Every student would want to develop the necessary skills that would enable them to know how to study better in college. For most students, college is the final challenge on their way to full adulthood and a successful career.
As psychologists and education experts have identified, there are five factors in a student's learning process wherein the vital skills need to be developed in order for them to be able to study at their optimum.
The first factor pertains to the study time. This specifically refers to how much time you spend on studying - excluding your times in class and when you do your homework - and just how effectively you use it. Research studies have confirmed that students who know how to manage their college schedules and squeeze in 30 minutes to 1 hour of study time in between breaks and in the evening after finishing homework are able to perform better in examinations. While it is originally believed that longer study sessions will give a student an edge, this has now been disproved. Studies have shown that the longer a student spends studying, his or her concentration starts to wane that information retention is no longer at its peak. There are techniques by which one can improve his or her concentration. This would include reading faster so that the mind is again focused on the subject matter.
The second factor pertains to the study place. Whereas before, educators firmly advise students to study in quiet places like the library, research has revealed that cognition works better if one studies in alternate locations. The choice of a study place becomes more effective if it is somehow related to the subject that is being studied. As an example, if you are studying Biology, you can concentrate better by reading your books sitting on the grass in the campus park. Studies have also shown that students perform remarkably well in exams if they had been reviewing their notes in lecture rooms that are similar to the places where the tests will be held. Mood can also be affected by the study location. If you are troubled by family problems or you had a spat with your boyfriend or girlfriend, try moving to a different location where your mood will improve, such as the roof of your school building or the empty bleachers of the football stands.
The third factor is how you input information in your short-term memory. When you cram, you are actually utilizing your short-term memory. However, take note that short-term memory will only allow you to remember 5 to 9 items at a time, and if you don't practice reading them aloud or memorizing them, they will only stay inside your mind for 15 to 20 seconds. For those who can't help themselves from cramming, techniques like "chunking" will help you to remember important facts in your short-term memory by chunking them together in clusters that are easy to memorize.
The fourth factor is how you transfer all the information from your short-term memory into your long-term memory. This particular skill is very important, especially for end of term and Final exams. It is vital that you use strategies that will allow information to be stored in your long-term memory in a way that they can be easily retrieved during exams. Some great examples of strategies for encoding knowledge in long-term memory include overlearning, elaboration, Mnemonics, and methods like the Peg Word and Loci.
Last but not least, the fifth factor is being able to retrieve the knowledge that you have stored in your long-term memory. In reality, the technique for effective retrieval can be found in the exams that you are taking. Tests and exams will always have for its main bulk sections like Multiple Choice and Matching Type that will give you "cues" which will enable you to retrieve the answer from your memory. It is these same sections that will prepare your mind for the harder parts like the Essay section which will encourage your mind to dig deeper for the answer because of the absence of cues.
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