By Bushra Majid
Fri, 11, 18

We all strive to work hard for our studies. Be it tests, exams, viva or presentations....

We all strive to work hard for our studies. Be it tests, exams, viva or presentations, we all want good grades and we all want to be rewarded for our hard work. But, then, there are moments when results do not turn out the way they were expected. You might have heard a lot of people say that: “Itna zabardast paper dya tha, phir bhi marks achay nahi aye!”

Well, have you ever thought that your way of studying and learning might be wrong? Sometimes, it happens that we spend a lot of time memorizing stuff, but still cannot recall during exams. The concept of “metacognition”, which means thinking about thinking, provides us with the knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning and for problem solving. Metamemory, which is knowledge about memory and mnemonic strategies, is an especially important form of metacognition.

Read on to learn some highly effective ways of making learning easier and effective simultaneously.

Never try grasping in the first read

Many of us start reading a chapter with the intention of fully understanding it at the first reading and are disappointed by the time we have finished. This is because we couldn’t understand parts of it and retain what we had just studied.

Always remember that to have a firm grip over a topic, two to three reads are essential. The aim of the first read should be to have a rough idea of the topic. With each subsequent reading, you understand the topic better.

Summary boxes

Most of the text books have “summary boxes” at the end of each chapter. These should not only be read after finishing a chapter, but also before starting it. This way, you will have an idea of the main points targeted in the chapter and you will focus on them more when you are going through the text.

Strengthening recollection

There are times you are unable to recall something you learned earlier; you keep on thinking where you might have studied it before, without success. This usually happens during an exam preparation leave when you are going through an ample amount of course in a limited time. The best thing to do in such a case is to go through the topic briefly, once again. There are more chances now that you will not forget it the second time.

Solving questions

We all want to score maximum on our tests. The key to this is based on two things. First is to understand the theory well. Second is to approach the questions properly. Reading and understanding questions correctly makes answering easy. This can be perfected by solving some questions pertaining to your topics once you have finished a chapter. Some books offer questions. If not, you can always search for them online. The benefits are manifold. It helps to strengthen the concept more by giving a practical approach to understanding the theory. It also enables you to think logically and outside the box. This practice proves beneficial later at the time of examination.

Discuss it with a friend

If you are one of those people who like talking to friends, even when they are supposed to be studying, it can work for you. Having conversations and discussions with friends usually prove to be effective as far as retention of theory is concerned. It helps to remove confusion. Reading out loud also helps to build your focus.

To teach is to learn

When you have understood a topic, offer to teach it to your friends. It has been shown to build confidence and repeating a concept that you have already understood will help you retain it longer. Plus, it’s always good to help others, isn’t it?

Taking notes

Writing down your concept, making pointers or notes will seal the deal for you. It’s a fact that when you read text written in your own hand writing, it hastens the process of learning and memorization and makes it highly effective.

Not just a day before the test

Those of you who have a habit of opening books a day or two before your exams should abandon this practice. The reason why most of us cannot recall stuff during examination is because of lack of revision. If you have studied earlier, revising before exams helps you remember most of it. But if you study just before your exams, you obviously will have no time for revision and hence you are more likely to forget what you have been stuffing in your head in such a short period of time. The thing to be noted here is that feeding forcefully seldom does any good as far as understanding and retaining it is concerned.

So, next time when you pick up your books for studying, follow these strategies. You will see a visible difference. Time is precious but one ought to master the art of utilising it skilfully to get the most out of it. Smart studying saves up a lot of time and enables you to achieve maximum even in a short period of time. The number of hours spent studying does not matter if the outcome is not satisfactory. It’s “how” you spent it that can make all the difference.