There is a lot of pressure to succeed in competitive exams. For students, it can feel like every assignment is do-or-die. And for parents, it’s hard not to worry about their kids’ performance and want them to do well. But what if there was a way to make studying less stressful and more effective? Check out these top 10 tips on how to study smarter, not longer as suggested by an institute offering the best UPSC online coaching:
1. Be in the right mood
Studying when you’re in a bad mood is probably one of the worse things that anyone can do if they want to retain information. There are lots of factors that could cause you to be upset, like tiredness or hunger. Before starting your study session, make sure you are in the right mood. Be well rested and fed. If not, your study session is likely to be short-lived because you’ll become distracted or even drowsy. Your mind needs to be sharp for you to retain any information that you are studying.
2. Ditch the distractions
Whether you are studying in a group or alone, staying away from distractions is important. Whether it’s your phone or friends coming over to talk to you, finding the time and place conducive to studying will help you be more efficient. If possible, study somewhere free of distractions so that you don’t keep getting interrupted.
3. Start with the easiest topics
Be sure to go in order when you’re studying. If you start with the toughest concepts and work your way down, chances are that you’ll get bogged down and lose motivation before getting to the easier ones. On the other hand, if you work from easiest to toughest, then when it comes time for the tough ones, you’ll be able to breeze through them.
4. Summarize key points
There are several ways you can summarize what you are reading. The most common way is writing down the main ideas of a paragraph on a separate sheet of paper or in your notebook. Another method that some people swear by is rewriting the text into their own words by filling in their own blanks.
5. Ask questions while studying
This may seem counter-intuitive but stay with us here. Asking questions about what you are reading or listening to will help you retain more information than if you just read it all in silence. It’s like the old saying goes “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” The more you know about a topic, the better grasp of it you’ll have.
6. Visually represent information in your mind
An easy way to remember a bunch of terms that are different but relate in some way is to visualize them as one object or scene in your head. Picture yourself taking a big white sheet of paper and drawing a picture of the terms you are trying to remember. Once you have drawn all the pictures, look at them and see if any connections or patterns emerge between them. For example, you could draw a desk and picture a computer on top of it and next to it, a telephone.
7. Have someone test you
Even better than asking questions while you study is asking someone to test you. Being quizzed by another person will not only help you remember key facts but will also allow you to ask for clarification if there are any parts of the material you don’t understand.
8. Practice testing yourself often
Take time at the end of every session to quiz yourself on what information you’ve just read. Some people like to challenge themselves by setting a time limit for how long they should take to answer the questions correctly. This is especially effective if you are studying in a group because it will allow you to be challenged and see where other people’s weaknesses are.
9. Keep your notes organized
Once you’ve taken down all your notes, make sure you are keeping them organized, says an institute offering the best UPSC online classes. You can keep your notes in a binder or folder of some kind, so it’s easy to find the information you need when you are studying again.
10. Review often
The best way to retain information is not by cramming for exams at the last minute, but by reviewing what you have learned on a regular basis. This will help you solidify concepts that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks during your busy schedule. After all, knowledge is power!
If you are struggling with the amount of time it takes for you to study, try some of these tips. You may find that your studying is more effective and efficient when you incorporate a few key changes in how you have been approaching this task so far!