21 January 2012

How to Study and Developing Study Skills


Study skills refer to the ability to read, memorize and retain class portions, text book content and other study materials. Student work load is always on the raise and having a good approach towards study makes a significant difference. 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.

1. Visualization
This method refers to seeing imagery through the mind on what has been taught. This develops creativity, imagination and cognitive skills. It is very important to visualize for grasping easily. This technique includes block diagrams, pictures, matching real world objects with the concepts read.

2. Group Study
Joining a study group on few topics enables sharing and collaborating. The topics can be divided for individual preparations. Later the topics 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. The same group can be involved in group discussion and quizzes once they are thorough on the topics.

3. Writing what you read
This is a form of skill to develop both ability to retain and also getting prepared for writing them in the exam. Writing habit has several benefits including retention, developing patience through hard work and improving written communication skills.

4. Learning by doing
This is one best form of developing a study skill. It is a method of doing things practically based on what one read in the textbook. 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. This form of study stays longer as it develops practical sense and realism.

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. It varies across individuals but several common and working practices can be derived. It can be applied by all students to hone and improvise their existing skills.

Learn more educational information on how to study.

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