How to Become a More Effective Learner—6 Ways to Boost Your Learning Potential

Becoming an effective and efficient student is not something that happens overnight, but putting a few of these tips into daily practice can help you get more out of your study time.

Reduce Distractions

If possible, make sure to eliminate all distractions when studying. Turn off your cellphone and take out the books you need. Focus solely on your studies and you will have much better time retention. Practice Correcting Rather than just sitting there and attempting to memorize things word-by-word, be aware of your learning style. If you are a tactile learner, you might be better off for example reading those unfamiliar paragraphs. Or maybe you are a visual learner who is more comfortable with pictures or diagrams. Either way, by being aware of your learning style, you can tailor your learning style to accommodate your learning preference. Watch movies, TV shows, and listen to audio Study first and learn last.

Take Care of Your Health

In a recent study, researchers found that sicker people are more likely to understand and remember information, while happy, healthy people remember information better. Studies also show that illness and depression are both linked to poor concentration, especially in children. There are several strategies you can use to help reduce your stress levels. One such strategy is to make time for self-care, including regular exercise, eating healthy meals, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding stress-inducing activities. Moreover, you can take steps to help improve your diet.

Use Memory Techniques

Karen Zuckerman, author of Inbox Zero: Your Organized Guide to Getting Things Done in Life and Business , explains that memorizing any information, including keywords or facts, is hard work for your brain. So you need to practice memory techniques, whether that’s using mnemonic devices like “Jingle Bells Jig”, “I Need That Lecture”, or “On the night before Christmas, the twins had a fight”, or if that’s just not feasible, then try one of the many online techniques, like Memrise, which “helps you take in knowledge without focusing on the effort it takes to remember.” You will learn a lot more by remembering what you have read than by looking at your notes repeatedly, so the better you understand the material, the better you’ll remember it.

Be Disciplined

Be disciplined about what and when you study. Dedicate a time every day to studying, or do a few assignments throughout the week and take a week off before starting a new module. Make sure you are meeting deadlines and not procrastinating! You can do better than that, and you have the power to make this happen. Take Advantage of Financial Aid If your university offers financial aid, make sure you take advantage of it. You might be eligible to get money for textbooks, housing or meals if you receive student loans or work study. Re-evaluate Your Goals Are you just going to repeat your grade from last semester? Most people will think it is the best way to improve their learning results. Think differently; let your gut tell you what to study.

Make Time for Learning

Study time is crucial to being an effective student. Making time to learn new things is the most effective way to become a better learner and perform better in your classes. While you might want to squeeze in studying during school hours, don’t neglect the afternoon and evening. With only a few hours to spend, you can almost always fit in a few new vocabulary words, or learn a few more technical terms that you need in order to be efficient in your studies. Not sure how to start finding time to learn? Look at your daily schedule and plan out a few minutes each day to learn something new. This will give you a way to set aside time for learning so you can go beyond the classroom.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

As a student, you need to be mentally and physically healthy for your own good. Set up time for quiet reading, meditate, exercise, or whatever it is that works for you to create a positive mental environment that supports your learning. Take An Active Role In Your Learning Take the initiative and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Learn how to ask questions and build a deep understanding of the material you’re studying. Prioritize My Daily To-Do List Before I go into a class or an interview, I always make sure I have as many positive points I can add to the agenda so I am not overwhelmed. I consider what my favorite things are to do, whether that is play golf, eat dinner, or meet friends. Then I try to incorporate those activities into my daily schedule.

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