There are numerous study strategies but only a few are proven to be working for many students.
Studying is very difficult, no doubt about that but it is extremely ridiculous to spend a lot of time to study and still fail. Learning styles vary so at successafrica.info, we try to examine and recommend strategies that have worked for a lot of students already.
It is always a good feeling to see your students passing their exams as a lecturer and just as anyone wouldn’t wish for, we also put ourselves in the shoes of the lecturers who use a lot of their energy to go the extra mile educating their students nonetheless, they still fail.
You have lectured your students, handed over the relevant learning materials and directed your students to your office for clarifications if any. Is that all? To the lecturer, he or she has done the very best but how students easily consume this material and successfully reproduce during the examination substantiate the value of the lecturer’s exertion. Indeed learning is not learning but it only becomes learning when it incorporates the use of the right strategies.
What are these long-sought-after strategies that millions of students have been deprived of? As we indicated earlier, learning strategies vary but what we do is that we investigate to sieve out and present the very few but proven ones that attract good results.
The under-listed strategies are ones that we can vouch for every student devoid of your learning style.
Have you ever heard of Dual Coding as part of the numerous study strategies? Let’s get straight into the strategies
1. Out of the numerous study strategies on the internet people have written about, our first recommended study strategy is what we call the dual coding. Dual coding simply means the use of both pictures and words to study.
Dual coding presents an opportunity to appreciate new ways to learn information using pictures and words.
Here are ways you can incorporate dual coding as a study strategy;
a. Create an Infographics summarising the topic ( click on this to read on what infographics are)
b. Make a comic strip.
c. Doodle on a blank sheet of paper as you read.
d. Create a mind map.
This strategy has nothing to do with your learning style so you can practise that to see how helpful it will be to your academic life.
2. Retrieval Practice
One of the effective ways of examining yourself is to try to retrieve what you have learned without looking at the material. Once you are able to do that, there is a higher propensity that you will easily recollect what you have learned over time.
It may be hard doing this especially when you are new to certain terms in definitions for instance but try as much as possible to force the information out of your brain. By constantly practising this, it helps reinforce the information in your brain.
Several researchers have proven that it takes a lot of time to transfer information to your long-term memory; you don’t consume information today and expect to remember it within that short time. It doesn’t simply happen like that. We forget easily so there is the need to revisit what we have learned to cement it in our brain.
3. Spaced Practice
Ever heard of the word cramming? A lot of students only prepare a few hours to examinations and so they turn to consume a lot of information within a small period. Have you ever used 5 hours to study all that you have been taught the whole semester?. That sounds ridiculous but a lot of students are doing that. We still maintain that study technique vary so what worked for the other wouldn’t necessarily also work for you.
Instead of spending 5 hours to consume everything, why don’t you consider spreading it over a period of two weeks to learn that?
You are able to learn more when you spread out, even though it will feel strange for the first time when you are not used to it.
If you are ready for spaced practising, note that you only need 20-30 minutes to do that so that means you have more time to sleep and relax.
4. Pretend to be 4-year-old
Why do we say you have to pretend to be a 4-year- old?
We are sure you have lived with children before and have experienced their ‘why’ nature. Children are naturally curious and so they want to know why everything is so. This natural curiosity makes them fetch a lot of information everywhere and by so doing, they unconsciously learn and retain a lot of information.
Ask questions like
a. Why is this the case?
b. How does this idea correlate with what was mentioned earlier?
c. How does this work? And finally
d. How does it relate to your life?
5. The power of examples.
You have to try as much as possible to use examples in your definitions. The reason is that sometimes you may not get the exact meaning or understanding of definitions but the use of examples retrieved from several types of research either from the internet, journals or books give you a broader understanding of the term.
You will surely be able to reproduce what you have learned, though it may not be word to word. Remember the bottom line is the understanding not your ability to recite word to word.
6. Paraphrasing and reproducing
We read a lot of lines in our test books only to find out that we cannot retain what we have learned. To fight this, we have to incorporate an international learning style, that is paraphrasing and reproducing. In simple terms, it means to able to reproduce in your own words by not quoting exactly what’s in the material. How are you able to explain what you learn to a 4-year-old child to understand?
7. Quiz Yourself
The best way to notice that what you have learned is cemented in your brain is by quizzing yourself. Ask yourself questions and try to answer them without looking at the material. This gives you the opportunity to know where there are still lapses to better. Quizzes may take several forms but the bottom line is to try is much as possible to conduct one with looking at the material. If you do otherwise, it defeats the purpose of learning and reflecting.