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A Listed Guide to Studying Efficiently and Training Your Long-term Memory

Nini is a student preparing for the national exams and has discovered some amazing methods for better learning experience.

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, desperate, looking at your books, manuals, notebooks, computers, trying to concentrate on your work but failing at it every single time? If yes, then congratulations! You've found the perfect spot in the whole internet mess to make a change for the better and work out at least some of the problems associated with learning, studying and memorizing.

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Why Am I Failing?

Well, if all your endeavours of studying and later applying your knowledge to the needs of public or passing the exams end up to be complete waste of time, then you might pop a question to yourself - "What am I doing wrong?". The one to answer that question is, of course, the very YOU! But don't feel desperate, I will try to tell you about some common mistakes people make while studying and also show you how to make up for those mistakes.

To start with, you will have to think about which part of the studying process you're having trouble with. Is it the lack of concentration? Or maybe you can't organize your time nicely? Or you have difficulty with recalling the information you learnt months, weeks, days, even hours ago?

All this problems have quite decent solutions and they are listed below. Have fun while learning about how to make your studying process more enjoyable and systematized.

Write Down What You Have to Do

First, start by organizing your time. You can make a list of things that need to be done. You can also give each task a definite amount of time to be sure that you will have everything done by the end of the day. It is better to make a check-list the previous evening, but doing so in the morning is, of course, completely okay.

Making a list also gives you motivation to study. Furthermore, if you make a list in the evening, before you sleep, your brain will have time to adjust your emotional state to the schedule.

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50:10 Ratio

This is a great rule to turn to while organizing your time. It means to work for 50 minutes and rest for 10 minutes. Those ten minutes are absolutely enough to refresh your mind and body and go back to work. Just keep in mind, that working until you feel exhausted is never good. The point is that if you work like crazy for hours, then ten minutes won't be enough for you to regain you're powers and it's probable that you'll need to rest more that you've actually worked. So in the end, it turns out that your workday wasn't efficient at all.

Remember, that you need to make the most you can without getting stressed or devastated by loads of work.

Put Away Your Phone

I know, these words are maybe worn out, but this rule indeed works. Mobile phones are so addictive, that it can even take the whole time during which you should have studied. It might seem weird, but it's better to use computer if you need to do some online work or engage with gadgets. Nowadays, in this pandemic period, almost everything and everyone is working online. Please, do not forget that you can still work and study without your gadgets. Using the technology only when and where it is needed will have a great effect on your studying process.

Turn Off Your TV and Buy a Lamp

You need to create a suitable space and atmosphere for your working area, in your bedroom or office. You should try to get rid of every distraction in forms of TV, radio, naughty sun beams playing through your windows and etc. Electric lamp for your desk is an amazing tool to make your space more cozy work-friendly. It illuminates your desk more than the rest of the room and kind of shortens the distance your thoughts might wander while being distracted from work.

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Keep in Mind - Music Can Be Both Helpful and Distracting

Everyone is different, everyone studies differently, so it's hard to say whether it's good to listen to a music while studying or not. It takes a little bit of experimenting to reach the definite answer for yourself. Mostly, people who are successful at studying or working, say that listening to a clasical or instrumental music is much more motivational and beneficial for concentration than songs with lyrics. However, if you discover that you study better while listening to some fierce, fast rap and are not tempted to sing along, feel free to continue having that song playing!

Finish the First Task, Then Move to Another

It is CRUCIAL and ESSENTIAL to dedicate yourself fully to one particular task, do it perfect, finish it with confidence and then move on to the second one. If you do not do so, there's a high chance that the thoughts about the previous task will not let you do other assignments calmly. What's more, the recommended tactic is more energy-efficient and time-saving.

Read - Listen - Watch - Write -Speak

To reach the desirable result and to have the superb outcome, engage with all of these five skills. First, read what you have to study in books, on websites... also, find podcasts and listen to them. If your work seems to be more comprehensible if portraied visually, you can also look up for some videos to boost your imagination and strengthen your understanding of the material. Simultaneously, you can take notes to later read while revising. In fact, you MUST take notes. Writing down essential points helps you to organize the information and remember it in the sequence it is provided. After you have done all of this, turn to your notes and recall all the information you have heard or read, sya it aloud couple of times.

In case you notice that some of this five skills work better for you than the others do, you are strongly encouraged to do more of it! If you learn better by reading, read more; If you understand more by listening to somebody's explanation, listen more!

Make It Enjoyable - Use Colored Markers to Highlight

Highlighting texts and writing with differently colored pens is very helpful! Why? Because it helps your subconsciousness to single out more valuable pieces of information. Words written in red often seem to be like the skeleton for the whole text written in blue. Colors can help you emphasize the most needed words and phrases.

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Revise Periodically

Let's say your friends now call you 'master of concentration' because you rarely get distracted while studying, but you still have some complaints to your memory. Now, you need a good revision plan! Revision is just as important as studying. In my native language - Georgian - there's a saying : 'Revision is the mother of knowledge'. So, yes, do not even think of skipping the revision part.

Teachers and Professors say it is better to revise periodically and gradually increase the period of time between revisions. For example, you studied 10 words in German on Monday. On Tuesday, you revise those words. Next revision will be in three days, the revision after that - in five days, then - in a week. You will work your way up to one month. I suggest to revise the same material every month for at least half a year.

Put Yourself to A Test

Testing your knowledge is basically assesing your work. I suggest finding a person, a teacher, a professor, a parent, who will give you questions about what you've learnt. If there's no such person, you can look up some quizzes online, use mobile applications, social media to contact people with knowledge in that subject. The thing is, you may be able to remember the information and understand the material, but when you're competing against someone or when you are in stressful situations ( and you will be, it's life! ) you might get confused and not be able to answer. To avoid that, find a way to be bombarded with questions and answer them as quickly and as calmly as you can!

The Most Important - Never Give Up

Never give up. Stick to your schedule and live with it. You should never lose hope and you should always stay positive even in the dreadful times. Remember, that every situation has a way out, you just have to find it, and you WILL find it!

© 2021 Ninia Dilsiz

Comments

Ninia Dilsiz (author) on February 25, 2021:

Yes! Revision is the most important in my opinion too!

Ninia Dilsiz (author) on February 25, 2021:

Liz, thank you! I am glad to hear that!

Liz Westwood from UK on February 24, 2021:

This is a great list of tips. I recall some of them from days of revision many years ago. You have reminded me of some that I could use in my working life.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 24, 2021:

I think revision is the most important one.

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