Hey sparkles! Welcome or welcome back to Sketch Scribble Scribe! How is everyone doing? Todays post is filled with study tips because often young writers are students too and because writers need to learn to teach and to help. As a high school student, I’ve been working on studying better and have found some ways that really work! Let’s dive in.
Prepare Your Brain
The most important thing to do to help your brain take in information is to take care of it! Everyone, but especially someone hoping to learn and get things done, should drink lots of water and eat food that makes them feel their best. Make sure that you take breaks from studying to get up, stretch, breathe, and even take a walk around the room. I also wrote another post this summer on the best ways to take care of yourself.
Build an Environment
If you want to convince your brain to learn, teach it that certain sounds and sights mean studying. I personally prefer to study to Lofi music (I have a playlist of that here!) and I like sitting on the floor in a naturally lit area. I love the rain because it makes me feel calm so my brain doesn’t mind getting stuff done when it rains. I also can’t study or write when I’m wearing pajamas or sweatpants. My brain now associates a certain corner of our family’s library with productivity, especially when it rains, and responds to Lofi as a constant reminder of the need to study. For you, it might be that you always drink tea when you study or go to a coffee shop. You might always listen to piano music or put on a certain pair of reading glasses. These things become triggers for you that encourage you to study. Still, try to choose things that help your brain. Listening to rock music while studying will probably divide your focus whereas piano music calms your mind in the background. Drinking tons of caffeine can make some people (like me!) not feel great while tea is a cozy, healthy drink that helps you relax so you can really learn.
Time as a Tool
If you tend to do things last-minute, you might find this tip really helpful! One way I force myself to get things done is with timers. The pomodero method suggests studying for 25 minutes with a deadline and objective for yourself and then taking 5 minute breaks in between. After 4 rounds, the next round you get a 10 minute break before going back to 5 minute breaks. I’ve personally adjusted this to 2 minute breaks with a longer 5 minute break sometimes, but 2 minutes is so short that it’s stressful. 5 minutes is enough time to get up, drink some water, breath, go eat a snack, or do something else. I find it a great time to crack open my journal and write down the good progress I’ve made, as well as write some positive affirmations, mark off the to-do list, and list the things I’m grateful for. When I’m happy, I’m at ease and less likely to get frustrated than if I’m stressed. I use the online Pomodoro timer but wouldn’t recommend it with headphones because it’s more accountability if others can hear when your done. Still, it’s perfect for in public and for travel. You can adjust the times, make a list, and adjust the sounds if you create a free account. Because our brains like schedule, setting a regular study time is super helpful as well.
Take Notes the Smart Way
I discovered the Cornell method of note taking last year and find it so helpful! It’s simple: take your regular notes of important information, leaving decent room in the left margin. Then go back later and note where each separate topic begins! Read through them one more time and write a short summary of them (including each topic), and you’ve gone through the notes twice, analyzed them two ways, written out the important parts twice, and gotten a ton more out of them. I love this method and often expand upon it with the next tip!
This tip is more about efficiency than about studying itself, but I love to use erasable highlighters to sort my information. I use a different color for different kinds of information and have that key written on an index card. I use pink for lines that might get flipped into questions on tests or questions that they want me to answer, purple for fun facts and key statements and quotes, blue for numbers and links that matter such as references, page numbers, and dates, and so on. This helps to find information quickly so you don’t need to stress over finding it.
Write it Out
While people usually remember 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear, they remember 70%-90% of what they write or speak (According to two sources I found by looking up “what percentage of what you write do you remember” on DuckDuckGo. No I’m not being professional today. 😂) Because of that, rewriting information in your own words and speaking it to someone is one of the best ways to remember the things you need to and to guarantee that you understand what you’ve been taught.
Practice tests are the whole reason I’m not failing Spanish this year. By creating questions and marking the correct answers in and then retesting myself on all I’ve learned every week, I keep it fresh in my mind. I use Google forms to create a quiz and I can give myself feedback with lines to remember things. This way I’m regularly working with information. Making your own practice tests are the best things I’ve used.
I hope this post was helpful and I’ll see you in two weeks! In the meantime, you might enjoy this post on making the most of limited time from Words!)
4 thoughts on “The 7 Most Important Study Tips”
Great tips! That color coding one is a lifesaver. I started color coding my classes and it’s so helpful to not have to write out “English Assignment 1” in my planner.
LikeLiked by 1 person