let’s talk about… STUDY HACKS

Happy Tuesday!

Today I am here to tell a tale. A tale of how I finally rolled up my sleeves and developed…. good study habits. I know, shocking. In high school, I was how the kids say, queen of procrastination. Now look, I am not going to lie to you and say I don’t procrastinate anymore. Almost everybody procrastinates. BUT, I am leaps and bounds better at scheduling my time efficiently and getting things done at a steady pace. My progress is quite commendable, considering the fact I truly believed there was no hope for me and I was going to be a broken study habit student forever. So on that note, let’s get into it.

For people that learned how to study like a normal person already, some of the things I am about to say may seem like a no brainer. To this I say, be patient with me, for I am still growing lol. 

Here are my tips and tricks:

  • You should recognize what kind of learner you are. The four main styles are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic (hands-on) learners, and reading/writing learners. With that being said, it has helped me tremendously to employ all different types of learning styles to really get a grasp on whatever I am studying. Knowing that I am a combination of visual learner and reading/writing learner allows me to cater my study habits to employ tools that utilize those skills the most. Then, I am able to strengthen my grasp of the material by adding elements of auditory learning and hands-on learning which helps me use more of my senses and keeps my brain engaged.
  • Create a timed schedule for studying that works for you. I change it up depending on how I am feeling, but let me tell you this: it is okay to take breaks! It is normal if you cannot sit still and stare at the same thing for 5 hours straight. That just means you are human! There are a couple ways I like to do this:
    • Study for 30 minutes, break for 30 minutes. This method is for light studying, or when you want to get simple tasks done.
    • The Pomodoro Method. This is the 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break method. You can read more on it below.
    • Note: You can fiddle around with the times to make sure you are maximizing your productivity and find the right breakdown that works for you.
  • Play some soothing music in the background. Sometimes silence is too loud when I am studying, to the point where it can even become a distraction. When this happens, I turn on some jazz or classical music. I like this kind of music for studying because I don’t get distracted by lyrics, the music is smooth so my attention doesn’t get caught on it, and it is quite relaxing. 
  • Set goals! I know I am a goal-oriented person, so making a to-do list for the day and checking off tasks as I complete them really helps me stay on top of my work and motivated.
  • Take time to review your notes. This is more important than I realized. Sometimes I tend to just go through the motions and I do not pay enough attention to what I am learning/taking notes on so I don’t absorb much. Going back through your notes and taking time to soak in the information anytime after your learning/taking notes session is such an important way to let the information into your brain a second time around and really start to grasp the material.
  • Quiz yourself! Test yourself and see if you can recall the information off the top of your head without looking. Push yourself when you are reviewing your notes to see if you can recall some things on your own and start to create patterns and tricks for remembering certain bits of info (acronyms, grouping, etc.). 
  • Rewrite your notes. This will help the information really sink in once again and you can write down your acronyms and group the material in different ways that visually helps you categorize the information and recall it easily.

These are just a few things that have helped me grow my study habits and increase my efficiency. Hope you are able to implement some of these tricks in your routines and they help you as much as they helped me!

-Hannah Hansen

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