When students move up to a grade level, they often find it difficult to make adjustments when it comes to their study habits. Many of them realize that some of the techniques they learned in their Salt Lake City middle school may no longer work in high school, and the methods they’ve developed in high school may no longer be effective in college.
This is understandable and normal, as higher education always presents bigger challenges. More readings are required, more papers have to be written, and examinations are longer and may need a different kind of skill set. When you realize you’re struggling, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It’s just an indication that you may have to shift your focus and look for more effective study methods to address your needs.
In building strategies for effective studying, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As different students have different learning needs, the methods they have to use must be tailored to their current progress. Each student has their own abilities, so it’s important to start by determining your strengths and weaknesses, so you can formulate the study techniques that will work for you. Some students may find studying and staying motivated an easier task. For others, it may take more time.
Reading isn’t equivalent to studying
To truly engage with your study material, it takes more than simply reading and re-reading the texts on your books or your personal notes. It’s simply what it is — re-reading. This isn’t exactly considered a form of studying. In fact, this will only lead to easier forgetting.
This isn’t to say that reading isn’t an important part of studying, It is, but it’s only the pre-studying phase. To truly absorb the information, it takes having an active engagement with the material you’re presented with. Active engagement refers to the meticulous process of building meanings from the text while also relating them to past lectures, making your own examples, and forming your own learning habits. These habits go beyond memorization, highlighting texts, re-reading your materials. While these are effective in keeping you engaged, they’re not exactly considered active studying methods.
Understanding Active Studying
Here are some things you can try to develop better study habits: Prepare a homework planner and bring it with you all the time. This is where you’ll put all your study requirements, such as projects and homework, so you won’t miss any of them. While it’s important to revise all your lectures once you get home, it still pays to concentrate during the actual class and stay focused as the teacher presents their lecture.
Focus on what’s being presented and take important notes on your own pace, as this will also enhance your active listening skills. Of course, when you take notes, make sure they’re complete. When your notes are clear and complete, you’ll be able to process all the new information better and in a shorter amount of time. If you feel that you missed anything, consult with your teacher or have discussions with your classmates.
Lastly, create your own study guide and schedule. Create your own problems and questions and try to solve them on your own. This will also help you monitor your progress.