Find a study environment where you can concentrate and not be easily distracted. Take the extra five or ten minutes to get everything you need together, because it will save you time later, and make you feel more relaxed.
Don't study one subject for more than 2 hours at a time. Make sure to take brief breaks every 50 minutes. You should take a 10 minute break for every hour of study.
Reward yourself for good, concentrated study with small treats like food, a 30 minute TV program, email, etc.
If you need to understand a concept very well and very fluently, type it up and tape it on the ceiling above your bed. Read it over a few times every time you're around. If you're not in the mood to read, then don't attempt to. You'll end up spending too much time trying to concentrate and insufficient time actually reading.
Get as much sleep as possible (between 6-8 hours), as this will make the time that you are awake more productive.
When studying for a major test, break up the information into smaller sections. Learn one section and test yourself on the knowledge. Then learn the next and test yourself on BOTH, continue until you've mastered the material!
In addition to improving your abillity to concentrate, it is necessary to implement skills that will enhance your ability to remember the material you are studying. There are several strategies that can improve memory:
- Learn main ideas, then details
- Make the information relevant to the 'real' world and contextualize it
- Use your body and your senses to learn information (act out presentations, read aloud, use your body as you learn new material)
- Relax - your brain is more alert when you are relaxed
- Use visualization - create mental images that you can associate with the material you are learning
- Have a positive attitude about learning
- Use multiple learning techniques
- Review the material regularly
If you are unable to recall something, brainstorm. The trick is to create connections between the information you are trying to learn and the information you already know. So, if you are unable to remember something, brainstorm the information you do know related to the topic.
- Category 1 - Scheduling & Studying
- Category 2 - Concentrating & Remembering
- Category 3 - Taking Notes
- Category 4 - Reading Effectively
- Category 5 - Preparing for Exams
- Category 6 - Writing Assignments