You do not have to spend all your working hours with your nose buried in a textbook to pass all of your exams and get into your dream college. Working hard year after year after year will only end in burn out.
There is another way that will not require you to compromise sleep and your social life: study smarter. If you want to improve your grades and be admitted to the best colleges across the nation, here are the strategies that you should incorporate into your regular study routine.
Reading Alone is Insufficient
You can read your notes over and over again, but it will not exactly make you understand and remember your lessons. To learn, you need to be actively engaging with the material.
Studies have proven that you need to interact with texts in order to retain information. But, how exactly can you actively engage with what you are reading? There are a few ways. You can annotate, summarize, and answer questions that force you to think critically.
By annotating, you identify important keywords and ideas and learn words that were unfamiliar to you prior to reading the text. Summarizing main points in your own words proves that you understood the text well.
When you are done reading, answer questions that will help you dig deeper into the text. You can act like a professor and come up with your own questions or look for sample questions on the web.
Teach What You Learned
Here is how you can measure if you really understood a subject: explain it to someone else. If you are able to do it, you can confidently say that you will retain the lesson and do well during the exams.
Research has been conducted and found that teaching material to others helps students absorb the information more logically than those who only read and study for themselves.
Talking about what you just learned will help make abstract concepts and ideas become clearer in your mind.
Study in Short Bouts
Create long-term positive study habits instead of cramming information in your head the night before an exam.
Studying every night, even just for 30 minutes, will improve your performance at school. Short study sessions allow you to process information better. You have more time to parse through and engage with the lesson — something that you will not have the luxury to do if you study all night.
Long study sessions often result in a lack of concentration. It would also affect sleep which will further prevent you from remembering key details.
Create a schedule and follow it through.
Know When You Work Best
Some people are night owls. Other people perform better when there is background noise.
Learn what time of day and which environment work best for you. Not everyone feels at ease when it is too quiet, for example. They would not be able to focus on their tasks at a library. Maybe a coffee shop, where they can hear idle chatter, is more ideal for studying.
Figuring out these things will help you create a schedule and make you concentrate faster.
You do not have to follow all these tips. You can experiment and apply which ones are suited for you and your lifestyle. There is no one way to study. Do what works best for you.