Building effective study and reading habits are imperative to academic success in any higher institution. Your study methods in secondary school may not be adequate in a tertiary institution as you will need to be more intentional about maintaining high-Grade Points from your first to final assessment.
This article contains five carefully sought-out steps to help you build impressive study and reading habits.
1. Know Your When and Where
The first tip is discovering when and where it is perfect for you to study. Some students like to learn in quiet places without distractions, while some can read even in the middle of a storm. Others prefer to study at night or super early in the mornings, while some can handle the activity of the daytime and still give rapt attention to their books – times and environments work differently with individuals.
Do not blindly follow the popular trend of studying early in the morning or late at night. Instead, be experimental; try night, day, and morning, outdoors, indoors, and stick with the option that works best for you for optimal study results.
2. Understand Your Best Learning Style
Note that different people study differently. Apart from time and place, do you know your study style? Your study style is simply the method(s) you study with for better assimilation.
Many students learn better with visual aids (pictures/videos), some are great in study groups, while others prefer the traditional way of listening to an instructor and taking notes. A good number of students even learn better when they go over their lessons alone or with a study partner.
To excel in a university, you need to know what reading style works for you. If you’re the type that learns best during lectures, try your best to be punctual and present in every class. If you learn faster while reading alone, then schedule your time to allow for it. If you understand better during group study, do not hesitate to join a reading group or club. The earlier you know what works for you, the better.
Once you have ticked off the previous keys and you are ready to begin study and reading, first ensure all the necessary study materials, for example, pens, a jotting pad, a highlighter, books, etc, are on your desk. You do not want to break concentration to look for stationery.
The next thing is to take away every potential distraction, especially your mobile phone. Now, if some of your study and reading materials are on your phone, mute your notifications. It can be challenging to read from a mobile device, especially if the bulk of your course materials is in e-format. If you can afford to, try to get physical copies of your study materials.
4. Practice The Five R’s
After everything is in place and you’re good to start study and reading, do these:
Your lecture notes are essential; read and understand them before adding other materials. You can grab extra knowledge from textbooks or watch YouTube videos related to your study topic. Be careful not to get distracted or enter a rabbit hole when you read online. A very effective time to read is immediately after a lecture when you can still remember a lot of what was taught.
After reading to a saturated point, try to recall what you have read without looking at your materials. You can also do this by making up questions about your study topic and finding the correct answers to them.
This involves going over your notes and making written copies of some portions. Studies show that people, in general, tend to recall what they write themselves because of a special connection between the hands and the brain. Hence, rewriting will make you remember better. Another way is to teach someone what you have read and understood. When you write or teach, you train your brain to remember what you know.
Take regular leg stretches in between extended study sections. For instance, you can study for 25 mins, take a break for 10 mins, resume and break again. Continue this until your study and reading time is over. Breaks help the brain to assimilate better.
- Reward yourself
Generally, people tend to do things better when incentives are attached. In the same vein, reading is always easier when you are motivated. Once you have completed an allocated reading task, celebrate your little win by treating yourself to snacks, rest periods, or something nice. This will encourage you to do better.
5. Health, Rest, and Wellness
Only healthy people can study effectively. Reading is usually the last thing on any sick student’s mind. Your health is a very important part of your study journey. Ensure you eat good food and rest well to stay healthy and bright.
In conclusion, consistency is the key to forming any habit so if you want to develop a good study and reading habit, study every day whether you have an upcoming assessment or not. This is because you master what you do daily faster than what you do only once in a while. Studying routinely also takes away the pressure that comes with last-minute preparations for exams.
Incorporate studying into your daily routine, and in no time, it will effortlessly make develop study and reading habits.