How to Improve Your Study Skills

Strong study skills are essential to succeed in school and in life. It isn't enough to just sit inside a classroom and hope to soak up the knowledge an instructor is presenting. You must put effort into learning, understanding, and applying the material. The earlier you can develop these skills, the greater your chance of academic success.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to developing good study habits. Not everyone learns the same way. So, not everyone will study the same way. Some people need absolute silence to review textbooks, lecture notes, and handouts to prepare for an exam. Others study better in a group bouncing ideas off one another. The study skills you develop will be based heavily on your learning style.

What's Your Learning Style?

Studying does not have to be a difficult process. The biggest mistake people make is developing a study plan that is different from the way they learn best. Not only are they trying to learn new information, but they are trying to adapt to a new way to learn that information too! Make it easy on yourself. Ask yourself a simple question: Are you a visual (see), auditory (hear), or kinesthetic (hands-on) learner?

What if you aren't sure what category of learning you fall into? Well, think back to all those classes you have taken throughout your academic career. There were forms of learning that came much easier to you than other forms. There's your learning style. Develop study skills that are tailored to your unique style of learning to achieve more productive results.

How to Successfully Study

It does not matter whether you are writing an English literature paper, reviewing algebra problems, or finishing up a chemistry lab report. There are a few key elements every successful student needs to include in a study plan.

  • Time-Management - It is not the amount of time you spend studying that matters. It's what you can accomplish during that time. Spending 40 hours to prepare for an exam and only earning a C clearly was a waste of your time. Develop a study plan and learn how to manage your time effectively to maximize your results.
  • Motivation - If you are not motivated and have a poor attitude, your study session will not be very productive. You have just one opportunity to pass that Geometry exam or ace the term paper. Pick a time of day where you can get motivated to prepare for tests, write essays, and solve problems.
  • Concentration - The ability to concentrate is one of the more important study skills you need to develop. You won't always be able to study in absolute silence or be able to spend as much time as you would like on a particular project. Learn how to overcome distractions so you can focus all your attention on your studies.
  • When in doubt, ask - If you aren't sure about a particular topic, don't be shy. Ask your instructor, family, or friends for help. It is important to address the problem area as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend even more time studying to catch up.

Studying for Standardized Exams

Standardized exams are not just a requirement for college anymore. A variety of professions now have their own standardized exams for licensing or certification purposes. The study skills you developed throughout school will be extremely beneficial as you prepare for these important exams. Hours and hours will be spent reviewing flashcards, reading study guides, and answering practice questions. Your skills will help you prepare, concentrate, and become motivated to earn the best scores possible.

The articles featured on this website are designed to help you improve your study skills. Use these articles to help you prepare more effectively for exams, learn strategies to make your study time more productive, and discover ways to make your classroom experience even richer.

On this site, you will find over 75 articles spanning over 23,000 words all geared to one goal: helping you study more effectively.

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Last Updated: 05/05/2014

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