Tips for Effective Studying
School has been in full swing for a while now and students have likely had their fair share of quizzes and tests. For many students, the thought of tests looming on the horizon can be daunting and some succumb to the assumptions that they’ll have late nights and cram sessions ahead of them. Studying doesn’t have to be as stressful as some students think nor does it have to be overwhelming. At Tutoring Club, we teach our students the best practices for studying smarter, not harder! Read on for several of our top tips for the most effective studying:
1. Space out studying
We can’t stress enough how important it is for students to space out their study sessions. It has been proven to be more beneficial to have short durations of studying stretched out over a number of days than it is to cram a vast amount of material over long hours. For example, having four 30-minute sessions is much more effective than one 2-hour session. Long sessions can cause students to become mentally fatigued, which leads to a loss of concentration as time goes on, whereas spreading sessions out allows students time to fully absorb and review the material. This method has also been shown to improve long-term retention of the information. When one of our students has an exam around the corner, we split up the material into sections and plan out their study sessions ahead of time, ensuring the best overall results!
2. Don’t just read the material
Simply reading and re-reading texts or notes is not the best method of studying. We always encourage our students to participate in active learning, which requires students to engage with the material. Some examples of engaging with the material include:
- Quizzing yourself: Students can make a game out of utilizing good old-fashioned flash cards to quiz themselves. If your student frowns at disgust at the idea of physically writing out answers on index cards, they can also turn to websites like Quizlet.com, which allows students to create digital flashcards. Our younger students love creating a competition against one another by using flashcards to learn math concepts such as their times table.
- Teach the material: Students can verbalize the material aloud to themselves or to another person using their own words to explain the concepts as if they are teaching it. Our tutors often have our students practice this after having reviewed the material together. Students can refer to their notes as needed and eventually become comfortable enough to teach the concepts without them. This method allows students to form connections with the material as they provide examples and process meaning.
3. Silence isn’t always golden
Although some students prefer silent atmospheres for studying, the lack of noise can actually be distracting for others and ultimately lead to a lack of concentration. Students can try playing music or if they enjoy a slight background buzz, they can work in designated group areas of a library. It’s important for students to identify what type of studying environment works best for them!
4. Eliminate distractions
Some students will be adamant that they are good at multitasking, but no matter how good they are, it truly doesn’t help the study process. Students should eliminate any distractions while studying such as putting away their cell phones or turning off their computers if it’s not needed.
5. Switch up the setting
Every student thrives in different environments – Some can be perfectly content with studying in their bedrooms while others may find it rather distracting. Whether it be moving to the dining table or cooping up in the school library, students should try studying in different settings to see which allows them to focus the most. At Tutoring Club, we offer study hall because many students prefer our carefully curated work atmosphere over studying in their own homes where they are too relaxed.
Having good study habits is incredibly important as it can pave the way for future success. Solidifying these skills at an early age have benefits through elementary school through high school, on the SAT and ACT, or even during college exams. Contact your local Tutoring Club to learn how we can help hone your students’ study habits and perform with less stress and with more confidence