If you want to excel in your studies, you need to master the art of effective studying. There are many ways to learn, understand, and retain the information you need to know for your course – you just have to find the one that best suits the type of learner you are. This includes figuring out what time of the day you learn best and what kind of environment is better for you to study in.
Let’s start by looking at the types of learners that exist, and what they respond to when it comes to learning:
Visual learners respond best to study material presented in a more graphic way. This means that their study material should take the form of mind maps, charts, and tables. Adding colour and highlighting the important sections also helps. Visual learners should take detailed notes and transfer them into visual form to study effectively.
Auditory learners study effectively when they hear the material they have to learn. An easy way to do this is to read the material out loud, record the important parts, and then play it back to learn it.
After listening to the material, auditory learners can try to explain it to themselves by summarising it on paper. They can also learn by talking, for example by discussing the material with other learners, or by trying to explain the material to someone who is not familiar with it.
Tactile learners are those who learn by doing. They want to experience their studies in a more physical way. They are the ones who often pace around the room while studying, or who study with music or the TV playing in the background.
The most effective ways for them to study may be to change the place where they study more often, to use more colour, and to paste posters depicting their study material around the house.
Along with knowing what type of learner you are, you should know how best to retain the information you have learnt. Here are 3 techniques to help you memorise your study material:
1. Repeating the study material in different forms
When trying to remember information that you are learning, repetition is important. This information needs to move from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Repeating what you are learning by translating the information into visual form, reading it out loud, and listening to it will help you visualise it and remember it. Repetition is ideal for all types of learners.
2. Associating the study material
Using association is a fun and easy way to remember your work. Simply link your study material to visuals, colours, and experiences by creating your own stories. This way, when you take a test or write your exams, you simply recall the stories, images, and colours linked to it, and you can access the information easily.
3. Summarising your study material and using acronyms
Having a textbook to study from, or information-heavy material to learn, can be overwhelming. So start by summarising the information and focusing on the important bits you need to know. Read the information and ensure that you understand what it is about, and then make your own summaries.
It makes it even easier to memorise your study material when you create acronyms of the work you are trying to learn. You can create acronyms by taking the first letter of each of the words or facts that you want to remember and putting them together to create a real or made-up word.
Here is an example:
F – Finance decisions (where do we get money from?)
I – Investment decisions (what should we do with our money to generate more income?)
D – Dividend decisions
Studying doesn’t have to be a painful experience, and it can be more enjoyable when you apply some of the above techniques.
Once you have found out what type of learner you are and what study methods you respond best to, you can start making the most of your study time and retaining the information you learn so that you can excel in your studies. Remember that repetition, association, summarising, and creating acronyms will help you remember your study material!
Apply these study techniques to help you achieve good results when you start studying your course.