For the academic, there is nothing less effective than studying in “marathons” for long hours without pause. This statement is based, in addition to his personal experience and that of his colleagues, in a study of the University of Michigan that determined the period of optimum concentration of students . After half an hour of reading, the researchers found that the students were beginning to distract themselves and their understanding of the text began to resent.
Taking a small break of five minutes every half hour serves to “charge the batteries” after an effective study block. Lobdell recommends doing a rewardingactivity during this break: “talking to your family, calling a friend or listening to music” are some examples.
2. Create a space for study only
Very few people are lucky enough to have a room exclusively dedicated to reading. In contrast, most study in their room, in the living room or at the kitchen table. However, being close to the bed or recreation spaces can dramatically increase the chances of distracting you.
Lobdell recommends that you study at a desk specially designed for study , in which you can not have visual contact with any of these objects. Once your half-hour of study is over, you should leave that desk, and only come back when you are ready to start over.
3. Study actively
There is a difference in learning data , such as the name of a bone or the inventor of psychoanalysis, and learning concepts such as the function of that bone in the body or the goal of psychoanalysis. Many students try to memorize and repeat data and concepts alike. But the reality is that concepts are more important because once you understand them you will never forget them.
First, you must ask yourself if what you are about to study is a data or a concept. If it’s a concept, the best way to make sure you’ve learned it is to explain it in your own words. Instead of reviewing what you have highlighted in the text, you must test yourself to make sure that you do not have a blank mind on the exam.
If you can not explain it in your own words, you have not understood it.
4. Take good notes
At the end of the class, you should review your notes and supplement them with additional information or consult with a classmate or teacher if you have not understood something at all. Be sure to do this as soon as possible.
5. Teach someone what you have learned
If you are able to teach someone the concept that was treated in class, it means that you have really learned it. You can also identify the “weak spots” in your understanding more easily.
6. Use textbooks well
Do not settle for just reading, as this is not enough. Lobdell proposes a quick reading of the chapter, questioning yourself if you have understood it, read it again, recite and review.
7. Use mnemonic techniques to learn data
Learning data can be simpler than learning concepts, but it is more likely to leak out of memory quickly. For this reason, the academic recommends to convert them into acronyms, phrasesFind Article, rhymes or associate them with images. This way you will remember them with ease.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Penelope has a degree in International Relations from Leeds University. She loves hiking and her favourite author is Khaled Hosseni. Besides her job, she works part-time as a research advisor for leading dissertation writing service where she provides her expert advice to students that are looking for dissertation help.