6 Effective Tips to Enhance Your Study Skills
Huge portions of the study tips that teachers and other people give, who want you to do better at school are really basic.
They’ll tell you not to sit at the back of class but to sit at the front so you won’t be distracted, and to scan your textbooks instead of reading every single chapter. While these tips are well meant and useful, they are still really basic.
Maybe you would like some study tips that are a bit more detail-driven and intuitive. So if you’re someone who wants to learn some advanced study tips, there are 6 study types right here to enhance your learning. Check ways to improve analytical skills
# 1 Corson Technique
The first tip is to use the Corson Technique when asking teachers for help.
Dale Corson was the eighth president of Cornell University. He was also a chemistry professor. He said that students in chemistry and other science subjects often have to really work hard to solve problems one sentence at a time, as they ever so slowly go through their textbooks, but eventually, there comes a time when that just doesn’t work, you can’t solve the problem by yourself. So you need to ask for help.
So what Dale Corson wants students to think about before they talk to a teacher is to pause and ask “What is it that I don’t understand?” He wants students to avoid the confusion to questions, rather than pick apart the problem one sentence at a time and figure out the exact point at which you don’t understand something.
When you can pinpoint that, you are going to impress your teacher with your preparation, but you’re also learning to practice the art of recognizing confusion and following it down to its actual source. This technique will help you immensely in all aspects of your future learning.
#2 Space Repetition
The second tip is to learn facts quickly by using a technique called space repetition.
Space repetition is the art of studying things at increasingly bigger intervals of time and is a very efficient way to study, but it also takes advantage of the way your brain works.
Space repetition is a system where you study a topic, and if you know that topic very well, you will not see it for quite a while, but the facts that you don’t know well, you will see them much more frequently.
The way that it works on our brain level is that you are trying to recall information. You’re focusing your brain on pulling out information at the closest time possible to when you are about to forget it, so your brain has to work harder to recall this information and in the process, it encodes better, so it’s efficient in helping you learn a lot faster.
#3 Method of Loci
The third tip is a little more advanced than the others. It’s called Method of Loci for memorization.
The Method of Loci predates back to the ancient Greek and Roman times, and it’s a memorization technique that has been used by lots of people ever since.
It takes advantage of your brain’s ability to remember spatial information. The usual way to do this is associate certain types of data you’re trying to memorize, certain groups of that with different rooms of a house.
For example – This picture on the right is the Kanji for King in Japanese, and the pronunciation the way you say the king is “Oh.”
To adapt the Method of Loci to learning this Kanji along with lots of others, what does a king sit, a throne, or as we could say, the toilet. So what do you say when you smell the toilet, “Oh.”
The Kanji for King also looks like a towel rack so you could associate king with the bathroom in a house, and to make this technique even more useful, you would go into the bathroom and put up flashcards on the walls.
#4 Hack Akrasia
The fourth tip Akrasia is a term that has been written about for centuries, and it goes as far back as Plato. It’s essentially a lack of thorough knowledge over oneself.
What it means is, we basically discount the value of a task the more it is delayed, the more the reward is pushed off into the future. Which in general terms just means that we tend to procrastinate and do other things instead that don’t really align with our values within the short term, and so we avoid doing things that do line up with our values because the reward is delayed.
The way in which you can hack akrasia and avoid becoming a victim to it is to bind yourself to get the task at hand done on time. One way to do this is to use an app called Beeminder. It’s a commitment device that allows you to keep track of your goals but charges money if you go off track.
Another way to not become a victim to akrasia is to add a short-term reward for completing a task. You may have heard of the classic way on how some students do this, by placing gummy bears on textbook pages, and as they read paragraphs, they allow themselves to eat them. There are other things you can do too, such as watch an episode of your favorite TV show or play a game that you like.
Just find a way to make sure that the reward isn’t a far-off delayed one that causes akrasia.
#5 Pomodoro Technique
The fifth tip is to improve the Pomodoro technique. It is simply a technique which allows you to set a timer for about 25 minutes, and then you can work on one task during that 25-minute session.
The Beeminder blog is also a good resource for productivity techniques. One of the things that they talk about is something called Tocks. A Tock is essentially a pomodoro session except they use about 45 minutes for a session and then take a 15-minute break, instead of the classic 25 minute – 5-minute break structure.
So the tip here is to experiment with different time intervals. Don’t just settle for 25 minutes and assume that’s the only potential interval that you can study at. Just find what works for you.
The other thing is to keep a piece of paper next to you during your pomodoro sessions, and whenever anything comes up that distracts you, maybe a phone call or the urge to visit a website write it down.
Not only does this allow you to remember what the distraction was, if it happened to be something urgent then you can take care of it during your breaks, but it also allows you to stop this distraction by knowing what could happen you can then take steps to prevent these things.
If there’s a site that really draws you in, then you can use an extension such as Stay Focused on Chrome to block it during study sessions.
#6 Gauge Classes
The sixth tip regarding textbooks is to gauge your classes and the specific area you want to concentrate on. You can do this by gauging the speed of how your teacher moves and at what you’re able to understand.
So if your teacher tends to go way too fast and you don’t understand everything that they’re presenting. Perhaps they write too fast, and you can’t take notes fast enough, or perhaps they talk too quickly, and you can only remember certain words or sentences, but not enough to fully understand what the teacher meant and give it time to process in your mind.
Then you may want to take some steps to mitigate that problem.
One thing you can do is read through the coursework before class. Looking at the most relevant parts of the subject and prime your brain for the class, or you could just simply just ask your teacher for help and ask questions while in the middle of class.
The teacher is there to help you and you should take the opportunity to ask when you have the chance, instead of letting stuff fester in your mind that you don’t understand.
So those are the 6 advanced study tips to improve your learning. Hopefully, you have learned something and are going to put these into practice.