Ask any students where they believe the best place to study is, and they will each give you a different answer. We’re individuals, so we all have a different idea about the perfect place to study. For some, it’s the kitchen table; for others it may be propped up on the sofa surrounded by books. Wherever it is, ensure the space is dedicated to your study. It needs to be comfortable, distraction-free and inspiring. Add personal touches like a cool reading lamp, personalised motivational posters, vibrant houseplants or even an oil burner - something that says, ‘my study space’.
Ask yourself honest questions about your ability to get things done; do you manage to complete jobs better in the morning? Do you prefer to use the quieter hours of the evening in which to study? Decide what works best for you and schedule your study time accordingly. Lock it in - the same study time every day!
We all have very different ways of learning. Some of us learn through visual cues; reading, writing, drawing diagrams and mind maps. Kinesthetic learners use tactile methods like building structures or models to represent ideas. Those of us who enjoy reading aloud and discussing topics in groups learn through an auditory process. Work out which style you prefer and research techniques to include in your study.
Deciding to study in smaller, manageable chunks each day is far more effective than cramming at the last minute. You will give yourself time to understand the subject more deeply and actually enjoy the process. This regular review pattern is a winner when it comes to knowledge retention.
If you are not a list-lover, download a task App and learn to use it fast. It’s your new best friend. The act of listing tasks, putting them in order of priority and assigning an amount of time for each one forces you to break down your workload into realistic segments. The reward is that you get to tick them off when you complete each one. Accomplished!
It is all too easy to become distracted by seemingly small things when studying. Hang up the washing, put the dog out, send a quick email, place a last minute supermarket order. We’ve all done it. Plan your study time, and study. Clear all distractions, focus on your task list and accept that everything else can wait.
If there is something that you don’t understand, simply ask. Nothing is gained by getting bogged down and confused. Ask your tutor, lecturer or even a fellow student for help. Chances are that this will open up a really positive discussion and your confidence will soar.
"I'll be sad when this anatomy and physiology course is over if I'm honest, I'm loving it!"
- Sally Hansen -
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