General Tips

With many people returning to school soon I thought I would share some effective study tips that I have personally found incredibly useful when studying. Using these tips along with a lot of consistent hard work I was able to achieve an A in Economics.

In a separate article, I will share lifestyle changes that have improved my exam performance as well as the ‘Bullet Proof Journal’, a method proven to be highly useful when studying.

1. Ask Questions

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It’s ok to ask for help, and I know some of us might think asking a ‘dumb question’ will make us look like a dunce but this perception that we will look ‘stupid’ is often just part of our own self-perception. Even if someone does end up calling you stupid, ignore them, people like that are insecure and uncertain in their own abilities, and so attempt to drag others down with them.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

No one starts off with perfect knowledge, so it’s important to take an active part in your learning by proactively asking questions.

When reviewing content if you’re not understanding it, go over it a few times on your own and if you still don’t get it ask a teacher or a professional. If you get anxious easily, which I know I do, you can ask after class or email your teacher.

Asking questions will help you pinpoint weaker sections of your knowledge and strengthen it in the long term. Additionally, asking questions will develop your critical thinking skills, can often inspire productive discussions that you will likely remember in the exam and helps prevents future mistakes.

It’s better to solve the problem initially by asking, rather than leaving it bite you back in the future.

2. Practice Questions

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If you can’t access past papers you can ask your teacher to create some questions for you to answer, that your teacher or mentor can mark afterwards.

Personally, if done consistently, I think this is the most useful method when it comes to revising for exams.

There’s not a lot of point learning the theory if you can’t apply it to the question or a situation, and so the best way to learn how to apply the information is to do numerous practice questions. By learning how to apply the material you are learning how to analyse, apply and effectively articulate the information, a valuable skill that you will carry with you even after you have finished school.

Make sure to get your answers marked afterwards so you can pinpoint where you need to improve next. Remember that success is a learning curve, not everything will go smoothly at first, and so we need to practice consistently. Slowly, but surely you will see an improvement in your performance.

3. Read Out Loud

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Reading out loud helps increase memorisation.

I have used this method many times personally and have found it useful to read the material out loud, test myself, check if I got it right and continue this process until I have it memorised.

Studies show that when reading out loud our brain forms not only visual links but auditory links that help us better remember the content. This means that your brain now has two different ways to recall the information, therefore strengthening your memory of it.

It’s best to find a quiet or secluded place to use this method.

4. Teach Someone

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Grab a friend or family member and teach them the content that you're learning.

This method acts as a useful tool by testing your understanding and grasp of the content as well as testing whether you have memorised it. By acting as a teacher, you can assess whether you understand the content well enough to be able to explain it in simple enough terms that others can understand. If your makeshift student is confused then this informs you that you may not understand the information well enough yet. In this case, you now know that you need to revise this topic more. Moreover, this method also incorporates my earlier point of reading the information out loud which will improve your long-term recollection of the content.

I hope you have found this article useful and that you will utilise these tips in your future studies.

Wishing you the best of luck in this upcoming school year, you're going to ace these exams!

- Anika.H

For article two of the 'Study Tips' series, detailing lifestyle changes to improve exam performance click the link below:

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