There are a lot of ways to study. If you are asking yourself ‘How to focus on studying?’ it’s obvious that some techniques are more effective than others.
Something to remember, however, is that the real goal of studying is to acquire knowledge that can be used at a later time. The use might be to answer questions on an exam, but it could just as easily be to perform a work task.
The best study techniques, therefore, are the ones that produce results. That doesn’t make them popular or fun, although they could be both under the right circumstances.Let’s examine the most understated techniques that will help you to get better grades.
Maintain Good Attendance
At one time elementary schools gave silver dollars as prizes for the students who had perfect attendance at the end of the year. Later, when classes were larger and students with perfect attendance more numerous, the yearly prize was reduced to a certificate. More recently, schools have experimented with paying students to attend school. It sounds crazy, but when you consider that the schools are competing with a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors that enable students to make money without an education, it makes better sense.
Is it effective? Maybe, maybe not. Twenty years from now, we might have an answer to that question. What is certain is that it is very difficult to make good grades if you are not in class, no matter why you are absent.
Read the Classroom Materials and Study Guides
Before you crack open that textbook, read the hand-outs that the teacher gives you. Not every teacher uses the textbook. Sometimes textbooks have errors. A conscientious instructor will give you directions such as which pages to read, where an error might have been made. He or she will draw your attention to materials that are important and possibly tell you to downplay other areas.
Read the Assigned Parts of the Text
If you have read the classroom materials, you will know which pages are required to read. By reading the correct parts of the book, you will encounter the material over which you will have an exam. You will have the information for hands-on activities. If you encounter boring books you want to have a lot a this blog post where I answered the question “how to focus on reading“.
Do the Practice Work.
One group of college students trooped down to the Dean’s office to complain about the “busy work” the instructor assigned. The Dean and the instructor, along with the curriculum planner, decided to engage in an experiment. The students all received the same exercises. Those who complained about “busy work” were allowed to skip doing the exercises. When the exam was presented, the students who did the weekly exercises aced the test. Those who didn’t do the practices scored much lower.
If You’re Puzzled, Ask Questions
Teachers rarely are upset by relevant questions to which you genuinely do not know the answer. If you are puzzled, there is a good chance that other people in the classroom are also having difficulties with the material. When you ask a real question, you are creating a teachable moment, a learning opportunity for everyone in the class that will help them learn how to focus on studying.
Turn Off Your Media When You’re Studying
Unless your questions or reading material are online, that includes turning off your computer. Computers have all kinds of entertaining things to do, ranging from games to play to Facebook and those crazy stories about celebrities. If you must use your computer, then use a program or browser extension such as FindFocus, Self-Control,to block distracting websites. You know the ones that give you trouble. Definitely turn off the television.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Yes, that’s right. Turn it completely off, unless there’s a supremely cogent reason why you should keep it on. There was a time when a phone had to ring in order to be a distraction. These days, with so many messaging apps, your cell phone can be distracting every two to three seconds. After each text that you exchange, even pleasant ones, it can take up to five minutes to get back on track. If it is too big a temptation to keep it on your desk, then place it in another room or in a drawer – someplace where it is out of sight. If that’s too hard for you you might want to follow this guide to overcome internet addiction.
Why Even Mozart Can Be a Distraction
There is a lot of information about classical music being good for masking other noises, and sometimes that can be true. However, even classical music can sometimes be an intrusion when your brain is tired.
Answer the Questions on the Study Guides
The instructor isn’t likely to tell you exactly what will be on an exam, but the study guide should give you some idea as to what you should know.
Study for Twenty Minutes, Then Do Something Physical
Get up, move around. This assists your circulation, which helps your brain functions.
Eat a High Protein Snack
Eating high protein snacks is very important. Tuna, for example, is a super brain food.
Promise Yourself a Reward at the End of Your Study Time
Make your reward something you truly enjoy. It could be a walk around the block, a phone call to talk with someone you deeply care about or just curling up with a good book that you are reading just because you like the author or the genre. Visit a friend or family member face to face.
By now, you might be thinking, “But there is nothing new here on how to focus on studying.
I’ve heard all of this before.” Of course, you have.
People have been learning, going to school and studying since before the classical Greek era.
And students have been busily avoiding learning their lessons for just as long a time.
The Internet and internet addictions have added a new way to distract yourself from studying, but with the right tools, you can block Facebook, block websites on Google Chrome, and create for yourself a clear study space.
You can even delete Facebook.
The chances are that you won’t miss it once it is gone.