The best way to study

Studying and learning - The best way to study

Every student knows how to study: read your textbooks, follow the classes and lectures, prepare, etc. Nevertheless, to get through every semester in the best possible way and to be fully prepared for every exam, we listed a few study strategies for you. After reading this article, you will know how to study effectively and how to prepare well for your exams.

Read ahead

When you have class on Monday, make sure you have read all the chapters that will be discussed on Sunday. Reading chapters the day before will help you retain more information since you are training your memory by repeating the information. Also, reading ahead makes it easier to create links between concepts and understand your professor better. Still, reading ahead usually takes a lot of time and it may seem easier not to read the required chapters. Therefore, consider upping your reading game by learning how to read faster.

Go to your classes and lectures

It may be tempting to sleep in and don't go to class, especially when you overslept, because of a party the day before. Especially if your presence is not mandatory, it is easy to skip a lecture.. or two. However, if you actually go to your classes, you will retain more information. Plus, often the professor tells you which theory will be important for the exam and provide additional information that cannot be found on the presentation slides. If you only look at the 40 slides presentation at home, you never know which part the professor emphasized the most, which may be a disadvantage during the exam. So it is wise to go to class and listen to what the professor has to say about the particular subject. Lastly, consider the best way for you on how to take notes. You may prefer writing over typing or vice versa.

Write a summary or create a mindmap

When you write a summary or create a mindmap, you reflect on the subject of the course and repeat the information. If you do this every week, you will not have to learn all the information at once. To prepare for your exam, you only have to repeat the summaries and mind maps you’ve made, instead of reading all the text all over again. This will save you time during your exam preparation week and will help you retain more information. You could even make some money by selling your summaries.

Test yourself: use flashcards

Once you’ve learned the information from the textbook or reader and the important theories of your professor by using your summary or mindmap, it’s time to test yourself. You can do this by making flashcards. These are self-made questions and answers, each on a different card. You can practice these questions until you’ve got a 100% score. You can also find flashcards on Stuvia or sell your own.

Make old exams

The last step in order to prepare for your exam consists of practicing old exams. Especially exams from the same professor are useful, as teachers often have a unique style when questioning. Furthermore, it is a great way to test if you actually know enough to pass the exam and get a good grade!