Students are forever trying to find the best ways to study. However, with the modern complexities in society, adults are finding they need to study as well. This presents particular challenges as it’s been a long time since many adults have had to engage in studying. If your job requires you to learn, then you need to discover the best ways to study.
1. The first step is to find a quiet spot where you will have a minimum number of distractions.
Keep the television out of this space, if possible. Let your family know this is your area for studying and to only interrupt you when it’s important.
2. Make sure you have adequate lighting when you are studying.
The fastest way to get tired is to read while you are struggling to see. It adds to the effort unnecessarily. Position the lights so they are not blasting light into your eyes. Focus on your study area.
3. Music has been shown to help with studying, but only the right types.
It’s better to listen to music that does not contain lyrics as this can cause a distraction, although some people can do this. Try it out to see if you are one of them. Classical music and jazz are good candidates as long as they don’t contain singing and lyrics.
4. Find your best platform to study.
If your preference for learning is via visual stimulation, use videos and resources with pictures. If you learn best with audio, use books-on-tape or Audible, etc. Others prefer books for their learning as they can control the medium and the pace. Experiment with the different formats and mix it up.
5. Take a break.
Some people try to cram a study session into several hours and wonder why they aren’t learning the material. Your mind needs to rest. In fact, you will digest the information much easier when you step away from the material.
6. Sleep is also a crucial aspect of studying.
Students believe they can pull all-nighters before a test, but they don’t perform as well on tests as students who are well prepared ahead of time and get sleep. Your learning is actually enhanced while sleeping.
7. Map out what you are going to learn and use that as the basis for your study session.
Don’t try to learn everything there is to know about a subject in one session. You may not have this luxury if you are taking formal classes, though. If so, listen to what the teacher tells you to learn.
8. Study with a group of people.
Many colleges require their students to form study groups. You can do this even if you aren’t going to school, but need to keep your skills up-to-date.
Action Steps to Take:
1. View videos on the subject you are studying. You may find them on YouTube or websites such as Udemy.com or KhanAcademy.com. Next, sign up for a free trial of Audible (Amazon). Check out the selection before signing up to see if they offer material suitable for your studies. The idea for both of these exercises is to find the medium you prefer the most for studying. If you are more of a book learner, Amazon has its Unlimited program that you could try.
2. Search forums to find people who are studying the same subject as you. Ask if there are people from these forums in your area and offer to form a study group. An alternative is to search Meetup.com for a group or start one of your own.
3. Find someone who is knowledgeable on the subject you are trying to learn. Ask them how they got their start and what techniques they use for studying and learning. Ask them if you can touch base with them from time to time.