The best way to study.

The best way to study might not be the normal way you always study.School is the primary source of learning for a student but each student has different learning abilities and capabilities compared to other students in the same age or level. Not all students are able to learn effectively while in school. Some students are quick enough to learn that they easily grasp new concepts when taught to them. Other students on the other hand have a hard time understanding new concepts and need more time to grasp these concepts no matter how simple or complex they are.

Teachers have different styles of teaching and they are also strictly following a curriculum. If majority of the class understands the lesson and only a few don’t get it, the teacher will move on to the next lesson. It’s up to the students who are having a hard time understanding the lesson to adjust and try to understand the lesson. The teacher cannot sacrifice the whole class and repeat the lesson for the sake of the students who don’t get it.

Learning methods are not taught in school. Students are asked to take notes so that they can review the notes when at home. Teachers also usually ask students to memorize the lessons that are taught in class. There are various learning methods that students can adapt depending on what works for them. These are some of the most effective learning methods that students can use:

  1. Distributed Practice

According to research, the best way to learn is through ‘distributed practice’. This is done by studying hard for a short period of time, taking a break, and then studying again, spreading your studies over time intervals instead of cramming or doing it in one large chunk. This method of learning can be applied to all subjects.

  1. Practice Testing

Practice testing involves taking practice tests or self-testing. Studies show that practice testing can help retain information and encode it in the long-term memory. As a student, you can create your own tests and answer them later. Creating the test alone helps retain the lessons in your memory. Another option is to ask your peers or your parents to do the test for you and then ask them to give you a feedback after taking the test that they have done for you. You can also check homework answers and look for online tutors who can create tests for you and give feedback afterwards.

  1. Interleaved Practice

Interleaved practice is done by implementing a practice or a study schedule where there is a combination of different kinds of problems or different types of materials within a single practice or study session. In this learning method, the student studies the current lesson and relates it with previous topics, concepts, or lessons at the same time. This learning method is best for science and math. It helps improve learning and retention of concepts in students.

  1. Self-Explanation

Self-explanation is explaining the steps taken during problem solving or explaining how a new information is associated with known information. This learning method enhances learning by helping incorporate new information with pre-existing knowledge. This method is time-consuming but it works for different subjects and age range of learners.

  1. Elaborative Interrogation

Elaborative interrogation is coming up with an explanation as to why an explicitly stated concept or fact is true. Instead of purely reading a book or a lesson, you can test yourself in between reading and check whether you understood the concept by asking yourself questions and coming up with an explanation afterwards. The downside to this learning method is that it can only be used in answering factual statements and it would be difficult to apply it when learning concepts with a complex chain of relationships.

  1. Summarization

Summarization is writing summaries of various lengths of a lesson that you are trying to learn. It allows extracting the meaning of learned texts to understand concepts. This method of learning helps students in their performance on generative measures such as essays and free recall. This is more effective in understanding concepts rather than recognizing concepts.

  1. Highlighting, underlining, and marking materials

This is one of the most popular methods of learning for students in college. It is easy to implement and it doesn’t take much of your time to do it. This learning method helps students retain concepts but it is more effective when combined with other learning methods.

  1. Rereading

Rereading is another popular method of learning for students although it is not always effective especially if after rereading texts, the student still doesn’t understand the concept. Leave enough time between the initial reading and rereading to make it more effective. Rereading increases the total amount of information encoded in a student’s brain.

  1. Keyword Mnemonics

Keyword mnemonics is learning by using mental images and keywords to associate verbal concepts or materials. This method is great for learning foreign vocabulary, scientific or medical terms, defining words, characterizing things, etc. It can only be applied to specific subjects.

There is no specific learning method that works for all kinds of students because students have different cognitive levels and learning capabilities. The best thing to do is to try each of these learning methods and see what works best for you. You can stick to that learning method or mix the different learning methods for a more effective way of learning.

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