How to study better: strategies to improve learning


04 January 2024

Advanced strategies to enhance memorisation, adopt innovative approaches and optimise study organisation.

Refining your assimilation skills is essential for developing effective learning, and the key to this lies in the correct management of time and the division of subjects to be studied

With careful planning, it is possible to make studying faster and more effective. The goal is to improve the quality of the time spent studying without increasing the time. But how? Through the use of advanced techniques for memorisation, the adoption of innovative approaches to maximise understanding and practical tips for dividing up study.

Planning: creating a customised routine

Planning plays a crucial role in creating an optimal learning path.

Developing a functional routine by introducing focused study periods, strategic breaks, and regular reviews is a smart way to maximise the retention of previously acquired information. This targeted approach aims to optimise productivity during study sessions and make the learning process more rewarding in the long term.

Evaluating several aspects helps find the planning strategy that best suits your learning style.

-          Consider your objectives

Identifying the key objectives of your study journey and exam deadlines and assessing the complexity of the material to be studied is very important; this will allow you to set your priorities, focusing your efforts on the most relevant and challenging topics.

-          Analysing your time

Carefully examining your daily schedule will help you understand how much time you can devote to studying. Try to recognise the times of the day when you are most focused and productive to maximise efficiency and optimise the assimilation of information.

-          Creating a weekly calendar

Divide your time into blocks dedicated to different topics to better organise your days. This detailed planning will help you maintain a balance in content coverage and avoid study overload.

-          Introduce strategic breaks

Insert short breaks between study sessions to encourage mental regeneration. By doing so, you can use this time to detach your mind, take a short walk or practise deep breathing.

-          Schedule regular reviews

Spend specific time reviewing previously learnt concepts; this approach strengthens long-term memory and consolidates understanding.

Indeed, benefits attributable to well-structured planning include maximising efficiency - which translates into more material learned relatively quickly - improving focus, increasing memory and reducing stress.

Managing stress, however, especially for those who study and work simultaneously, can often become particularly complicated. Here are some ideas to help meet this challenge.

Using technology

Technology is a faithful ally in optimising the learning process precisely because it provides several advanced tools that contribute significantly to in-depth understanding and lasting memorisation of concepts.

Specifically, several technological tools can help you concentrate and organise your study. Let’s explore some valuable Apps together that meet your different needs.

Best Apps for focusing

They are designed to improve concentration by providing tools that help students focus during activities. Among the most functional apps are:

-          Brainfocus productivity timer: based on the famous Pomodoro method, thisappmakes studying more productive by dividing it into intervals of 25 minutes each, with short breaks in between.

-          Keep me out: it is drastic but effective as it locks your smartphone to avoid distractions.

-          Spotify: among the most downloaded music apps in the world, Spotify is full of effective playlists to help you stay focused.

Best Apps for organising your study and taking notes

Focusing is just as crucial as finding tools to make it easier to organise your notes. Apps that can help you with study organisation include:

-          Todoist: useful for managing commitments and tasks.

-          GoodNotes: very helpful for taking notes and creating neat diagrams.

-          Dragon dictation: allows you to record voice notes autonomously, using a method based on transcription.

Best Apps to optimise your study method

If you are looking for apps that can help you make studying a smoother experience by embracing alternative approaches you cannot miss out:

-          The Faculty: the app that combines fun with studying by providing targeted quizzes depending on the subject to be studied.

-          MindNote: helpful in creating mind maps.

-          AnkiApp: based on the flashcard, method, the app creates digital flashcards with the most important concepts to always have at hand.

Memorisation methods: techniques to remember better

Besides technology and different applications, many memorisation techniques offer helpful strategies and approaches to improve the ability to remember information effectively.

Mnemonics, for instance, is a set of methodologies designed to facilitate memorising complex information by transforming it into engaging images or stories. This amplifies the natural capacity of the human memory, making the memorisation process effective and long-lasting. 

Mind mapping, using concept maps, can also be beneficial as a memorisation method, especially for those with an excellent visual memory.

Another effective method is active repetition, which favours long-term memorisation by reviewing information spread over time in sessions rather than in prolonged sessions. You can integrate this method with the Feynman method, which consists of repeating aloud the topic you are studying to someone else to simplify and clarify concepts, revealing areas where you may still have gaps in understanding.

It is important to remember that choosing the proper memorisation technique often depends on the information you are trying to remember and your learning style. Experimenting with several techniques can help you find the one that suits you best.

Group study and shared learning

Sharing study time with others offers a unique opportunity to enrich the learning experience and explore different study methodologies.

Open discussion, which allows explaining topics to other group members, can help consolidate personal understanding and improve memory.  In addition, group study can provide a sense of shared responsibility, encouraging each member to participate and support the other in the learning journey actively.

This type of social interaction can make studying more engaging and stimulating, creating an environment beyond individual learning.

Combining personalised strategies, harnessing innovative technologies and sharing stimulating social interactions can radically transform the approach to study, leading to more complete and satisfying learning. This synergy optimises the assimilation of information and creates an enriching educational environment where personal growth - accompanied by knowledge sharing - results in a more rewarding education in the long term.

Transform your approach to studying with our advice and discover IED’s educational proposal.

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