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Study Smarter, Not Harder

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Do you wonder about how to perform better in your studies and exams? Or maybe you feel like your usual studying habits just aren't cutting it anymore? It's not uncommon for students to realise after entering college that studying harder may not be an effective way to score in college compared to high school. But this is understandable! College and university classes become bigger and more intense. On top of that, some lecturers may teach in a style where classes seem more 'self-reliant' on students. But don't worry, this article offers you several ways to introduce effective studying methods and make it more fun and easy to ace your exam!

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Organise Your Workspace

As a student, the first thing you need to have is a workspace that you are comfortable with and provides sufficient space to spread your notes and laptop out. A comfortable chair may help you to stay seated for a long time while you study. Try to get rid of distractions, especially smartphones, so that you can focus during this time. Besides that, some people are used to being in a quiet environment to study. In contrast, others might prefer studying while listening to music. There are also a few genres of music that are, in my opinion, suitable for learning, which includes jazz, lo-fi, and ambient. But everything is subjective, it's important to find what sort of studying environment suits best with your preferences.

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Use Visuals For A Better Understanding

According to Kent-Teach, visual aids like diagrams, flow charts and mind maps can be beneficial when revising. With visuals like this, it'll be easier to retain information instead of reading endless notes. Try to challenge yourself and write down notes you have learnt in class, and this works for either a specific subject or topic. Then, draw a diagram with all the essential information included. Once that's over, you'll now have something you can use as revision before any exam. It helps you by giving a more manageable and more precise understanding of almost any given specific subject or topic.

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Recite Your Notes to Others

Another way to memorise your notes is to recite them to your family and friends. Even if your siblings are annoying at times, they may be able to help you with your revision, so be patient with them. Reciting an answer to them will help you understand what you've revised much better. You can also get your friends to ask you questions related to your exam and answer them using the information you have memorised. This not only works for you but when you try them out with a fellow classmate, it'll help them too! This method ensures that you know what to keep in mind with specific chapters but also figure out what part of the subject you should work on further.

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Take A Break and Have Some Snacks

Some of us may think it's best to study as long as possible before the exam. But, this can actually be counterproductive. Let's say you were training for badminton. You wouldn't practice for 24 hours non-stop until you become a professional. Likewise, taking regular breaks can help with long-term revisions. According to TopUniversities, a few things you can do during your holidays include taking walks, spending time with friends, exercising or going on social media. This helps your brain not go into overdrive, and you allow yourself to take a few steps back to process what you've studied. Besides that, snacking would also help you have better focus and concentration while revising. Of course, we also need to choose our snacks wisely. According to an article on NAU Canada, some of the best brain food snacks for studying include almonds, dark chocolate, and greek yoghurt.

With all this in mind, I hope these tips will help you with your studies in the future. Remember, study smarter, not harder.

By Chew Jin Jieh


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