It is great for your mental health and often it’ll be enough to reinvigorate your motivation to learn when you’ve really had enough.
6. It’s not about the time you’ve spent studying it’s about the effectiveness and efficiency of your study methods.
What are you doing that actually achieves results? I bet it isn’t spending 2 hours re-reading your textbook before you head into your exam.
7. Take regular breaks.
Now this doesn’t mean study 5 minutes then watch TV for an hour. The general rule is to study for about 15-20 minutes. Basically you need to stop before you start to zone out, so get up, stretch your legs, have a sip of water and hit the books again.
No matter how rigorous… or not so rigorous your studying has been, go into your exams, tests etc. with confidence. Being cool, calm and collected will steady your mind through reading time and allow you to construct arguments and responses which make much more sense. If you are struggling with pre-exam confidence, scientific studies have shown the striking a superhero style power pose can lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and raise your testosterone levels resulting in the positive and confident state of mind.