How do you get better grades? How do you make yourself a better student? There is one simple answer to these questions – studying. However, what people truly struggle with is finding effective techniques to help them study, so that they can study smarter, instead of harder.
A great technique to improve your studying can be speaking out loud as you read. This combines your auditory, verbal and visual memory/processing abilities, rather than solely relying on your visual capacity as you read silently. Whether it is a question, comprehension work or even research information, reading it out loud can be very helpful because, this way, your mind can more easily comprehend the knowledge.
Another technique includes, turning off all technology and distractions. Once attention is lost, it usually takes around 25 minutes to refocus on the task at hand. Through getting rid of all distraction, you will be surprised to see how much more work you are able to get done and how much more information you are able to process. As your work progresses, you will feel more empowered to continue because your studying is being effective and you can clearly understand the subject (rather than becoming stressed as the understanding stays just out of reach).
Last but not least, teach what you have learnt. According to Bloom’s taxonomy, a principle that many accredited teachers base their work on, being able to create new content is the highest level of understanding. Thus, if you are able to generate new questions and answers in order to teach the concept to another person, you will often be able to indefinitely retain that information and completely comprehend it. You can get one of your peers who are struggling with the topic to come learn from you or you can simply explain to a parent or sibling everything you understand from all the studying. Either one can assist you to improve your studying because it will demonstrate how much you have actually learnt.
So, next time you study, try speaking out loud, turning off all distractions and then attempting to teach a friend or family member what you have learnt. You might find that it makes a huge difference.