I’ve received many requests to do a tutorial on study methods. So, in this article I’ll go over the core methods used by successful students. If you follow this study plan you’ll increase your comprehension with less effort.
I’ll also go over exactly how I’m able to create these long tutorials in just 2 hours a day.
Here is the overall break down of this study method article:
Most people study by reading their notes over and over, normally the night before a big test. This brute force method doesn’t work and instead just tires your brain. All the techniques I’ll cover hear just require you to create more order in your life and note taking. If you do that you’ll score higher grades with less time and stress.
Most successful students have good time management skills. They break down their study and fun time into small organized bits. They understand that we have become multitaskers by nature. To maximize their ability to retain information they focus on studying for 50 minutes at a time with breaks in between.
These are the most important concepts:
Here are some great ways to manage your time so you can maximize your ability to study:
Here is a Sample Calendar
(8 – 9) Review flash cards for French class during breakfast
(9 – 10) Run errands (Groceries, Return Books, etc.)
(10 – 11) Calculus Class
(11 – 12) Review Calculus notes & homework
(12 – 12:30) Lunch with friends
(1 – 2) Review psychology notes
(2 – 2:30) Have fun
(3 – 4) History Class
(4 – 5) Review History Notes
(5 – 6) Review Physics flash cards over dinner
(6 – 7) Have fun
(7 – 8) Review Programming Class
Rest of the night have fun
Remember to take a break after each 50 minute study session. This break should stimulate another part of your brain like:
Just make sure you keep the break to no more than 10 minutes!
Part of your environment is what you put in your body. A healthy diet will dramatically improve your ability to think. Make sure you do the following:
To maximize your study time, study alone in a place with no outside sound or distractions. Look for places that nobody goes. Avoid areas where any conversations are going on or music is playing (search for complete silence)
The worst places to study include:
As I mentioned before, it is best to study early in the day as well.
Organized note taking is extremely important. Use a laptop if possible and if not organize all of your notes in a composition book instead of on stray pieces of paper.
There are two different types of classes and each requires a different form of note taking. You have your technical and non-technical classes.
In non-technical classes you want to focus on the big concepts instead of copying down everything the professor says. Your notes should focus on the following:
The ultimate question and answer are normally made clear by the professor. Make sure to ask the professor to list exactly all the evidence that got him to the answer if it is not clear.
If you gather all of this information in class in an orderly manor (use an outline) you probably can skip most of the required reading. To best internalize the information:
I.What type of restaurant has the best possibility of success?
a.Pizza has a very high margin (Price > Cost to Produce)
b. Pizza is easy to make
c. Pizza doesn’t require a large investment in machinery
Conclusion: Selling pizza increases a restaurants chance of success
After you gather your outlines, you want to ask the professor or TA for any specific dates, facts, etc. that you will need to memorize.
In science based classes you want to focus on how problems are solved and what tools are used to solve them. When you are copying down the solution take special care to document exactly how the problem is solved. If you miss any part of the solution make sure you ask the professor to explain what you missed.
You must completely understand how to solve every problem in science classes. If you don’t get it:
Now that you have the steps outlined, do the following to completely understand them:
Special Note: Utilize supplement books that focus on explaining complicated subjects in simplistic ways. I don’t think I could have made it through 8 calculus classes without Calculus Made Easy.
Now force yourself to not only solve the problem, but also to explain why you solved the problem the way that you did (Become the Professor). After you can do this the test will be a breeze.
Since you have taken the time to prepare this will be very easy for you. The day before the test review each problem and then explain to yourself how it is solved. Solve the problem by writing it out, explaining it out loud and through pictures in your head.
Make sure you are aware of the format of the test. Is it an essay, multiple choice, etc. (Ask the professor for specifics)
The main focus of your review then should follow these rules:
It’s test day and you are ready to ace this thing. When you get the test scan through all the questions. This will prepare your brain for what lies ahead. This will relax you and allow your unconscious mind to work through the problems ahead of time. As your scanning, if you see any easy questions, go ahead and answer them first.
To manage your time, take the amount of time provided to finish the test, subtract 10 minutes and divide by the number of questions. After your time is up move on to the next question and then use the 10 minutes to go back and sharpen up your skipped questions.
Final Note: Before you write an essay answer quickly create a bulleted list of all the evidence that leads to the final answer. This will keep your answers short and to the point.
I receive emails asking how I create these articles. I pretty much use the above techniques (minus the professors). The only difference is that I know how to speed read. I actually developed the ability by accident because I used to scan almost everything I read.
Speed reading is not some weird voodoo skill. It is just developing the ability to quickly grasp the main concepts on each page of text. The easiest way to do this is to force yourself to stop subvocalizing what you are reading. Subvocalizing is when a person speaks the words they are reading either out loud or in their head.
Now that you have eliminated subvocalizing:
After you have nailed these skills, you will be able to move your finger vertically down the page and capture all the core subjects as well.
That’s All Folks
I hope this strategy for studying is useful to you. If you have any other tips that work for you personally please include them in the comment section below.
Till Next Time