Study skills refer to the ability to read, memorize and retain class portions, text book content and other study materials. Developing study skills depend on individual’s capability, grasping power, interests, environment and self discipline. Here are some methods to develop study skills and hone them better with few useful techniques.
This method refers to seeing imagery through the mind on what has been taught, including block diagrams, pictures, matching real world objects with the concepts read. It also develops your creativity, imagination and cognitive skills.
2. Group Study
Joining a study group on few topics lets members to share and collaborate among others. The study materials can be divided for individual preparations, which then can be delivered as a short session or flash cards to other members in the study group. This is one of the most common study methods.
3. Writing what you read
Writing whatever you have just read immediately helps to retain the fresh knowledge and also boost your confidence in the exam. Apart from that, you can train yourself to be patient to really absorb the knowledge through hard work and also improve written communication skills.
4. Learning by doing
This is one best form of developing a study skill – doing things practically based on what one read in the text book although it may not be possible to experiment or implement everything practically. One has to develop the habit of experiencing them practically if there any opportunity exists. For example, college lab exercises, applying them on real world situations.
5. Flash cards
This is the most common method of keeping tab of topics read. It is done through a small post card where key words are noted down for quick reference. Majority of the students keep them handy instead of keeping complete notes or text books. This helps in developing hints to the topics and improvising the whole content from the keywords.
6. Mind maps
It is the best technique to relate topics and associate links among them. Mind map is a powerful tool which follows a tree or hierarchical structure to a particular topic. It is also a great brainstorming method to generate more ideas for essay writing, comprehension, and critical thinking. It sharpens the thought process by looking at various perspectives to the subject.
7. Group discussion and quizzes
Revise the topics through a group discussion with friends to further improve your memory. It is better to allot 30 minutes of time for discussion and clarifications. To make it more interesting, conduct small quizzes through rapid fire rounds, puzzles and other form of investigative learning. This also builds communication and social skills.
8. Relaxation methods
It is vital to keep a healthy mind and body. Taking breaks and rests for 10-15 minutes between studies keeps the mind relaxed. It is recommended to have a minimum of seven hours sound sleep. It rejuvenates both body and mind. The mental pressure can be released by playing sports, doing work outs and spending quality time with family and friends. Practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga are great methods to improving concentration and focus.
In summary, study skills are both innate and acquired by nature. They may vary across individuals but several common and working practices can be derived and applied by all students to hone and improvise their existing skills.