Being a successful student definitely requires a lot of hard work. Part of this hard work consist of studying for tests. In order to get the best grades possible it is really helpful to have some good studying strategies. The following is just a short list of possible study strategies to Inshallah help you earn the best grade possible.
Throughout my educational life many of my teachers and professors have encouraged the class to read the textbook before class. Many of us often ignore this piece of advice. However, I think that even if you don't read the whole chapter or section of the textbook you should at least open up the textbook. Just try to scan the major topics by reading the title of each section.
Many textbooks have bolded or highlighted words and sections so try to briefly review those areas as well. All you have to do is get a basic idea of what topics will be discussed in class.
I know that this sounds really obvious but try your best to really pay attention in class. If necessary, turn off your smartphone. Really try to absorb everything the instructor is saying. If you scanned the textbook the night before then you will hopefully be somewhat familiar with the topics.
Taking notes is essential. Many instructors nowadays have PowerPoint or other material that they can place on a screen for the whole class to view. However, these may not contain all the information or some areas may be rather vague. It is your job as a student to really take good notes. You don't have to write every word down rather just try to get the main ideas. If the instructor does use PowerPoint quickly skim the slide and see what you don't understand or what is missing and try to fill it in with what the instructor verbally states.
Many students at my university have laptops. I see quite a number of students scrolling through their social media sites or their favorite online stores during lectures. If you do this on a regular basis you are truly doing a disservice to yourself. You could potentially miss out on valuable information that might be on the test. Also, if you're a university student who has to pay for their education (as is the case here in the United States) you are literally wasting your money if you don't pay attention in class.
During the student orientation of my university one of the professors was giving us his study tips and one of the things that he said was: "The time you should start studying is immediately after class". Although this may not be possible for everyone I think that he makes a very important point. You should definitely try to study as soon as possible when the material is still fresh in your mind.
Most students have several classes to study for. Undoubtedly some classes will be harder than others. However, it is very important that you set aside a specific amount of time dedicated to studying every day. Also, you can use your own judgment to decide how long you should study for each class. As a general rule for every hour of lecture you should study two hours outside of class during the whole week.
As a psychology major one of the things that I learned in my human memory course is that in order to best absorb the material it is not just enough to spend a lot of time reviewing the material. Rather, the best strategy is to spend frequent intervals of time studying the material. Basically, rather than studying for a test in one cram study session it is best to spread out your study time.
Break it into Pieces
Let's say you have to memorize something like the periodic table for a test. It is very helpful to break it up and try to memorize a few columns or rows at a time. Each day make sure that you have really learned the previous days' material before going on.
While reviewing your notes it might be helpful to bring a few extra pieces of paper and a pen and start re-writing the most difficult parts of your notes. I have heard from many people who swear by this strategy. In fact, research does support this idea.
Try to sit an a quiet area. More importantly, do whatever you have to in order to avoid the large number of distractions that can arise from your smartphone. I understand that you cant just turn it off all the time but try keep it at a distance and only quickly check for calls or important texts at set intervals of time.
After a period of studying give yourself a break. Get a bite to eat. Try to get some fresh air. Try to do something that is truly relaxing for you.
Whenever you have an exam coming up make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before. College students sometimes take pride in "pulling an all nighter". They think that they have done something great by studying instead of sleeping. However, research has shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to a decrease in performance and an increase in stress.
Alhamdilillah as Muslims we are very blessed to always be able to turn to Allah (s.w.t). Personally, I make sure to study to the best of my ability and I try to put my trust in Allah (s.w.t). Before every test I recite Surah Fatiha once and Surah Ikhlas three times. If you're interested in learning about some duas for studying click here .
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