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What Are the Different Types of Studying Techniques?

A highlighter is a useful tool when studying for exams.
Some students find taking a practice exam to be a helpful study technique.
Students sometimes study together.
Taking good notes during class will make studying much easier.
Studying in a group can be effective, but only if members of the group are focused.
Students who try to cram right before a test do not always learn the material, while also experiencing more anxiety before and during the test.
When studying, it is helpful to find a quiet place.
Good study habits may include marking important passages in texts.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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There are a number of different studying techniques that can be useful when trying to learn new material. What works for one person may not work for another, since everyone learns differently. This is why it is important to try a variety of studying techniques to see what works best. This might range from simply rereading notes or making flash cards, to setting up study groups or mock exams. All of these techniques can be effective, it just depends on whether an individual studies better independently or in groups, and whether he or she requires hands-on learning or can simply study by reading.

The best studying techniques begin in class with good note-taking skills. Notes will be invaluable when trying to study later. It is important not to write down every single thing the instructor says, but instead to make note of the most important points to jog the memory. If the instructor writes something on the board, this is an indicator that it is very important. Many people structure their notes in an outline format, and use a highlighter to mark especially important things; this can make studying much more productive later on when trying to remember the lecture.

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One of the most common and simplest studying techniques is simply to read over the notes, and compare them along with the text, if applicable. Looking up any questions in the textbook can also help to reinforce the material. If this does not work, some people find that rewriting their notes, or important facts, on flash cards allows them to quiz themselves to see if they know the material. Other people find that they work best in a group with other students; this way, the students can quiz each other and learn the material together. Studying in a group can be one of the most effective studying techniques, but only if the group is actually able to focus on studying.

Regardless of the method for studying an individual chooses, it is important to make it a daily habit. Students who review their notes after class, or take time at the end of every day to keep up with the reading and review their notes, tend to really learn the material and be able to remember it for tests. Students who cram the night before a test generally do not really learn the material, and also tend to experience more anxiety, which can lead to poor grades on the test anyway.

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Discuss this Article

irontoenail
Post 3

@pleonasm - I was reading a book on students the other day and one of the things it said was that research shows that you need to encounter a concept three times, within two days and in different ways, in order to remember it. So, it doesn't surprise me that you remember facts better if you are able to discuss them with other students. Because you would have heard them said at the lecture, then discussed them and so encountered them again, and then probably looked through your notes, which would cement them in your head.

The theory is that this is what is needed to get something to go from the short term, or working memory, into the long term memory. It actually makes a lot of sense to me, and if I was going to be a student again, I would base all of my studying techniques around these findings.

pleonasm
Post 2

The thing that I find most important when trying to remember something is to discuss it with someone. If I am just told a bunch of facts in a lecture, or even if I read them in a book, I might remember some of it, but actually sitting down with someone and discussing it is the only guaranteed way to remember it, in my opinion.

That's why I think it's important to try and get to know people in all your courses. Networking is important as well, but having people who won't mind discussing the different points made in class is invaluable.

clintflint
Post 1

Something to consider is to try and use technology to make studying simpler. Often, these days, lecturers will have put their lecture up online for students to watch again, or for extramural students to use.

If you don't have access to this, you can film lectures, or at least record the sound, so that you can absorb the information while listening to it. If you are trying to take notes at the same time, you will often not catch everything of importance, and you'll find it difficult to take things in.

A lot of smartphones will be capable of recording either a video or a sound file, or it might be worth investing in a small video camera, particularly if you need the visual reference.

If you have to miss the class for any reason, you can always get someone else to tape it for you.

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