Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I chose to write an entire article about studying, because if you know me, you know I am ALWAYS studying. I am a third-year pre-medical student, so not only do I have to study, but I love to study. So, here are my best tips and tricks to get the most out of your study time.
1. Find a study location.
Where you decide to study will set the tone for the entire time you're studying. Many people, like me, find it hard to study in their room because of distractions such as your phone or Netflix. If this is you, then try a new location next time you study. Maybe find a spot outside to enjoy nature, at a coffee shop or cafe if you can study with the subtle noise of people talking and the background music, the library if you like quiet, or even your living room for the comfort of your own space without the distractions.
2. Make a routine.
Try to do the same thing every time you study. For example, I sit down with my cup of coffee, check my email first, take out any books, paper, pens/pencils needed to study, then I usually write notes from lecture and make flash cards. This one may seem a little tedious and not necessary, but this is how you train your brain to get ready and realize "okay, it's time to focus." Focusing on what you need to get done is so much easier when you make this a routine to study.
3. Prioritize what you need to do BEFORE you start studying.
If you're like me and take many difficult classes at a time, this makes studying so much more efficient. Write down everything you need to do and study in that particular time frame and order them by priority. Start with the most important one, then go down the list. I find this so effective because I can easily switch subjects when I complete one and it's motivating to see how much you've gotten done and how close you are to finishing.
4. Make it enjoyable.
Studying doesn't have to be boring. You can really get creative with this and it will make you want to study more because you actually enjoy it. Some things you can do include making flashcards and making a game out of it with a group, finding videos that are entertaining (YouTube is great for this), or finding pens you really like and making your notes look pretty.
5. Figure out how you learn best.
Everyone learns differently so it is very important to customize your studying in a way that will benefit you the most. Personally, I learn and memorize things best by writing them down. So, to study, I write and rewrite notes I take from lectures, textbooks, other peoples' notes, YouTube videos, etc. This, however, may not be the case for you and that is completely okay, you just have to find what works best for you.