by Mariam Sesili Dzidzikashvili
Have you ever wondered what studying tactics Straight-A Students use in order to ace all of their tests?
There are many different ways to study effectively depending on the way you learn the most effectively; some people prefer to learn by listening, reading, writing, and so on. But, this article will be dedicated to the general tips that generally work for everyone, coming from students at the top of their class!
Study Using the Pomodoro Method
What is the Pomodoro Method? The Pomodoro Method is a time management strategy for getting work done where you break down your work time or study time into 25-minute intervals separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as Pomodoro. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s quite a simple study technique to follow that is especially useful for people who have short attention spans, which is generally one of the main reasons for not getting your work done on time– getting distracted and not being able to pay attention for long periods. Splitting up your study sessions into parts (and maybe even putting yourself under pressure to finish as much work as you can in one 25-minute Pomodoro) helps you be on track to finish everything you need to get done.
Take Notes on Reading Material
One of the best ways to memorize information is to write it down by hand. Writing by hand forces your brain to process information in a more detailed way, which helps you successfully move that information into your memory. Many students give up on taking notes after reading the material or decide to cram all the study topics right before a test, which puts more stress on them and doesn’t help them take in the key information that they need to know. Instead, take the extra 15 minutes and write notes on the most important facts and interesting details from the reading– you can even write a summary if you prefer.
Learn What Note-Taking Style is Best for You
There are different note-taking styles that exist. Some of the most popular are Outline notes, Cornell notes, and Mind Maps. For The Outline method, every major topic of the material will be placed farthest to the left of the page. Subtopics will be added using an indent to the right. Each supporting fact or note is placed below the subtopic, using another indent. This way, the notes add a great structure to the whole study material, making it easy to review them after and to get a sense of what you learned. For the Cornell method, you divide your paper into three sections– one thin column on the left side, a note-taking area next to it, and a small box at the bottom to record a brief summary of the material. Finally, the mapping method starts with the main topic in the center of the page, before branching out into smaller subtopics, supporting topics, and smaller details. The method provides a great visual overview of the content that is especially handy for visual learners.
The active recall method involves taking the chosen material you want to learn, creating questions based on that topic, and then repeatedly testing yourself on those questions. By forcing your brain to retrieve the information, it ensures that you actively learn it instead of passively reading it. Not only are you significantly more likely to remember the information, but active recall also makes you very aware of topics that you do not understand and that require additional attention. It almost puts you in the role of the teacher and forces you to “teach the material to yourself”. This is one of the most important study methods and a secret of many top students.
Last but not least, the most important tip is to be consistent and hard-working!
Edited by Mariam Kalandadze