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Tips for Effective Study

There are some general study tips that can help your study:

Make things interesting.
There is little doubt that no two people study the same way, and it is a near certainty that what works for one person may not work for another. No one would argue that every subject that you have to take is going to be so interesting that studying it is not work but pleasure.
You can make a group effort. Get some friends together – friends who are actually interested in studying, that is – and have everyone bring over their flash cards. Pass them around and quiz each other. If anyone is unclear on a concept, take turns explaining them to each other

Manage your time.
Time is the most valuable resource a student has. It is also one of the most wasted of resources. The schedule you develop should guide you in how to allocate the available time in the most productive manner.
Before you even begin to think about the process of studying, you must develop a schedule. If you don’t have a schedule or plan for studying, then you will not have any way of allocating your valuable time when the unexpected comes up. A good, well thought out schedule can be a lifesaver. It’s up to you to learn how to develop a schedule that meets your needs, revise it if necessary and most important, and follow it.
Don’t be afraid to revise your schedule. Schedules are really plans for how you intend to use your time. If your schedule doesn’t work, revise it. You must understand that your schedule is to help you develop good study habits. Once you have developed them, schedule building becomes easier.

Try to focus using a question/answer process.
Ask yourself questions about the material that you have just studied at the end of the study. Write each answer on a piece of paper; do this a few times if some facts are particularly elusive.

Find a good study spot.
You can study anywhere. You should feel comfortable, but not so comfortable that you risk falling asleep – a bed isn’t a very good study spot when you’re tired! The place where you study should be relatively quiet (traffic outside your window and quiet library conversations are fine, but interrupting siblings and music blasting in the next room are not). Libraries, study lounges or private rooms are best.

Study in 20-50 minute chunks.
It takes time for your brain to form new long-term memories, and you can’t just keep studying flat out. Take 5-10 minute breaks minimum and do something physically active to get your blood flowing and make you more alert. Do just enough to get yourself pumped, but not worn out.

Rewrite your notes at home.
When you’re in class, emphasize recording over understanding or neatness when you take notes. Rewrite your notes as soon after the class as possible, while the material is fresh in your mind so that you can fill in any gaps completely from memory. The process of rewriting your notes is a more active approach to studying–it engages your mind in a way that just reading the notes doesn’t.

The study skills presented here depend on one thing, and that is your willingness to WANT to improve and do well in school. If you really don’t want to make the effort and sacrifice, no amount of suggestions, ideas, or outlines can help much. You are the one who is responsible for your education, and effective study skills can help you. To that end, one last word of advice – work smart, not hard.

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