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Learning Effectively by Studying Smarter, Not Harder

Learning Effectively by Studying Smarter, Not Harder

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.(Albert Einstien)

Have you ever felt that you were, somehow, stuck in a loop of academic failure? No matter how much you study, the number of hours, or the amount of effort you put in, nothing would likely get you the results you had hoped to accomplish.

A frustrating situation, mainly when you believe that you did all your best. However, doing your best sometimes is not entirely enough. The problem, I daresay, lies with the use of ineffective techniques, the lack of time management skills, inefficient study habits, and the list goes on.

So, what can you do to turn the tides?

Study smarter, not harder. A broad concept to be covered with just one article, regardless I will be presenting you with some tips to kick start your journey on the road to success.

First of all, you should begin with changing your study habits. For instance, one poor practice students may have in common is studying by reading only. What they fail to understand is that reading materials alone is not regarded as studying. Your brain needs more than just the quick revision you would do the day before your test to grasp information. Instead, I suggest that you actively engage with your study materials by forming meanings, making examples, and organizing your learning.

Another approach that has been proven effective is the act of reflecting on what you study, where you take a moment to think about what you just read, summarize it, and recap what you believe are the subject's key points. You could also try teaching what you have learned to an imaginary audience, as it would help you boost your memory by enhancing the ability to keep information longer than expected.

Let's say that you have worked your way through the methods we have discussed, yet somehow you are still facing troubles while taking your tests.

What could be going wrong this time? well, it might be your lack of focus.

Study with a purpose, do not study just for the sake of it, Know what to expect on your test, what kind of formation will be used (Q&A, Multiple choice, etc..), utilize your knowledge, and then prepare yourself accordingly. Focused studying is a helpful strategy when comprehending what to answer when and to what question. Thus, increasing your chances of getting higher grades.

In addition to what we have said above, an essential fact should be taken under consideration, learning new strategies, approaching different techniques, and understanding the subject will get you nowhere if you do not practice your knowledge.

Practice makes perfect as, my English teacher, Mr. Basel, used to say, and as you too might have heard once, perhaps from a high school teacher, or maybe some YouTube channel, is somehow a rule to live by as it applies to every aspect of our lives. If you want to excel in something, then practice is your way to go, the more you practice the better you become at pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses and the closer you get to achieving your definition of perfect.

One such example, during my first semester of college, my calculus 1 professor used to give us numerous practice sheets to do over the weekend. He would occasionally encourage us to look up different question types to work on and then hand them over. To be honest, I hated doing this assignment because I thought it was a waste of my time. It wasn't until much later that I realized how beneficial this method was, given the enormous impact it had on my performance during midterm and final exams, as I aced them both.

To conclude, know that it is never too late to change how you learn. Do not be afraid of doing the extra work to break the cycle of failure. Remember that what matters is not how much you studied but how you did it. If one strategy is not working with you, it's not the one for you. Dare to test different techniques till you find what suits you best. And lastly, always practice your knowledge either by the sources your school provides you with or by using the internet as it is full of sites that would help you go that extra mile.

I recommend you check out Studydeets platform. A website that might prove worthwhile whenever you want to practice your information. With more than 30 million questions and their answers, you will be able to practice various categories and thousands of topics. Making you one step closer to achieving your goals.


Study: You Really Can 'Work Smarter, Not Harder' - The Atlantic

Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning by Giada Di Stefano, Francesca Gino, Gary P. Pisano, Bradley R. Staats :: SSRN

ERIC - EJ1214021 - Introducing and Evaluating a "Study Smarter, Not Harder" Study Tips Presentation Offered to Incoming Students at a Four-Year University, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2019-Mar

Reading Comprehension Tips – Learning Center (unc.edu)

Fry, R. (2018b). How to Study: The Program That Has Helped Millions of Students Study Smarter, Not Harder (Ron Fry’s How to Study Program Book 3). In how to study (pp. 51–72). Open Road Media.

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