Whether you’re currently a student or thinking about becoming one, one of the most important things to have are good study habits. Without a good set of practices and schedule, even the best course materials won’t help you to achieve your best.
Contrary to popular belief, good study habits aren’t something that you either have or don’t, all A* students have the same thing in common and that’s that they have worked hard and stuck to their study goals, schedule and plans to get to where they wanted to be.
The key is planning. When you start on a course you will know your estimated end date, whether that’s when you will have to have handed in all your assessments for your Diploma or when you are expected to sit your exams to complete your A-Levels or GCSEs. So, if you work back from that date and work out how many hours each day or week you have free to study and how many hours of study the course is, you already have a good foundation to build your study habits on.
How to Develop Good Study Habits
Now you have a schedule that fits into your other commitments, you can begin to put in place the key factors to develop your habits. We always advise our students to start with small goals and rewards for when they hit certain milestones. So for example, complete the reading of Unit 1 of your studies and have made good notes, then go ahead and treat yourself to those sparkly red shoes you have been dreaming about. The use of rewards for achievements will help to keep you motivated and on track.
Always make sure that when you come to sit down and study, you’re ready for it. Don’t be half focused on your course and half on the TV, that’s not going to help anyone! You need to have a set space where you can settle down and give your learning your all. That way, what you’re studying will stick and you will make more comprehensive notes along the way.
Speaking of all things notes, make sure the notes you are making and relevant and will make sense to you when you come back to them in a few months times. You would be surprised how many students make the mistake of making their notes too vague or simple, so when they come back to them, they can’t remember what they relate to!
Lastly, studying is one of those things that is best done in bitesize chunks. There is absolutely no point in sitting down to a marathon study or reading session of 8 hours each week, as that’s just not going to make what you’re learning stick. You need to spread it out, try and spend no more than 45 minutes to an hour on each topic and you will quickly find your brain is much happier to digest what you’re covering.