It’s common for many students to struggle to find ways to adjust their study habits once they’ve moved up a grade level. Often times, they realize that whatever study techniques they’ve developed in middle school are no longer effective in high school, while the study skills they’ve sharpened in high school become completely useless in the university.
Higher education means bigger, tougher challenges in a student’s life, so this is just a normal, understandable phase.
1. Every learner has their own pace.
So, just because you’re finding it hard to make adjustments doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Even with longer study hours, more modern classroom furniture, and easily accessible study materials, it can still be very difficult to shift your focus and address your issues to become effective at studying once again. Education experts in Australia will say the same.
It’s hard, but it’s not entirely impossible. There’s not a single approach to creating effective strategies for studying. We all have our own learning skills and needs, so every method should be tailored accordingly. Determine your strengths and weaknesses and see how all of these affect your progress.
This will help you come up with the right techniques that will help you maximize your own abilities. It may take more time, and you may find it a lot harder for you to stay motivated. But, don’t compare yourself with your peers. You’ll surely find your own ways to overcome these hurdles.
2. Reading is just pre-studying
So, you suddenly see yourself faced with a ton of reading materials that you need to finish within a limited amount of time. Your first instinct is to give it a fast run-through to gauge how much time you’ll really need to engage yourself with your study material truly.
This, however, takes a lot more than just reading and re-reading all the texts. Reading doesn’t always mean absorbing. In fact, constantly doing so without a specific method will only lead to easier forgetting, and that’s not something you’d want after those long hours.
Of course, reading has a huge role in the process, but it should only be in the pre-studying phase. For this to truly work, active engagement should be practiced.
This means that when faced with specific study materials, learners should be able to create meanings from the texts and relate them to other texts they’ve read in the past, allowing them to form their own examples and, in turn, develop a concrete set of learning habits.
These aren’t just about highlighting texts, using sticky notes, and memorizing information. These will keep you engaged, but they’re not exactly equivalent to active studying.
Create your own study guide and schedule that you can carry with you all the time. A homework planner will also be handy, as you’ll be able to keep track of everything you need to accomplish in a single day.
Revising all your lectures when you get home should be a habit, but it makes it a lot less taxing if you actually pay attention in class. Not only will this develop your active listening skills, but you’ll also be able to make real-time adjustments while taking important notes.
When it’s finally time to look over your notes at home, try to formulate your own problems and solve them using the new knowledge you’ve just acquired.