Here are five study skills that will help you learn faster. These are the greatest to apply whether you require study abilities to succeed in school or to learn on the job.
There’s so much to learn. Will it ever come to an end?
Nope. You will spend the rest of your life learning. School is merely a springboard. Learning will be a part of your life no matter what path you follow after school.
Fortunately, the never-ending process of honing your skills doesn’t have to be stressful or unpleasant. Knowing that you have the ability to swiftly learn new topics and understand them thoroughly gives you peace of mind.
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Whatever else you learn in school, you must also practise study skills in order to become an effective learner.
Do not believe that study skills are solely concerned with how to perform well in school. When you leave school and continue to learn on your own, a firm foundation of study skills and study tips becomes even more valuable.
Fortunately, cognitive and educational psychologists have long been performing meticulous empirical research on study abilities and tactics. There is a lot of good science out there right now about what study skills work and what methods don’t.
The following five study skills to be the most effective:
- In-Depth Interrogation: Answering why a fact is true
- Self-explanation: Defining what a passage of text or a hypothetical scenario means to you
- Test your knowledge: You should put yourself to the test on the material you’re trying to learn.
- Spread Out Practises: dividing your study time into many sessions
- Interleaved practise: When studying, mixing different types of problems together.
Skill #1: In-Depth Interrogation (Asking “Why”)
Asking oneself questions is an excellent approach to learn. Little children intuitively understand this, as they rush around asking, “Why, why, why?” A vast deal of study has shown that the children are correct. Learning is aided by having pupils respond to questions such “Why is this truth true?”
Asking “why” questions appears to work because it pushes you to integrate new information with what you already know. By giving you more “hooks” to find the new fact, you strengthen your memory for it. According to research, some methods of self-questioning are more effective than others.
Skill #2: Self-Explanation
The goal of self-explanation as a reading approach is to take a break from reading your textbook and explain what it means to you. This can be done after reading a chunk of literature or while studying a problem example. You may need to go back over parts of the text to properly understand what’s being stated when trying to self-explain.
Professor Micki Chi explains why self-explanation is effective. Her ideas were included in the book Advances in Instructional Psychology as a chapter. The concept is that self-explanation enables you to draw conclusions from what you’re reading. You don’t merely recap the text; you go on to offer a little more. You recognise flaws as you try to explain them and alter your explanation as a result. These will help you to improve and expand your knowledge.
Skill #3: Test Your Knowledge
Practice testing is based on the principle that actively testing your memory increases learning significantly more than passively reviewing content. Tests are no longer merely for evaluation.
Memory retrieval is exercised during testing, which promotes learning. You must actively search your long-term memory when answering a test question. As a result, additional and better paths to the answer are created. This makes it easy to find the solution the following time. It’s sometimes referred to as “retrieval procedure” by scientists.
It’s simple to conduct practise tests. You can use your textbook to construct flash cards or to answer questions. Free practise tests are frequently available on the internet. Check to see if you can get the right answers. When you can see if you got the answers right or wrong, practise testing is most effective.
Skill #4: Spread Out Practises
You have a test scheduled for tomorrow, oh say. You haven’t done any research. Should you prepare for it by cramming? Sure. Also, best of luck.
You’d be far better off spreading your learning out over the time you have next time. Over the course of multiple study sessions, do a little at a time. Distributed practise is based on this concept.
One reason distributed practise promotes learning is that each study session requires you to re-start your memory for the material. Doing more is quite simple once your memory for the issue is warmed up and moving. It’s too simple, like driving downhill in a car. It is more difficult for your memory to stop and start. This is beneficial (unlike driving) because it improves your memory.
Regardless of how you study, distributed practise appears to be effective. However, you’ll get the best results if you combine it with practise tests. Don’t be offended if your instructor assigns you a lot of quizzes. They provide you with a double dosage of beneficial learning. Attempt (and re-attempt) to develop the habit of doing it yourself!
Skill #5: Interleaved Practise
When learning math, you’ll need to know a variety of formulas. You might learn one equation to calculate the area of a circle, for example. Another thing you learn is how to calculate the perimeter. Interleaved practise is based on the premise that when studying, it is beneficial to mix some area problems with some perimeter ones.
This works because you need to know a little more than just how to apply each formula. You must also know when to utilise one formula and when to employ a different one. When you come across a new problem, you must first determine what type of problem it is. You give yourself practise telling the problems apart by interleaving them during your study sessions.
According to current research, all five study skills are effective. A couple of these five study abilities were advised more highly by the research team than the others. The main reason for this is because the team would like to see further research done to answer a few more questions. It’s not as if the researchers can say with certainty that certain of these study talents are superior than others. I bring this up because some paper summaries may convey the wrong impression.
Each of these study techniques is also rather simple to apply. Training and practise will improve your abilities, but there is no need to wait.
The easiest way to get started is to try them out. Choose one and play around with it. Get it down on paper. Then go back over the list and choose another.
Master these five study techniques. Each one will make it easier for you to learn.
And put a spring in your step as you embark on the long journey of learning ahead of you.