There are many ways to study, from writing down notes, to creating diagrams and tables. Today, I’ll list a few and their main key features, for you to find out which one suits you best and can really help you in achieving your academic goals in school. It is important to note that your environment and overall health also affects the efficiency of your study time, good sleep, a calm environment, and eliminating distractions can impact your success in retaining and learning information.
One of the simple but overlooked ways to improve your study habits is to color code. Multiple articles have proven that color can improve people’s memories, as they can distinguish different pieces of information more easily. Writing down key points in red, vocabulary in blue, dates in yellow and etcetera, can also make your brain get used to these patterns and help you identify necessary information quickly and retain it more efficiently. It is important to emphasize though, that ONLY the necessary information should be highlighted, no matter how your notes or diagrams look in the end.
Mind mapping is another technique that can be implemented into your notes quite easily. Try writing down a key word or concept at the middle of a page, and from there branch out to subtopics, you’ll start to see that visually organizing information in a hierarchical way can improve comprehension, as you are only focusing on singular topics at once. Combining this method with color coding can prove very effective for some people. Mind mapping doesn’t have to be the only way to take notes, you can include it in your regular notes or along other diagrams that you enjoy and truly help you, it’s just a tool that for some topics can be of assistance since the information is organized in a hierarchical way.
The final tip and the one that’s served me most useful is probably paraphrasing. Sometimes people write down a whole lesson of a presentation but sometimes don’t understand concepts. Paraphrasing helps you think about what you’re writing down and really understand key concepts and their definition. I recommend copying down vocabulary, but for key concepts, paraphrasing and relating them to real world events, experiences, or concepts in other classes can help you retain the information better.