Studying at home sounds amazing because with this comes a great amount of convenience. However, this comes with its own cost as well. With the rise of the pandemic, as everything has transitioned into the digital platform, students have had to adjust to home-based learning as well.
Online tuition and one-to-one private tuition have also gained much more attention now as well. Tuition agencies in Singapore are hiring more tutors and as there is an increased demand for tutors by students being stuck at home and struggling with studies all by themselves.
Spending a large amount of time at home is not something many are used to. There is a lot of ways in which students might waste their time. It is undeniable that a large amount of time is saved, this includes the time taken to get ready to go out and in commuting, etc. Students need to understand every minute counts; with so much of time being saved, it is crucial to make use of it wisely and make the best out of it.
Here are 8 effective tips that students can follow to construct an effective study session for themselves!
Maximise your time
At home, students often develop a sense of laziness. If online class starts at 8am, they would wake up minutes before and sit through the lesson half asleep. Students need to establish a routine and make sure they maximise their time at home. What do we mean by this you ask?
This means lengthening the amount of time you have for yourself in the say. The healthiest way to operate is to go to sleep early at night and to wake up before sunrise. Your brain works at its optimum level in the morning. Though some night owls might claim the opposite, it is just their opinion and science say that being an early bird is the best.
This makes your day longer and it gives you more time to accomplish all the tasks that you want to get completed.
A strict study schedule would ensure that time does not go to waste. Your study schedule should not be vague; instead, it should be detailed. Write down a to-do list with tasks that are mentioned specifically with details such as the pages you want to cover, the practice papers that you want to finish, and so on. It will be helpful to include the time that you think each task might take to complete.
Consistency is key
You should stick to that time limit as well as that would ensure that you are focused on the tasks instead of daydreaming in the middle without yourself knowing.
Without consistent effort and without a strict routine, you find yourself being unproductive. Break down huge tasks into smaller ones and set smaller goals. Every day, you should aim to achieve those small goals and this will be the small steps that you take to achieve something much bigger.
Just say no!
Having distractions around you is common and it is something that you need to be careful with. When you are occupied with tasks, sometimes you might get distracted by the environmental stimuli around you. This includes your friends, your siblings, your phone and many others.
You must learn to avoid distractions and be focused on the things that need to be completed. This does not come easy as a great amount of discipline in needed; hence practice and patience is essential!
Don’t burn out
Students who have a habit of working hard may exhaust themselves to the point where they feel they have burnt out. This is an unhealthy state of mind and body which may create undue stress and it may manifest itself in ways which you would have never imagined. Being productive is important, but it needs to be done in an effective way without sacrificing your physical and mental well-being.
It is crucial to keep in mind that taking breaks is necessary. Following the pomodoro technique would be useful to ensure that the mind gets some rest in between study sessions in order to refresh and reset itself.
Maintain your health
Health is defined by the holistic wellbeing of an individual, in both his mental and physical state. It is undeniable that students face a great amount of exam anxiety, fear of failure and imposter syndrome which form the biggest barrier for them. It is a huge friction that slows down progress and makes their goals seem formidable and unachievable.
The key to keep a positive mindset begins with meaningful self-analysis. Meditation and talking to yourself about your anxieties will help ease your mind. Exercise and yoga are great ways to relive stress and tension in the body. The pattern of deep inhalation and exhalation releases endorphins and soothes the mind and body. This way, you can function at your optimal during study sessions!
Passive learning is the most ineffective way to internalise information. This includes reading notes and highlighting key pieces of information. This may be a primary way of dealing with new content but in the subsequent revisions, passive learning has to stop.
Students need to switch to active learning; this means specific study techniques that force the mind to recall the content. This includes,
- Creating mind maps and flow charts
- Creating flashcards
- Saying things out load
- Explaining the mechanism or concept to someone else
From a neuroscientific perspective active learning stimulates multiple neural pathways and this just encodes information much easily; it helps with memory retention as well!
Our brains store information better when they are being repeatedly heard, seen or read. This concept was first discussed by German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus in 1885. Your “forgetting curve” on the axis of memory retention against time would be exponentially decreasing if you do not allocate strategic revision sessions. With spaced repetition, the curve starts to flatten out and you encode the piece of information into your long-term memory.
With a lot of time in your hands, you can better plan your revision sessions and follow them with commitment and discipline!