Everyone knows the basic studying tips: note cards, reading and notes. These are cookie-cutter study tips everyone knows, but they don’t always work for everyone. These tips below are variations on the basic tips and allow you to make studying fit your personality! If you make your studying habits your own, this allows you to learn and understand the material, instead of just memorizing it.

Note Cards

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The basic version is to write a word on one side and the textbook definition on the other. Instead, try reading as much as you can stand about the topic: read the chapter, an article, etc. Once you feel like you’ve got a grasp on the topic, that’s when you write your note cards out. Write the note cards in your own words and in whatever style fits you better: lists, prose, shorthand, anything.

Why it Works: If you understand a topic before you write about it, or take notes on it, the notes then become a review-not a lesson.

Reading

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Reading the textbook is a necessity to taking most classes. Studies have shown that just reading the textbook and rereading it until you know it is one of the least effective ways to learn material. So, this tip is for anyone who doesn’t like notes or note cards, and just reads the material. Read something other than the standard textbook. Read the material in the book for the class and then find another source-be that another book, an article, a documentary, or YouTube video about the topic- and study that one too. Sometimes reading the same book written in the same voice causes people to zone out while studying. Don’t zone!

Why it Works: Supplementing your reading with other sources will give you a better idea of the material and be more familiar with it.

Notes

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Notes can be basic: you write down things you think are important as you read. This works for some people, but for others its just going through a motion. Instead try a similar tactic to the note card strategy: read in its entirety and then take notes. Write the notes in your own words, and write them as if you’re explaining it to someone else.

Why it Works: When you’re going back through and reviewing the notes, you’ll be able to easily understand them and follow the material without having to crack the book open again.

These are variations on studying tips I’ve found to work for me.Understanding the material is the best way to remember it. Good luck hitting the books!

Comment below if they helped or if you’ve found variations of your own. 

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