Different people have different preferences and ways of doing things. This is also true in the way people study. A study technique that works for one person will not necessarily be effective for everyone. There are, however, some general practices that can help each learner minimize wasted time and frustration, and help them maximize their academic performance.
An important attitude that all learners need to acquire is the attitude of valuing time. Whether or not you have average intelligence or above average intelligence, this is one thing you would have in common with other learners. Each of you has a finite amount of time to do the things you need to do or wish to do. That is why it is very important for you to create a schedule. Your schedule is your plan for budgeting your time among your different activities, including the different subjects you have to study.
Your schedule should match your needs and goals. A key characteristic of a good schedule is that it is flexible. If ever something imperative comes up, you would be able to rearrange your schedule in accordance to your priorities. At the very least, you know how the unexpected event would affect your other activities. Your schedule is like your guidepost so that you always have in mind the things you need to be doing. This keeps you from idling or squandering time on non-essential activities.
There are certain demands on your time that you don’t really have control over. The time you devote to attending class, work, and other responsibilities are already built into your schedule. What you need to schedule is the remaining free time that you have outside of your obligations, which you are going to devote to studying. The ideal study time is when you are feeling rested and alert. Squeezing in your study time to just a few minutes before your classes start will usually not be effective.
For class lectures, you can either have your study time before or after the lecture. If you choose to study before the lecture, it is important to go over all the assigned readings and to take notes from these readings prior to attending the lecture. If you prefer to schedule your study period after your lecture class, then go over the notes you took during the class while you still remember them.
For foreign language classes, it is a good idea to schedule some study time just before the class. Use the time for practicing the language. You can practice on your own, or, preferably, practice speaking the language with your classmates.
Choose a place for studying that is free from distractions. It can be anywhere, as long as you’re able to concentrate. The most conducive locations are usually libraries or your bedroom.. Anytime there are distracting things going around your study environment, you will surely be enticed to divert your attention to those matters, and lose your precious limited study time.