5 Studying Strategies Worth Trying - MedCerts

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Studying is an important skill necessary to achieve academic success and career goals. Honing this skill requires some practice and a little patience. Developing the right studying strategies can save you from unnecessary frustrations spent trying to cram concepts the night before exams. 

Identifying and adopting proper study strategies is crucial if you intend to get the most out of your studies. Effective studying helps maximize time, increase retention, improve performance and build confidence. Here are some effective strategies to improve your study habits.

Adopt Metacognition Strategies

Metacognition involves understanding how one thinks and learns. This study strategy lets you know your learning strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to take stock of what you’ve already learned, what you need to improve on and how best to handle studying new material.

Incorporating metacognitive strategies into studying has several benefits. For instance, you get to identify your unique studying style. This recognition helps you develop a personalized study plan that suits your needs. Also, metacognition promotes a deeper and more meaningful learning experience.

Try the “Protege Effect”

The “protege effect” is based on the idea that teaching study material to others reinforces your understanding. To teach someone, you need to understand a concept well enough for a simple and logical explanation. This strategy psychologically triggers you to put more effort into learning for those you will teach.

Due to increased autonomy to learn, the protege effect is useful in various situations. For example, students in a study group can take turns teaching each other different topics. Every member gets to learn and understand the topics better.

Learn Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonics use a system of acronyms, rhymes and diagrams to help students recall important information. These studying methods improve memory retention by associating new information with familiar ones. Examples of common mnemonic devices include

  • Acronym mnemonics. The device involves using the first letter of each word to create a memorable word or phrase.

  • Musical mnemonics. Simply encode the information with a catchy song into your brain.

  • Keyword mnemonics. This method involves relating a new word with a familiar word that sounds similar.

Do Spaced Repetition

How often do you review? Students make the mistake of spending hours memorizing information for a test, only to forget everything soon after the test is over. This method of rote memorization is ineffective and tedious. If you want to remember something, attempt to work with your brain, but not against it. Spaced repetition allows for improved recall of information and concepts through multiple spread-out study sessions.

On the first day, read new information as you normally do. Then, on the second day, ideally within 12 hours, review the study material again. Since you recently reviewed the information, you’ll still recall some minor details. Also, it will take less time to read through the material. Lastly, take out your study material and review it again after several days have passed.

Use Active Learning Techniques

Active in-class learning allows you to learn interactively through thinking, investigating and discussing topics. This hands-on approach goes beyond just passively listening or reading information. The result is higher engagement during learning and improved collaboration with other students. Examples of active learning techniques include

  • Role-playing

  • Peer reviewing

  • Game-based learning

Study Better With MedCerts

Metacognition, taking advantage of the protégé effect, using mnemonics, spaced repetition and employing active learning techniques are some strategies that help students learn and retain information. Knowing your preference and studying style can help you decide which method might be best for you. You can also try more than one method depending on the information you want to retain while studying. MedCerts aims to improve your studying experience by creating a virtual, immersive learning environment. Access our content for a better overall learning experience.

Portrait of Julie Campos
Written by Julie Campos
Vice President of Student Success and Career Services

Julie Campos is the Vice President of Student Success and Career Services 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!

Published on June 7, 2023


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