Studying is about consistency. To do so, a good study routine is important. In my teaching experience, I have observed that a good study routine can help in keeping students on pace with their studying. In this article, I will share with you the essential considerations to develop a good study routine.
What is essential for a good study routine? You have to pick a study routine that fits your personality. Thereafter, you will develop a study routine with a fixed set of measurable tasks to carry out each time you study. This process helps you manage your study and learn well, thus studying effectively.
Below we will explore the different strategies to plan your effective study routine at different stages of study. First, we will explore study routines to prepare notes. Second, the different study routines to absorb your notes. Lastly, we will look at different learning styles and how you can use your learning style to develop a good study routine for yourself.
Essential for a Good Study Routine
A study routine is a sequence of actions to be followed regularly. It is a fixed program. It is a carefully planned action to carry out tasks. Here is a list of different study routines. These are things that I usually tell my students to ace their studies.
Take notes in the lecture
One of the basic study routines for students is taking down notes. You write down key phrases, terms, vocabulary, and anything you heard from your professors or teachers. Jotting down notes is a strategy to retain the key ideas learned during the discussion.
You can also try to take great notes. This does not mean writing down all the things written on the board. Simply write the important words or phrases that can easily trigger your memory.
For me, writing down outlines are useful when preparing for midterm and final exams. The purpose of an outline is to organize the information. It helps you to quickly review the lesson. It triggers your memory of the lesson key points. It also gives you a condensed document to review before exams.
Re-Write and Re-Read Your Notes
Another way of taking notes is re-reading and re-writing what you wrote down. The more you re-write and re-read your notes, the more you remember the terms. For some students with poor reading comprehension, this routine will be helpful.
Use charts, graphs, and diagrams
Similar to outlining, this study routine is also good for students. Putting notes in visual graphics will help you understand and memorize the information better. This is especially good for recognizing patterns easily.
Put markings on your materials
Multi-colored highlighters are good because you are likely to remember what you read based on the colors on the paper. This routine can help you remember important words or phrases from your classes. At one glance, you can easily see the important notes that you need to remember.
Consider recording your discussions
Is it hard for you to jot down notes? This routine may be ideal for you. This study routine is the best for students having a hard time taking notes.
You can record the class discussion with the permission of your teacher. During your personal study time, you can refer to the recordings to review the lesson.
Participate in a study group
Joining study groups can help you improve understanding of lessons. With a study group, you can seek advice and help from other students on the lessons you find difficult. You can also learn by hearing information and explaining your thoughts about the topic within the group. As an added benefit, study groups can be an excellent way to practice your oral communication skills.
Another important benefit of study groups is the exposure to other people’s opinions about the lessons. This would provide you with a more diverse and deeper understanding of a lesson. Furthermore, it can bring your awareness to areas of knowledge you are not aware of.
To find a study group, you have to consider the dedications of the other. Are they as dedicated as you are? Keep your study group to 5 people at max. Too many members of study groups can be a distraction.
Talk about answers
Look for a place to study where you can read your lectures out loud. When you’re studying for your examinations, read your sample questions then answers out loud. This routine can help you remember and understand your lessons. The more senses you use, the more learning you acquire.
Make a List
Making a list will help you to make sure you go over the information needed. It also helps you to have an easier time organizing and remembering information for a test.
You can also start writing your schedule in sticky notes. This will help you not to miss all the school activities that you need to finish. This will train you on how to manage your time and academic priorities.
This routine will help you to be on track of all deadlines you have to meet.
Good sleep and rest
Studying when you are tired and sleepy is useless. If you feel that you are tired, then take a break. Sleeping early and taking naps is good for your body to rest.
A night of good sleep will help you to better remember the things you are studying. Also if you have a good sleep and rest, you won’t be tired when you are in class.
Remember, you are not a study robot. Your body needs good sleep and rest.
Create a study corner
Some students want to have a peaceful and good ambience of the surroundings around them. Some need a little bit of noise for them to study.
Having a specific place or room to study is a motivation to finish your tasks. Find a place where you think you can concentrate on your studies.
Make sure you have all the needed things when you study. A study desk that is large enough to study is important. This will allow you to spread your books, learning materials, and study supplies needed.
You also need to consider your study lighting. A good study lighting helps you to lessen eye strain or fatigue. This will keep your study session effective.
Use your gadgets wisely
Are you using laptops or smartphones? If you are using these gadgets during class, make sure that you still focus. Overuse of these gadgets can negatively affect your grades.
Also, some students are easily distracted by their mobile phones ringing and vibrating. Turn off your mobile phones or set your phone to silent. This is the best way to decrease your distractions.
Minimize the use of social media as part of your study routine.
The Promodoro Technique
One of the best ways to set up a study routine is by using the Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo. It is a technique that follows 25 minutes in length and is separated by short breaks. It is one of the study techniques that many students are doing today. By using this technique, it helps you to space out your study session into smaller chunks. This will prevent you from getting fatigue from a long continuous study session.
With the Pomodoro technique, the short breaks introduced will help you to recharge in-between study sessions. That way you can study effectively throughout the day.
Another thing to consider – Know your learning style
You need to consider what your dominant learning style is. By knowing this, you can maximize your potential during your study routine. You can use this to your advantage to learn more effectively.
There are four different learning styles (VARK) by Neil D. Fleming and Coleen E. Mills in their study in the year 1992. Let us take a closer look at these four learning styles.
- Visual Learners – this type of learner is best at learning knowledge and concepts through the use of images presented to them. You are a visual learner if you use a highlighter to remember concepts and words on your notes or books.
- Auditory Learners – this type of learner always finds success in group activities. This learner tends to read his work vocally aloud in front of a group.
- Reading/Writing Learners – this learner has a strong learning preference for written words. He or she usually takes down notes during the class because he or she can easily break down information that is needed.
- Kinesthetic Learners – if you are a hands-on student then definitely you are a kinesthetic learner. This learner usually excels in skills and lab work classes.
For a more detailed explanation of learning style, you can read about it in this article on “What is my learning style?”.
There are many study routines that you can use. Following these routines can make you a responsible student. It will discipline you. These will help you to be a better student. The study routine will make you an organized student.
With all the study routine, it is all about consistently applying the routine.
What is the best time to study? The best time to study depends on the individual preference. Some people like studying by day or at night when everyone is asleep. Experiment with different study time to find your best study time.
Can listening to music be part of my study routine? Yes, listening to music helps your brain to be stimulated. Many studies prove that listening to classical music helps stimulate our brain.