Why Study Study Skills?
As a student, your time is already limited. Maybe you already have a full class schedule, and in addition, you have to spend several hours a day to study for each course. So who’s got time to add something else into the mix? Yet there’s one thing that you need to add, which will actually improve the effectiveness of your study time, and help you get better grades: Studying about studying. That’s right: You need to devote some time and energy to studying some techniques and strategies that make for better students, and that lead to better grades. Here are five good reasons that you should try to master some proven study techniques:
1) The tricks you once learned for studying are not as effective as you might think. For instance, although the SQ3R method does give you a better grasp of the course material, this is only true for the person who is a good reader. Those with not-so-great reading skills won’t find SQ3R (“survey, question, read, review, re-read”) to be as helpful as good readers will. Similarly, although we tend to think that a study group is always a helpful thing, it’s not. In some cases, a study group can actually hurt your study time–since many times, unrelated chit-chat will get in the way of real study.
2) When you learn good study techniques, you actually wind up with more free time. And what school or college student couldn’t use that! The person who doesn’t know how to study finds himself trying to remember all of the material in his notes or textbook, but usually to no avail. He’ll spend hours cramming, and seemingly making little progress. On the other hand, the person who knows exactly how to study can master his notes and text in half the time–and have more time to spend with friends.
3) Proper studying strategies increase your confidence and reduce your stress level. When you have some techniques that you know will work, you can approach any test knowing that you know the material. This will mean less stress throughout your week, and especially right before the test.
4) Here’s maybe the most obvious point, but one that needs to be said: If you learn and use proper study techniques, you’ll get better grades and marks in your course. It’s a proven fact that those who know how to study get better grades.
5) You’ll be studying for the rest of your life. Good study skills aren’t just something that you’ll use while you’re in school. There are numerous other opportunities for you to study throughout your adult life. When you’re taking a driver’s test, attending a career-related workshop or seminar, studying your religion’s holy book, teaching a Sunday school class, and much more, you’ll need to know the best way to study.
So what’s included in the process of studying the best study skills? You’ll want to learn how to take notes, how to read textbooks, how to listen proactively in class, how to use other people, how to use technology such as computers, how to use the library, and more. It’s also helpful to learn test-taking strategies, to help you get every point correct that you possibly can on your next exam. For Teachers, see our Effective Study Skills Lesson Plan.
Here is a great page with more tips and details, Study Strategies for Success.
Bottom line: Learn to learn; study your studying. Get better with your study habits and you’ll reap rewards for years to come.
About the Author Brian is a writer and web developer living in Victoria BC. He has a BA in Economics and an MA in Psychology. Brian has written and published widely on education, testing, psychology and popular culture.