- Skimming: For classes that have excessive reading requirements (for example, you have to read several chapters in one evening), skimming for main ideas can save time.
- Highlighting: In addition to skimming, highlighting can help you memorize definition s and main ideas. It also helps you bookmark the parts you might need to review for a midterm or final.
- Flash cards: Your own handwritten flashcards are always helpful when you have to memorize definitions or formulas. Before your next math test, try making formula flash cards. They’re not just for definitions anymore! And, writing helps with memorization.
- Get visual: If you’re a visual learner like I am, pictures can really help you organize your thoughts. Try making a picture outline before writing your next essay and drawing out word problems in math.
- Two-column notes: I used a two column note-taking method for psychology, sociology, biology and many other classes that required me to memorize a lot of definitions. One column would have the word and the other would have the definition. It really helped me to have my notes organized BEFORE it was time to study.
- Don’t wait until the last minute: Studying each day can help you retain information better than if you only study before a test. You can actually save time by spreading out your study sessions like this because you’ll spend less time cramming.
- Short study sessions: Long study sessions and cramming have proven ineffective for long term memorization. I’ve found that short study sessions (like daily 5-10 minute reviews of material for each class) helped me to retain information better.
- Study before bed: The brain continues to process information as we sleep. By studying before bed, you can help study material transition from your short term to long term memory.
- Bright lights: Studying under bright lights will help you stay alert and awake. As a result, you will better comprehend and retain what you’re working on.
- Stay nourished: It’s easy to skip a meal during an intense study session. However, your body needs water and sugars for optimal brain function. Keep a water bottle and healthy snacks like these “best brain foods for studying.”
Amy’s Top 10 Study Tips