How to Study – Article by Maxine

It might sound like the most obvious thing to do but, how effectively you study can make all the difference in the world. There are different methods of studying but the least effective, yet most common is the last minute ‘cramming session.’ You can’t expect to get your best mark in this way. First thing is to determine how you learn.

Visual Learning: You prefer using images, pictures and spatial learning.

For your style of learning, you can really get creative. Say you’re studying history, why not draw a map of the area you’re covering and follow historical events based on where they happened. For other subjects you can make posters and stick them in your room. Seeing them visually will definitely help you. Remember to keep is fun, use lots of colour.

Aural Learning: You prefer using sounds andmusic to learn.

For your style of learning there are many ways you can go about learning. You can make recordings of your notes. You can say them out loud into a recording device. If you’re tech savvy you can upload them onto your iPod or use a simple tape recorder. You can listen to your notes on the bus, on the train, at the gym or even before bed. The important thing is to keep listening as often as possible, not just once. Also if you like, listen to music while you study. Not everyone can do this, some people like silence. But there have been studies about music and memory and listening to particular
songs can help jog your memory.

Verbal Learning: You prefer using words both in speech and in writing.

For your style of learning you need to write as much as you can. This might sound like a lot of work but really you can write your notes in shorthand. You can rewrite your notes so that they are simpler. Also try saying your notes out loud. Annotate your notes as much as you can. You could also benefit from making posters.

Physical Learning: You prefer using your body and a sense of touch.

For your style of learning you need to get as active as possible. You could try something like re-enacting certain things, like key scenes in your English books. Or for languages practice role playing to practice your conversation. For history you could use little toy soldiers to act out key battles. Either way you need to keep moving and active so that you maximise your potential.

Logical learning: You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

For your style of learning the key is organisation. You must really organise your notes. You can make keys cards with questions and answers at the back. You can you make key cards with definitions on them. You need structure so, you could split things into dates and for your science subjects start by outlining the basics and learn formulas. Make lots of annotations and notes.

Social Learning: You prefer learning in groups.

For your style of learning you need to form a study group. You can get your friends together to study, but you need to ensure that you don’t get distracted. If that is likely to happen then perhaps you can form a study group with people that aren’t in your immediate circle of friends. It could be someone you know understands something better and can help teach you key concepts. You can quiz each other and discuss important key concepts.

Solitary Learning: You prefer to study alone and you prefer self-study.

For your learning style you need to be as isolated as possible. Find a quiet place. It can be your bedroom but make sure you get rid of all distractions. Make your study place as comfortable as possible. The better you make it the more you associate it with good energy and you’ll learn better that way.

You can have more than one learning style but remember to give yourself a break. It’s a myth that the more you physically study the better your mark will be. The more effective study you get the better. Take care of yourself. A good rule of thumb is to do an hour of study with a thirty minute break in between.  Don’t try doing this all day. Also study when you’re most mentally active. If you’re not a morning person study in the afternoon or at night but, remember to get some sleep.

Good luck, from the My Academy Team!

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