Study Smarter Not Harder: Role of Study Habits and Learning Environment

Have you ever felt like your study habits are not effective? Are you wondering what you have to do to improve your class performance? You are not alone!

Many students find out that their high school studying habits cannot apply in college. The truth is, the students realize that they have to work smart, not hard, to achieve their academic goals. 

Do you want to become smarter in your studies? This guide offers several tips you can use to improve your study habits and learning environment. If you implement these tips in your daily study routine, you will become more effective and efficient in your studies. 

Role of Study Habits

Reading vs. Studying

When you read and re-read a text or course notes, you are not engaging the material actively. You are just reading your notes. On the other hand, re-reading will make you forget even faster!

You should treat reading as a critical step of pre-studying. But, to learn the information, you need to engage in the material actively. Active engagement involves constructing meaning from the text. This usually involves making connections between different lectures, coming up with examples and regulating your own learning. So, instead of using the old tricks, you can embrace the smart way to make your learning more efficient

Moreover, active reading does not mean memorizing text or highlighting it. These activities might help you keep engaged in the task, but they are not regarded as active studying techniques. 

Some active studying ideas you can use include: 

  • Have a topical study guide. Come up with your own questions and answer them well in your study. 
  • Act like a teacher. Recite the information aloud using your own words as if you are the teacher relaying the concepts to a class. 
  • Draw from the text examples that relate to your own experience. 
  • Come up with diagrams that explain the material you are studying. 
  • If it is not a technical class, consider finding out the big ideas, give details, and distinguish and re-examine them. 
  • For technical subjects, solve the problems by explaining the steps and why they work. 
  • Your study should be in the form of a question – evidence – conclusion. 

To actively study your course material, you need organization and planning skills. For example, if you are interested in learning more than one foreign language, the best approach is to learn one language at a time. Otherwise, if you attempt to learn more than one foreign language, you might not get the desired results. When learning a new language, there are tips to help you learn a language faster.

The Study Cycle – Do you know it?

The study cycle shows that there are various parts of studying, including previewing, going to class, reviewing, studying and checking your understanding. The steps seem obvious, right?

Well, most students miss the opportunities for smart learning because they try using shortcuts. For instance, if you skip a reading because your tutor will use the same material in class, you deny yourself a critical chance to learn using different modes. In this case, you miss out on the benefits of reading and listening. 

If you appreciate the benefits of each step in the study cycle, it will ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. So, how is your study cycle?

Role of Study Environment

Silence is golden, is it?

It is critical to understand where you study best. For some students, the silence in the library might not be their ideal learning environment. As a result, it will help to find out the noise environment that works best for you. 

Studies have shown that some individuals concentrate better with some background noise. On the other hand, others might find the background noise distracting. So, find out your best environment.

What about multitasking?

Research has confirmed that multitasking usually negatively affects your results. Therefore, studying smarter and not harder will help to eliminate distractions during your study. For example, social media, texting, and playing games will significantly affect the severity of your study sessions. 

According to the same studies, multitasking will increase the amount of time you need to learn the course material. At the same time, it also decreases the quality of learning. 

But, when you eliminate distractions, you can engage fully in your study sessions. You can indulge in your browsing and social media activities once you are done studying. 

Find multiple locations to study

Consider looking for different locations to study. You should be aware of where and when you study best. Find various locations that are great study environments for you. This makes it easy for you to find an ideal study location wherever you are. 

Final Words

Working hard is in the past now. The 21st-century learner needs to work smart. If you want to make your learning more effective and more enjoyable, try the tips shared in this guide, and you will have started an exciting journey. Welcome to smart learning!