Everyone has their own ideas on how to study or what makes one study more effectively. While there certainly is no one size fits all when it comes to retaining information, we can all agree that effective study is led by organisation and being prepared. Let’s go through some proven techniques that can help you be more strategic when it comes to studying and retaining information.
Active engagement over simple reading
We’ve all had those moments when we read a few pages of a book, and realise we have zero ideas of anything we’ve just read! This is why active engagement is such an important part of studying to retain information. Let’s go through a few ways you can practise active engagement whilst studying for your next course.
Partake in quizzes or create your own
Use the quizzes included in your course units or modules to help you test and retain knowledge. These activities form an important part of our teaching and learning plans as they help you build long-term recall. Pay attention to the questions you struggled with and go back to the learning content to revise it.
You can also take your course material, and formulate questions and write the complete answers. You may want to do this for particular content you think you need more time to learn and retain. You could create your quiz in advance and come back to it a few weeks later, you’ll be surprised at how much information you can remember, and each time you’ll be striving to better yourself.
Become the teacher
When going through course materials, embody being the teacher. Once you’ve read through a particular piece of information, in order to retain it and be more effective with your studying by saying the information out loud, in your own words, as if you were explaining it to someone else or teaching your own class.
Translate to personal experience
You’re more likely to remember information if you can relate a particular theory or situation to a personal experience. Use this method while studying by finding examples in your own life that relate to the concept being discussed.
Study for questions; evidence and conclusion
When finishing a particular focus of study, look at it in this formula: What is the question given by the course? How are they proving it? What is the evidence and what is the conclusion? This is a great way to summarise every chapter of a particular area of study, all the while helping you to retain the information you’ve learnt.