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How to Study Smart

by Kate Campell

Exams getting you down?  Instead of cramming a heap of information into your brain last minute, why not plan ahead and learn how to study smart?

It’s not necessarily about what you’re studying but more about how you study.  This is what will really count for you in the long run, and even make studying more of a fun experience! Yes we’re sure that sounds a little crazy to you, but stick with us, we’ve done the research and we’re ready to break it down for you.

For many of you, exams are a mere month away! For others, these exams will determine whether you are accepted into the university of your choice or these exams might be your first exams at a university level – you need to be exam ready! 

Study smart: what does it mean?

To study smart is really just organising your study information in such a way that makes it much easier to remember. This will save you time and brain capacity as you prepare for exams. 

You can use methods such as creating mnemonics and formulas to remember information, or by getting creative and using your five senses to help you learn better. 

Let’s face it, the easiest way for us to really remember things is through storytelling or connecting the dots as we read. The reason we remember the finer details through a story is because  each element or character interrelates. It is this interconnectedness that really makes details come alive!

This is essentially the study technique we recommend. It is a concept called holistic learning, expressed by Scott H. Young. 

Holistic Learning is when you take time to look at how ideas, concepts and variables within the information you’re studying and see how they relate to one another. Young says, 

“Instead of forcing ideas into your skull, you focus on the relationships between information.”

Studying smart is a lifelong skill that will allow you to study faster and more efficiently.  If you ’re struggling to process this, we have some practical tips on how you can start to study smart.

Do you ever feel like you have so much to do and so little time? Time management is not easy to get right. We hear you. Let’s get your time managed.

Study technique: get it right

Ultimately, it is important to find the study technique that works best for you.  Whether you are in grade 9 or matric, this is vital. 

Look into your personal learning style and see which techniques best fit your unique learning style. You can even look at our course on how to study. We unpack the different learning styles and some practical tips on how each one can really hone in on a particular study method based on a learning style

For example, if you’re an auditory learner, you might benefit from recording lectures or listening to podcasts to get the right information in. If you learn through visuals then perhaps you will create stunning summaries and diagrams with colour as you study the information

Make sure you read up on your learning style and then incorporate the holistic learning approach with it, and you’ll have a killer combination and ace all you do. 

Study smart: be time-wise

Whichever way you naturally study, you will save yourself heaps of time by diving in with a particular learning style and a plan for your study time. Studying smart is all about saving time and making the most of the time you do have to prepare.

The best way to get this right is to make sure you know how you study.  We can’t emphasise this point enough. Make sure you practically know what will work best for you.

Studying smart is more about understanding the content, and how it fits into the bigger picture than just learning parrot style, or cramming. 

EduConnect 2Cents

There are amazing study free resources available at your fingertips!

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