3 Study Skills for the Successful Student
Good study skills are essential to succeeding at school. It is not enough to “work hard”, you need to have a smart method that has been tried and tested to yield results. As a high school student, you are inundated with homework assignments, exams, and project deadlines. In order to excel at your schoolwork, you need to have a well defined strategy to tackle the leviathan of work in front of you.
Here are 3 techniques that will help you master your work:
- Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro method is a time management technique that consists of a block of time set aside for work and a shorter block of time set aside for a break. This method prevents procrastination and makes work seem less intimidating because it breaks up your time in small chunks. The most common strategy is to:
- Set a 25 minute timer.
- Study for only this block of time.
- Break for 5 minutes.
- Repeat above steps 4 times.
- Take a break for 15 minutes.
You can gamify this method by using apps like Forest where you can visually track your performance and compete with friends.
During the 25 minutes, make sure to do only work and/or studying. Free time is reserved for your breaks, which you can use to rest your mind. I prefer to take a walk, clean, grab a snack, or meditate during my breaks.
- Feynman Technique
Richard Feynman was known for being a great physicist and an even better professor. His renowned lectures were attended by Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. This technique is named after him and emphasizes explaining concepts you’ve learned to someone else to show that you fully understand the material.
Identify the information you want to teach, avoid jargon, be brief and concise, and keep on “teaching” until you can explain the material well.
- Active Recall
It isn’t enough to simply highlight and reread your textbooks, you won’t be able to fully absorb and remember the information that well. Avoid passive ways of studying by instead incorporating active recall in your daily study routine. This technique involves making flashcards, making quizzes, testing yourself, or using a spaced repetition software such as Anki.
Anki is a software that allows you to make digital flashcards and uses spaced repetition to help you learn and retain information. Spaced repetition takes advantage of the “forgetting curve” so that you can encode knowledge into your long term memory by testing yourself at intervals. It is always more efficient to practice active recall continuously over a length of time than to cram for exams, as you are more inclined to forget what you have just studied after the exam. Improve your studying by taking advantage of active recall!
I hope these three techniques will benefit you in your studying. Always remember to keep hydrated and maintain a healthy, nutritious diet; brain health is extremely important and necessary for remembering and learning knowledge.