Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Improve Your Study Skills and Ace Your Exams Without Learning

I’ve never been a fan of complicated ways to study before an exam. I’ve never have been studied for more than an hour, even for the most important finals. When I am studying for my exams, I always just reputed course materials and decided a few practice questions. Most of students that I know study by consuming as much information as possible before entering into the exam room. But, think that learning before finals should be as easy as possible.

1. Ask Yourself Questions

When you are studying any subject, you can imagine associations by asking yourself related questions. In what way this information is connected to what we’ve been learning? How this information is connected with other issues I’ve already studied? How I can relate it to other disciplines, observations, stories? Try to be creative and search different ways of reference for each idea you learn. Understand not only what things is looking like, but why this thing are what they are. As you get over it, you’ll be surprised that it is possible to automatically remember information because it suits to your understanding. After you hear something important on the lecture, ask yourself whether you understand it. If you don’t try again and ask yourself more questions for how it fits your understanding.

2. Make Visualizations and Diagrams

One of the best ways to study college subjects is to start constructing a diagram that follows the information you have recently learned. Despite of writing notes during a lesson, draw a picture of how what you had learned is related to something else you have studied. Once you become good at this, you will be able to imagine the picture of the diagram before it is drawn. When I tried to understand economics it always helped me to visualize the connection between different factors. I considered GDP, GNP, price level or inflation as a whole picture that unites all different elements. But if you cannot urgently visualize bright pictures of the information, try to draw them firstly. There are also more tips to improve your practical learning in my blog :)

3. Try to Utilize Metaphors
Everything that you are studying should be directly translated on a metaphor you already understand. For instance, to understand Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, I adopted his thoughts about war and statecraft to fields of business and social communication which I already understood.
Just as visualization creates strong links with discipline, metaphors make wide links that connect cardinally different concepts. It is hard to imagine that that article about fitness you read recently relates to physics. But when you are able to create metaphors you have a big source of information available when you need it.

4. Just Feel It

One last approach to how to improve study skills is feeling through ideas. It is a little bit harder to understand. However, the core idea here is despite of visualization of the concept to an image or other metaphor, try to associate idea with the feeling. I’m more a drawing learner, so for me it could be ineffective tool to process substantial amounts of information, but it is really useful for information that is very hard to correlate. Most of you can read this article and begin considering that making out diagrams or finding metaphors is too much time-consuming. I think that this is not so because I have economized a vast variety of time with the help of such techniques and college courses has become just a minor time investment during my day.