We all have periods when studying feels too hard, or we spend hours revising but cannot remember a thing. That is when we usually start looking for studying tips and methods. 

We have used traditional study methods like reading and highlighting multiple times for far too long now. This method is a passive study technique as it relies on the information to pass through your brain, and it is an outdated method that is not as effective as active study techniques that rely on the information to be absorbed piece by piece in your brain.

If you are looking for the best way to study, we will help you find the suitable method for you and learn some tips along the way. 

5 Best Study Techniques You Can Try

There are many studying methods you can use to increase your studying effectiveness; however, in this article, we will mention five of the best active study methods that are not only effective but also easy to apply.

1. Active recall

Active recall is one of the best active study techniques. It relies on your brain retrieving the information, as opposed to classic learning methods that rely on your brain storing information. You can use this study technique by asking questions about the subject you want to learn after reading the subject, which will help you retrieve information deeply stored in the brain. Answering these questions helps your brain remember information better and strengthen neural pathways. 

2. Feynman technique

This technique is perfect for learning concepts quickly and explaining them in simple terms. If you want to use this technique effectively, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Firstly, you write the concept you want to learn on a sheet of paper.
  • Then, you try to explain the concept as if you were teaching it to someone else, i.e., a child. 
  • Thirdly, you review your knowledge and find gaps, after which you go back and read the material.
  • Lastly, you explain the concept again, this time without consulting any material and using simpler terms.

3. PQR study method

PQR, or commonly known as PQ4R (Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review), is an effective study technique that helps students test themselves and find out which parts they should revise again. As understood by the name, this studying method relies on six steps:

  1. Preview. In this step, you should only skim the chapter and only focus on finding ideas explored in the chapter. This step is important for helping you see the big picture and have an easier time connecting the dots when you dig deep into the material. 
  2. Question. When you get a clear idea of what the chapter will explore, you should start making questions related to the topic. 
  3. Read. In this step, you read thoroughly with the intent of understanding the ideas explored.
  4. Reflect. Following, you answer the questions of the second step and find out if there are details you should read again.
  5. Recite. In this step, you should summarize the chapter in your own words. 
  6. Review. In the last step, you go over the material again and see if you are confident about the knowledge you have gained.

4. Spaced repetition

Spaced repetition is a study technique closely connected to the active recall. It is also an active learning technique that focuses on retrieving information from the brain and ensuring that the information you have gained has deep neural pathways. The way you can use spaced repetition is by:

  • Memorizing the information you want to learn.
  • Reviewing the information on intervals that keep increasing at 12 hours, 48 hours, seven days, 30 days, 90 days, and 180 days.

This technique usually works best for big exams that require a lot of preparation beforehand.

5. The Leitner system

The Leitner System is a study technique that relies on flashcards and repetition. To use this technique, you need to make two-sided flashcards and write the question on one side and the answer on the other. After making the flashcards, you classify them into sets that you will revise at a certain time, i.e., you revise the first set every day, the second every two days, the third every four days, and so on. 

5 Tips That Can Help You Study More Effectively

Let us introduce you to five invaluable study tips that we usually take for granted but are extremely important in the studying process.

1. Take notes to prevent forgetting

Notes help you study, whether you take them during class or revision. They help you see what topics are important and what you need to pay attention to the most. You can also color-code your notes and draw illustrations to make them more accessible.

2. Do not rely on motivation

Motivation is a double-edged sword because having it helps immensely during studying, but the moment you do not have the motivation, you can procrastinate and fall behind. That is why not relying on motivation will help you set realistic studying goals and keep them.

3. Eliminate distractions

We all crave distractions and new things to entertain us when we have a hard time studying. So, to set your brain into full studying mode, you must eliminate all distractions like technology, games, social interactions, and all other external distractions. Forest is a great app and Chrome extension that helps you stay focused by “planting trees” that are grown during the countdown you set it to.

4. Pick the workspace that works best for you

We all have different preferences that help us focus better. Some of us like to study in quiet and alone, while others prefer studying in crowded and noisy spaces. You must find what works for you and stick to that choice to help your brain distinguish between the studying and entertaining areas, thus helping you focus better.

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5. It is okay to take breaks

Taking breaks is as important as studying itself. Breaks help the brain retain knowledge and see things more clearly. One way to do it is by taking 10-minute breaks after 50 minutes of studying, and after three cycles of studying and breaks, you take an hour-long break. 

However, you can take breaks as they fit you, as long as you remember to take them. To refresh your brain during breaks, you can go for a walk, stretch, read a chapter of a book, catch up with friends, or play brain-stimulating games like sudoku or crosswords.

The Bottom Line

Studying is not easy. It requires hard work and long hours of concentration. However, that can become way easier if you incorporate the study methods we provided. Finding the best study techniques involves recognizing that different approaches work for different people. It’s essential to experiment with these methods to determine what works best for your learning style.

Remember, maintaining a positive attitude, staying organized, and seeking support when needed are crucial components of effective studying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I improve my summarization skills?

To improve summarization skills, try to condense information into key points or main ideas. Practice paraphrasing and rewriting information in your own words to enhance understanding and retention.

What is practice testing, and how can I use it effectively?

Practice testing involves actively testing yourself on the material you’re studying, such as through quizzes, practice exams, or self-generated questions. This helps identify areas of weakness and promotes deeper learning.

How do I stay focused while studying?

To stay focused while studying, try techniques like setting specific goals, breaking study sessions into manageable chunks, eliminating distractions, and taking regular breaks.

Is it better to study alone or in a group?

The effectiveness of studying alone versus in a group depends on individual preferences and learning styles. Some people find studying alone allows for greater focus and control over their learning environment, while others benefit from the collaboration and discussion that comes with group study sessions.

How can I manage my time effectively while studying?

To manage your time effectively while studying, create a study schedule or timetable, prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines, and eliminate time-wasting activities. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Should I study the same subject for long periods or switch between subjects?

Switching between subjects or topics can help prevent boredom and maintain engagement and motivation. However, some individuals may prefer to focus on one subject longer to delve deeper into the material.

What should I do if I struggle with a particular subject or concept?

If you’re struggling with a particular subject or concept, don’t hesitate to seek help from teachers, tutors, classmates, or online resources. Break the material into smaller parts, and try different study techniques to find what works best for you. Practice patience and persistence, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification.