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Effective Studying Methods: Alone Vs Group, Preparation and Motivation

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Studying can be very boring, daunting and challenging. To many students, it is a task so dreadful to start. Many have stopped trying to study, they only read to pass tests and exams. Often time, cramming up a subject is the only way out and this usually result in poor performance. But do you think studying can be fun and interesting? Yes, of course! Right now, you might see studying as a difficult task to achieve, but right in this article, you will learn to improve your studying experience, get to love it and make it fun-filled. First, why do you think you abhor studying? If you are to be honest, your reasons can’t be far-fetched from one or some of the reasons I listed below.

Reasons Why You Hate Studying

Lack of Knowledge of the Topic:

A friend of mine dropped out of Medical School but later graduated with a first class in Engineering. At the Medical School, he found himself forced to study a lot of new subjects and themes unknown to him. When he couldn’t cope anymore, he dropped out. In the following year, he got admitted into the same school to study engineering. Four years later, he came out with a first class. What do you think caused his failure at first? At the medical school, the teachers would overwhelm him with ‘big’ medical terms and long sessions in the laboratories. Studying was the most difficult thing to him then, as he didn’t know anything about the new subjects. He was an art student in his secondary school but was forced to switch to science in his final year by his parents, so as to become a doctor. He was able to pass his final examinations and even got admitted in the same year. The medical school was a new terrain to him. He was confronted with complex concepts he wasn’t used to and haven’t heard about. That was why. Simple! If you don’t have some basic background knowledge about your present course of study, it is possible you will find studying it hard. But don’t worry, you can learn them.

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Poor Teaching:

Many students have stopped studying because of the poor teaching methods employed by their teachers. In fact, a student would most likely hate a subject if the teacher doesn’t know how to teach it well. All some teachers ever do is to come to class, rattle out some texts from their lesson notes, give essays and assignments, and leave. They do not have a way of breaking down complex concepts and make the students understand them. Some students find it difficult to understand a subject if it feels abstract. It is the duty of the teachers to employ the best possible teaching skills to help them visualise tough topics. Teacher can use audio-visual materials in their teachings to aid understanding and retention. If you have a ‘bad’ teacher, there is a high probability that you will likely hate studying his subject.

Dislike for a Subject:

If you loathe a subject, you will always find it difficult to study. This can be a result of poor teaching practices, uncomfortable environments, or just a general hatred for a certain subject. To overcome this, treat your subjects as same. You are probably better at some subjects than others, and enjoy reading these more. Think about what helps you to enjoy studying these subjects and how you can use them to help you study the others (that you do not really so much liked). As I promised you, this post will help you to overcome all your studying challenges and make your study time fun and enjoying – a time that you’ll always look forward to. I have carefully outlined three golden tips that would help you improve your study time and make studying fun and rewarding.

Tips to Enjoy Studying

Be Prepared to Study

Funny, right? But that’s the first step to making your studying more fun-filled and enjoyable. In getting prepared to study, try out the following tips:

  • Choose a place to study: choosing the right place for your study time is the most important part of your getting ready for a more enjoyable studying. Ensure your chosen location is quiet so that you can focus well. It can be your bedroom, a closed corner of the common room, or any other place that you will feel comfortable and focused.
  • Set up a reading desk: just a table and chair is good enough. Avoid reading on your bed, it will make you sleepy easily. Hostel common rooms and libraries have desks you can easily use if you are OK with studying in public.
  • Be organised: clean out your study area as cluttered space can bring discomfort and distraction. Make out enough space to spread your legs down. Spread out the books to study and ensure you have easy access to each of them when needed. Remove all distractions: to enjoy your study time, ensure you remove immediate distractions that may bother you during studying. If you are reading on a phone or a computer, block out notifications from your social media and emails. Turn off your devices when not using them to enhance your focus and lower the distraction. You can try to switch positions after a while, or even change your location altogether. You never can tell what best will work for you.

Spice Up Your Studying

I hope you agree with me that studying shouldn’t be a difficult chore with some established norms that one can’t break. Right? Yeah! It should be fun and interesting. You can be more creative and spice up your studying time with various activities. Try out something new and be dynamic. I’ll give you some ideas. Listen to music: playing music while studying helps to reduce stress and stimulate the brain. I love listening to classical music when studying or writing, in fact, I’m listening to one as I type this. They inspire me to think and reduce my stress. But avoid loud music, play at moderate volume, and preferably slow songs. Use colours, flashcards, and other nice stationeries: you can get more engaged while studying by using coloured pens and pencils to take notes. Write key points on flashcards which you can use to practice memorization. Draw ideas with flowcharts and other imaginary tools. Colourful materials will stimulate the creative part of your brain, boost your assimilation rate, and improve your retention greatly. Be careful you don’t get carried away in the process.

Go digital: it’s the 21st century, don’t be stuck to your boring class notes and archaic textbooks. Go on Google, search for recent articles and posts related to what you want to study. Download latest ebooks. Go on YouTube for Education and search out tutorial videos made by experts in your field. You can listen to audiobooks if available, too. Be sure to stay dynamic. This is the fun part of your studying. Think of other activities that can help you enjoy your studying more. You can try writing a song, a poem, an acronym, etc. from your studying notes.

Join (or Start) a Study Group

Study Group still remains one of the best ways to enjoy studying. It has always worked and still works. Research has found out that we tend to memorise and remember more when we study in groups. Studying with friends can be very adventurous and helpful, as you share new ideas you might not have thought of individually. As useful as study groups are, care must be taken in joining them as you can have so much fun, talking and arguing, that not so much studying is done at the end. In my 200 level at the University, I started a study group with three friends for a particular course. We met on Thursdays to study. We’d have given one another our parts of the study material intended to study two to three days before our meeting. On the meeting day, we took turns to explain our parts to the group, ask questions, give answers, and attempt past questions together. At the end of the semester, this group got 3As and 1B. So, I can boldly tell you that studying with a group works a lot. However, there are certain steps to doing study groups effectively. Because improper management can be a big waste of your time. Here are some tips to help you start a profitable study group:

  • Choose students with similar goals.
  • Avoid students who will bring big distractions.
  • Have a weekly meeting time and be consistent.
  • Ensure to choose a quiet place with little to no distraction for the meeting.
  • Decide on what to study together before your meeting.
  • Divide the study material among yourselves.
  • Ensure every member is actively involved and engaged.
  • Take turns to ask questions.
  • Choose someone to be in charge of time-keeping and orderliness.
  • Take breaks but be conscious of the time. To get the best out of your study group, be active and helpful.

Also, you must take to notice what really works for each member of the group so that you can all learn at the same speed. Finally, studying may seem a big issue in general, but you can develop a system for yourself using the above tips to make your studying fun. Get a quiet place to study, remove all distractions, and stay organised. Try out some new activities to spice up your study time, take short breaks and ‘snack-time’, and join a study group of students with similar study habits. Also, set a study goal and reward yourself when you achieve it. I can guarantee you that you will love studying more than ever before. Your performance will increase exceptionally, too. Has studying be fun to you? If yes, tell me what you’ve been doing in the comment section. If no, tell me how you intend to use these tips to get started and make your studying fun. To your success!

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