You’re living the student life with many responsibilities at school and home. As you work through your classes, you want to find the right study techniques for your coursework, lifestyle and personal preferences.
Here are some of the best methods to help you succeed in your studies.
If you struggle to learn your coursework, skip the cram sessions and focus on spaced practice. This type of study method spaces out studying to help you better retain the material. Follow these steps:
Review the new material the next day.
Review it again on the third day.
Take a break and check your knowledge one week later.
Test your retention 10 days after that.
Continue checking in and reviewing the material about every 10 to 14 days.
The Feynman technique is all about simplifying the topic.
Start by briefly summarizing a key topic you’re struggling to understand. Then, visualize a young student sitting with you. How can you teach them the material in easy-to-understand language? Use your own words to “teach” the topic, simplifying definitions and cutting out technical terms.
Reread what you wrote, and say it aloud. If you missed any key information, add it now. Review or test your new notes with someone taking a different course. Ask them if they understand your explanation, and use their response to guide your understanding.
When studying, you might use a basic form of retrieval practice when you cover your notes and try to recall what you learned. The goal of this practice is to put your deep memory recall to use.
You can self-quiz with written practice tests or create flashcards — or both! When you use flashcards, let the answer form in your mind. Then, write down the answer before turning the card over. This dual approach can deepen your recall.
Sometimes, your course may have a lot of terms, formulas or dense information. It can be a lot to take in! Switch up your studying with mixed practice, also called interleaving. When you alternate between topics or skill sets, you help your mind absorb the new data by giving it a well-deserved mental break. Topic switching also keeps your focus more concentrated for shorter periods.
For example, if you’re learning chemical formulas or statistical problems, create a review that “samples” the different materials. This interleaving helps you test your knowledge across topics. You could also study different subjects in rotation, switching from more theoretical to practical topics or scenarios.
Test out a few methods and see which enhance your recall. As you work through study methods, consider your preferences and learning style. It can help to relate preferences to non-school topics. Do you enjoy listening to music while doing tasks? Do you prefer reading articles or stories to watching videos?
Now, relate it to school. For example, retrieval practice flashcards can work better for visual learners, while verbal learners may benefit more from the Feynman technique’s written style. The best way to study is what works for your unique needs, so don’t feel pressured to use any specific method because a friend or classmate uses it.
Knowledge is power, so expand your skills and career prospects with MedCerts. Immerse yourself in learning as you study practical, in-demand subjects that give you a leg up in your dream career.
Julie Campos is the Senior Director of Operations and Student Success at MedCerts. She brings over 14 years of experience in Online Higher Education in both Student Support and Enrollment and started her career at the University of Phoenix, serving most of her tenure as a student-facing leader.
Julie has her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are student support in online higher education environments and working with nontraditional students. At MedCerts, she is focused on creating a pro-active student central support model for MedCerts students to reach their goals and has developed the MedCerts Student Support and Outreach Model, created MedCerts Student Success Advisor reports and Dashboards, as well as the Student Success Advisor Playbook. Her proactive approach to student support has been crucial in meeting MedCerts’ student’s needs, as well as completion and certification goals.
Julie has three children – a 10-year-old son and 12- and 4-year-old daughters, who keep her and her husband busy with sports. She is also an avid crafter with an entire room of her home dedicated to the hobby. In her free time, she enjoys teaching wreath making and even has a few “how-to” YouTube videos on the subject!