Jump to content
Chewy

How do you study?

Recommended Posts

I had no idea where to put this thread so I'll leave it here.

How do people find to be the most effective way to study? I've tried a lot of things out and so far, it's just rote learning things until it's ingrained into my mind. Although rote learning works for me, it's also incredibly time consuming so please, how you study, share your secrets!

Also, my attention span is a little shoddy, how do people motivate themselves to even study for longer periods of time?

Any advice, experiences, even things to avoid are welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only trick is to keep away from computer whenever studying without it is possible and going to places that leave me nothing to do other than focusing on my work. A library or a quiet cafe for example. Trying to study at home barely ever works for me, there's just too many things distracting me there. Learning Japanese is maybe one of few exceptions, as I do it for fun rather than because I have to. 

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plk_Lesiak said:

My only trick is to keep away from computer whenever studying without it is possible and going to places that leave me nothing to do other than focusing on my work. A library or a quiet cafe for example. Trying to study at home barely ever works for me, there's just too many things distracting me there. Learning Japanese is maybe one of few exceptions, as I do it for fun rather than because I have to. 

I think I tried the library before but the silence actually bugged me a little though maybe a quiet cafe may work? Also, it's surprisingly hard to stay away from computer when all my textbooks are digital, I needa rewatch lectures that are recorded, quizzes are digital, assignments are digital, etc, etc. And yes, it's incredibly distracting to do most of my work on a computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the expected type of exam

For conceptuals:

I try to break down whatever I am studying into tiny bits. Then I write everything bullet style, just key words/phrases and important details. This improves my memorization and while doing so I casually make a nice little reviewer for later on. Then as I review the words, I try to remember all the needed details about the keyword. This allows me to associate the words to their details, which is important come exam time.

For problem solving (math, engineering)

I try to replicate solutions to sample problems, focusing on noticing problem and solution patterns. This is kinda tricky, but all problems come down to knowing which formula or technique to use.

Generally, I like to study in a place where I can be comfortable, so I mostly do it while lying down on my bed.

I usually study for around 30 mins at a time, with 30 mins breaks in between. My attention span is quite short so I sometimes take the 30min break to 1 hour, but it will depend on how much more material I need to study.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It heavily depends on what you need to study, really. If it's more logic-based subject, like math, then the main part is to understand a question and not to simply learn it. When I see a mathematical problem or a theorem, for example, I usually try to think what would happen if we did something different in its statement, and how we can possibly extend it or make some changes. At the same time, practically every subject has some parts that simply need to be remembered, and there's no going over it. I personally prefer to have a somewhat detailed list of all topics that I need to know, and I go through them multiple times before I'm satisfied with the result. Basically, read the name of the topic, try to remember everything that you know about it, check in the book to see if I got everything right, and repeat.

And, yeah, I'm still far from an ideal learner. I spend quite a lot of time procrastinating, even though my results still tend to be pretty good in the end. For example, this January I had a very important exam, which practically determined whether I get my master's degree or not, and two days before that I had one of my most active days on Fuwa so far. :makina:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, alden_0023 said:

Generally, I like to study in a place where I can be comfortable, so I mostly do it while lying down on my bed.

I usually study for around 30 mins at a time, with 30 mins breaks in between. My attention span is quite short so I sometimes take the 30min break to 1 hour, but it will depend on how much more material I need to study.

 

How can you study while lying down............................

If you study 30 minutes and take a 1 hour break how do you get back into it... I lose all motivation by then

1 minute ago, Dreamysyu said:

I personally prefer to have a somewhat detailed list of all topics that I need to know, and I go through them multiple times before I'm satisfied with the result. Basically, read the name of the topic, try to remember everything that you know about it, check in the book to see if I got everything right, and repeat.

That list is provided to me for the course :3

 

AND since people have asked, I do commerce (includes finance and accounting)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Chewy said:

That list is provided to me for the course :3

Well, that's great, but in some cases it may still be a good idea to expand it a bit, or to add subtopics to the existing topics.

19 minutes ago, Chewy said:

If you study 30 minutes and take a 1 hour break how do you get back into it... I lose all motivation by then

And, by the way, I do the opposite and try to keep breaks short, unless I need to eat or go somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Well, that's great, but in some cases it may still be a good idea to expand it a bit, or to add subtopics to the existing topics.

And, by the way, I do the opposite and try to keep breaks short, unless I need to eat or go somewhere.

For me it's like short attention span and if I take a break well rip there ends my study session for the next... year :3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chewy said:

I needa rewatch lectures that are recorded

Firstly, do you watch lectures―and/or other audio- or video-related materials―at a higher speed than default? I find it easy to zone out when listening to somebody speak about a subject at a normal pace; after all, it seems to be a general principle that people can interpret others' speech faster than those others can formulate it. Additionally, if you watch something at 2x speed, you can watch it twice within the same period of time it would have taken to watch it once. (However, it may be wiser to stop every once in a while throughout the video/audio to determine whether or not you're actually immersed in the material or simply listening to it in a superficial way, much like when you run your eyes over a paragraph of text in a book but realize a few moments later that you weren't actually paying attention to it.)

Secondly, I've found that my grasp of material from a recorded lecture is much better when I write notes organizing the material as I go along. Now, I would like to think that this is because my organization of the material is superior, but it's probably more so because this method forces me to analyze and compartmentalize the material. Or let me put it this way: it'll become clear to you as soon as you've stopped writing notes that you aren't paying attention, so you'll know exactly when to go back and listen to that material again, this time paying attention. Also, you may have to pause a lot while doing this―especially if you're listening at 1.5x or 2x speed―but that's much more efficient than going through the entire recording again, and you'll fare better when you've conquered each piece of material that conceptually leads into the next.

Lastly, I don't know the exact circumstances behind your recorded material, but, if possible, it could help to split up your material up, preferably in an organized fashion. For example, if a lecture audio recording encompasses 1.5 textbook chapters of material, that material ought to be split up into segments that each correspond to one of the several sections of the textbook chapter (or however they divide their shizzle). For whatever reason, splitting things up in this manner makes it easier for me to push on. It probably has less to do with the organization of the material, per se, and more to do with the fact that I feel like I keep accomplishing things in a consistent manner, akin to the "one more turn" sensation imbued within Sid Meier's Civilization games; and this sensation will only exist if you (thoroughly!) complete well-delineated sections of material spanning 20 minutes of audio, stepwise, as opposed to 2 hours of audio that span an arbitrary range of material.

Also, caffeine.

2043048-1444967006343-mug_face.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, assuming that this isn't a shitpost (I mean, it's Chewy we're talking about), I'll answer honestly.

I find myself to be effective at learning things visually, because I can remember best when I have something presented right in front of my eyes. I struggle audibly because I have a short attention span and a bad memory to boot.

Also, I only study for an hour because my brain can only take so much info before I become mentally exhausted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Fiddle said:

Firstly, do you watch lectures―and/or other audio- or video-related materials―at a higher speed than default? I find it easy to zone out when listening to somebody speak about a subject at a normal pace; after all, it seems to be a general principle that people can interpret others' speech faster than those others can formulate it. Additionally, if you watch something at 2x speed, you can watch it twice within the same period of time it would have taken to watch it once. (However, it may be wiser to stop every once in a while throughout the video/audio to determine whether or not you're actually immersed in the material or simply listening to it in a superficial way, much like when you run your eyes over a paragraph of text in a book but realize a few moments later that you weren't actually paying attention to it.)

I have had the exact problem you have mentioned when watching anything from lectures, educational videos, documentaries and even youtube videos sometimes so I have had the habit of watching things that I want to not tune out at a higher pace and it seems to be working for the most part. I've been told the 2x speed thing by alumni as well and it sure saves a lot of time. I do have a nasty habit of getting distracted a lot so maybe I'll try to stop and gauge my level of attentiveness every so often.

18 minutes ago, Fiddle said:

Secondly, I've found that my grasp of material from a recorded lecture is much better when I write notes organizing the material as I go along. Now, I would like to think that this is because my organization of the material is superior, but it's probably more so because this method forces me to analyze and compartmentalize the material. Or let me put it this way: it'll become clear to you as soon as you've stopped writing notes that you aren't paying attention, so you'll know exactly when to go back and listen to that material again, this time paying attention. Also, you may have to pause a lot while doing this―especially if you're listening at 1.5x or 2x speed―but that's much more efficient than going through the entire recording again, and you'll fare better when you've conquered each piece of material that conceptually leads into the next.

I also do take notes parallel to the content because, as you have stated, it really is a good reference for how much I'm paying attention. It also helps when I have tuned out but have no idea how long I have been doing so to match where the lecture is up to and where I have listened up to (if I missed 5 seconds of filler thinking about my next meal or 5 minutes on what my next shitpost on Fuwa should be :makina: ). I do find the pausing to finish either writing or typing something every so often a little tedious but it is as you say, much better than rewatching the thing over and over again to try to pick up on the things I missed (tragic if I miss 'em again and believe I have already taken all those notes. I do like compartmentalising my notes as it allows me to draw conceptual links faster, helping me retain whatever I've learned for a longer amount of time.

 

18 minutes ago, Fiddle said:

Lastly, I don't know the exact circumstances behind your recorded material, but, if possible, it could help to split up your material up, preferably in an organized fashion. For example, if a lecture audio recording encompasses 1.5 textbook chapters of material, that material ought to be split up into segments that each correspond to one of the several sections of the textbook chapter (or however they divide their shizzle). For whatever reason, splitting things up in this manner makes it easier for me to push on. It probably has less to do with the organization of the material, per se, and more to do with the fact that I feel like I keep accomplishing things in a consistent manner, akin to the "one more turn" sensation imbued within Sid Meier's Civilization games; and this sensation will only exist if you (thoroughly!) complete well-delineated sections of material spanning 20 minutes of audio, stepwise, as opposed to 2 hours of audio that span an arbitrary range of material.

That's something I've never thought of, utilising the drive to complete anything and organising it to motivate myself to work... After all my biggest problem isn't my memory or note taking, but rather my attention span and my motivation for taking time to study. I'll see what I can do with those recordings, if I can possibly split them down into partitions that can encompass a whole chapter (if they aren't already, fairly sure they like to run through a single chapter at a time but I may be wrong). And with your point about consistency, I probably just need to get into the rhythm of studying again (I haven't had this for a very long time now).

 

16 minutes ago, EastCoastDrifter said:

Well, assuming that this isn't a shitpost (I mean, it's Chewy we're talking about), I'll answer honestly.

I find myself to be effective at learning things visually, because I can remember best when I have something right in front of my eyes. I struggle audibly because I have a short attention span and a bad memory to boot.

I mean, if you dig through my posts (don't actually, it would take you ages), I do post seriously from time to time and it's in a completely different style to my shitposts.

Also, what exactly do you mean visually? I mean I get diagrams, and charts for representation of concepts but what else? Flowcharts? What if you're unable to visually represent something? I'd say my memory is about average but I have a fairly short attention span.

 

Edit: 

18 minutes ago, Fiddle said:

Also, caffeine.

2043048-1444967006343-mug_face.jpg

I'm one of those weird people who doesn't get all awake and jumpy with caffeine that much... I needa find my body's equivalent of a boot up the arse.

Edited by Chewy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chewy said:

Also, what exactly do you mean visually? I mean I get diagrams, and charts for representation of concepts but what else? Flowcharts? What if you're unable to visually represent something? I'd say my memory is about average but I have a fairly short attention span.

By visually, I mean pictures, diagrams, charts and the like. This can also extend to writing, because I can remember best from reading the summary rather than someone lecturing it to me. I often struggle with class lectures a lot because my attention span doesn't keep me hooked on the speaker for more than ten seconds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, EastCoastDrifter said:

By visually, I mean pictures, diagrams, charts and the like. This can also extend to writing, because I can remember best from reading the summary rather than someone lecturing it to me. I often struggle with class lectures a lot because my attention span doesn't keep me hooked on the speaker for more than ten seconds.

You have reminded me that I have no idea what type I'm best at... I've just always done rote learning for memorising large amounts of text word for word because it was what was taught to me. Maybe that's a good place to start: figuring out what type of stimulus I am able to retain the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those topics where the answer somewhat depends on the person. Personality traits, such as attention span, introvert vs extrovert, need for visual aids etc plays a major role. For instance if the goal of a document is to explain some item, some people are ok with text only, some requires a picture, some want the item to feel on it and some wants schematics. Because of this nobody can read all the answers here to find "the perfect solution".

 

Having said that, there are some general hints. First of all, avoid distractions. Turn off everything, which can give you an alert. That is forum, chat, email and so on, possibly even turning off the phone. If you get a message and read it, possibly reply, you will not just waste the time you spend on it, but you will spend 5 minutes getting back to fully focus on where you were. This mean getting 8 messages in an hour severely hurts your attention on what you study, even if you only spend 30 seconds on each message. It's not 4 of 60 minutes wasted, it's 44 of 60 minutes wasted (worst case). The 5 minutes is proven in scientific tests and is a lot longer than most people realize.

 

Try to avoid noise. Background noise increase stress level and you remember less if you learn while you are stressed. The threshold for when continuous noise starts to cause stress (even just minor) is surprisingly low. In fact your computer likely has a fan, which is too loud. Mechanical HDs are too loud. Even if you can't block out all sounds, you could try to minimize, like not creating artificial ones intentionally, like music.

 

Speak to yourself. I discovered this one way too late. In fact I didn't realize the full potential of this until a year after I graduated. When you think of a sentence, you use one part of your brain, when you say it, it will be another and a third when you listen. Activating all 3 will increase the chance of the information being stored. Information is also processed differently. I have realized that I have the easiest time picking up on grammar errors in foreign languages when I listen. As a result, I can say something and then change it because I haven't realized the error until I actually say it. However I learn from those mistakes and rarely make the same mistake multiple times. There is an often mentioned concept of using rubber ducks to aid your work.

 

Consider writing old school with pen and paper. The movements of your hand helps you memorize what you wrote and it's processed way more efficiently than when your brain tries to remember which keys you pressed. I ended up with lots of handwritten papers and I never looked at the majority of them ever again, but the making process helped alot. Try saying what you write while you write it as this helps too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Procrastination. Sometimes to the point where I miss deadlines or end up not doing it at all. For some reason my grades have always been decent anyway, it's almost embarrassing how good results I have achieved with so little effort. Not sure why though, I'm by no means any genius.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, atorq said:

Procrastination. Sometimes to the point where I miss deadlines or end up not doing it at all. For some reason my grades have always been decent anyway, it's almost embarrassing how good results I have achieved with so little effort. Not sure why though, I'm by no means any genius.

/r/iamverysmart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably says more about where I have, and currently am studying, than me, because the one lecturer that actually goes by the book does provide a challenge, my minimum efforts style has not really worked out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually read important parts then change it with my own words which more understandable for me. 
For some reason learning Japanese kinda hard for me. :notlikemiya:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was working on my bachelors I did the trick of doing several practice tests before exams that way my memory was fresh by the time of the exam but then I guess it all depends on how good your memory is.  I had it easy since most of my classes were online and they had mercy on me :P   I loved what I was studying so it was not too hard to keep myself motivated but then I was very tired, the mil works you to the bone and it was hard to find time to study            Anyway good luck with your exams! oh and what subject are you studying if you mind me asking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay calm, be sure you're not sleepy, get a good ilumination on the room you're at, do not hear any music, get on a confortable position, read, if you isn't understanding something, take a break, drink water, hear a calm music or something that makes you feel relaxed, not hyped, STAY HYDRATED, DRINK A LOT OF WATER (you can also drink tea or juice, just don't drink coke or coffee, staying up by a natural way is better than staying up by caffeine).
You also should sleep, studying means nothing if you don't relax, and having a good night of sleeping is one of the best means to reach it, don't overdo, otherwise you will end up with headaches and finding that you learnt absolutely nothing.

 

Last but not least, you need to like what you're studying, if you don't like it, learn to like it before you learn it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×