So, your exams are knocking at the door and you have started preparing yourself for the test, right? How much time are you actually spending on studies? Well, most students think that studying endless hours is their way to achieving success. But, that is not the best solution always!
How much should you study?
There is a common calculation that for each credit hour class, one must invest at least 3 hours. This means, if you have about 10 hours of classes a week, you will have to study for about at least 30 hours at home. This is quite a lot, since you have so many subjects to study, so many projects to complete and so many assignments to submit.
The time of study actually differs from student to student and also varies from class to class. Junior school students can study less, whereas high school students will have to study more. Research studies say that as per the calculation, students must spend at least 45 hours a week at home, to complete their lessons.
Do you really need that much amount of time?
For a long time, it was believed that the best way to rank high is to memorize. And to memorize, continuous reading played a huge role. However, things have changed and the concept of studying has also changed. Studying must be done for long term and not just to pass an exam. This is where the concept of studying differs from the traditional one. You have to use more useful thinking models to memorize things for the long run.
The key to top the class is to understand and not blindly memorize.
How to top in class without studying for endless hours:
- Study less, study tight:
It doesn’t matter how much you study. What matters is how concrete and effectively you study. Instead of studying for 3 hours, if you study just for an hour, but manage to make it effective in memorizing, it will be more effective.
Hours of study makes you and your brain tired. Do not make the brain weary. Rather, keep it light, but tight.
- Make a study plan or a to-do list, as per your priorities
- Plan the books that you need from the library or the books that you need to study
- Make an exam schedule and study according to that.
These will help you to proceed as planned.
- Draw diagrams:
Rather than just going through texts that are not illustrated, try and use more and more diagrams. These diagrams help the mind to associate and relate what you study. The picture or diagram or the illustration comes to your mind and you visualize the details and memorize the properties and characteristics.
- Make flashcards:
When you study, make use of tricks like using flashcards. These flashcards have the topic is written on one side and the definition, important points and characteristics on the other side. Try and remember the topics and you will be able to utilize your memory more.
- Take breaks and reward yourself:
After an hour of concrete study, you must take a break for about 10 minutes. Breaks are very important between switching from one subject to the other or between your reading sessions and other tasks. It gives your brain space and time to relax and hold whatever you have already studied.
However, do not make the breaks as long as the study time. This will only disrupt the flow of study and you will not be able to get back to the previous mood of studying. In this time, have a little reward fixed for you. This can be anything such as an ice cream or clearing a level of a video game. Anything that does not take a lot of time and yet, boosts your energy and makes your mood is good.
While studying, get rid of all the distractions like social media connectivity, cell phone, and the internet (unless and until you need to browse for some information).
- Make notes and study notes:
It is not always necessary for you to go through the entire chapter in your book every time you think of recapitulating your lesson. Instead, during the class, you should take notes. Note down all the important points, facts and figures in your note.
When you come back to home, go through these notes, after studying the chapter. Correct the notes and make it more detailed and enriched with points. When you forget something, go through these notes and you will remember it better.
While making notes –
- Use different fonts
- Add highlights to grab attention to main points
- Use clear and large fonts to note important facts.
My daughter uses diagrams in her notes. She always labels them with necessary points. Regardless to mention, it has helped her throughout her semesters in high school to top her class.
- Teach what you have learned:
This is my daughter’s favourite way of remembering and learning things. After she finishes her lessons, she always uses her mini board and makes her soft toys sit in front of her and she becomes the teacher. I believe it is the best way to check if your concept is clear or not. And guess what, it is her gaming activity as well. Sometimes even I become her student and she loves giving me tasks. I enjoy it thoroughly!
What to do the night before exams?
If you want to top your next semester, it is very important that along with your months of preparation, you put ample focus on your activities and study regime before the night of the examination. Never ever try to sit for hours on your study table. Take it easy and believe in yourself. Stay positive; you have worked hard, studied enough and studies strategically.
- Study for about an hour, followed by a brisk walk for a few minutes.
- Have a light snack if you are hungry.
- Go through your notes and flashcards.
- Use memory maps or brain maps in your mind to recap your lessons.
- Get enough sleep.
If you follow these simple tricks, you will be able to top your class. It would not require endless hours of studying.