When was the last time you focused on your study techniques? For some people studying just comes naturally, while other people have to work at it – but absolutely everyone can improve their study techniques.
Motivation is a fundamental basis for good study techniques. If you can discover your real inner motivation for the text you have to read or write then you will get much further than the lukewarm motivation that is evident when someone says “I suppose I should get on with ...”
- Focus on what it is that really interests you about your course and then use this to motivate yourself as you begin to read the text.
Another important factor for your study techniques is your ability to optimise your concentration.
- Try to use the times of the day when you study best and optimise your concentration by regularly taking small breaks, at least once an hour.
Do you have an appropriate reading technique? During your studies you will read a very large volume of course material, so it is important that you read optimally. It will be useful for you to know when you can skim a text and when you have to read it thoroughly.
- Quick read: It may be a good idea to cover the text you have already read with a piece of paper. This will prevent you from glancing back at text you have read and you will take less time to read the whole text.
- Prepare to read: When you start to read your text, it will be helpful to look at the preface and the list of contents. This is specifically to maintain concentration and you will better remember something if you know why you are reading.
You can help your memory along the way with good notes and regular repetitions. It is easier for you to remember things if you regularly repeat them or if you internalise the text by formulating it.
- It can be a help to put examples, time lines or visual images in your notes as this can help your memory along the way.
- Continually repeat your material, as repetition helps to fix it in your memory.