Are you looking for practical advice to develop a study method that is effective for you? You’ve come to the right place.
Try for a moment to imagine this scene …
The exam session is approaching, instead of the usual anxiety, you are pervaded by a total serenity: you know exactly what you have to do, how you have to do it and when you have to do it.
There is no subject or professor that scares you.
Your booklet is full of a “boring” string of 30 and every hour that you dedicate to study is extremely productive.
In short, you have on your side an invincible ally to overcome any university obstacle.
His name is Method … Study Method.
Ok, if this image is very close to your reality, it makes no sense to waste more time: you can always take a ride in the find of some other interesting article.
But … if your reality is a little different … this article is exactly what you were looking for.
In fact, I will explain to you three essential points of the effective study method that since 2010 has helped thousands of university students to brilliantly pass their university exams.
PS: My study method “Study less, Study better” is based on 4 fundamental pillars: in this article we will examine 3 aspects of the pillar related to the organization of the study.
Specifically I will explain how to deal with effective study method:
- The lessons.
- I study at home (or in the library).
- The day of the exam.
1. Lessons: These unknown …
An effective method of study begins to be applied long before the date of the exam: to be precise, it starts to apply during the lessons.
If you were hoping for a method of study that would allow you to fuck off beautifully, I’m sorry to disappoint you again: this is not the article for you!
If, on the contrary, you decided to face your study path with seriousness, here are the key points to keep in mind during the lessons:
Follow the lessons. Banal, but effective.
If you have just started your university career and maybe you are an off-site student, I am sure you will be overwhelmed by the freedom at your disposal.
No justification to bring to the teachers for your absences, no parents who oblige you to get up in the morning, in short, no limit!
Yet the limits are sometimes your best allies.
Do not fall into the old university trap, prove to be a mature person: follow the lessons.
Learn to take notes effectively.
Getting up in the morning to go to class is not enough, you have to do one more step: turn on the brain.
By now you have abandoned the warm embrace of the duvet, why defeat this “huge” sacrifice?!
Make the most of the time you spend on university desks. The best way to do it?
Free yourself from doubts.
It does not matter that you can immediately memorize everything that is said during a university lesson, but it is essential that at the end of the course you have no doubts about the topics covered.
Take advantage of the lessons in the classroom, the days of reception of your teachers and study groups to clarify any doubt about your exam.
Do not be afraid to look like a fool: trust me …
“Everyone has doubts, but only intelligent people have the courage to make them clear.”
2. The study: How to organize yourself effectively
Actively following the lessons is important, but a self-respecting study method will give you the best results in the preparation weeks before the exam session.
Here are some practical tips to better address your period of study …
Organize your study.
A method of study to be effective must first of all have … method!
A method is a set of rules that allow you to face any situation with the certainty of obtaining the best possible result.
Establish in advance how much time you will spend on each exam.
Whether you decide to study 50 hours or 5,000 hours, you will never feel sufficiently prepared: quiet, we’ve all been there.
But you must be smart enough to know when an hour of study in most do not need more anything.
Decide before you start studying, how much time you will spend preparing for your exam. You have no idea? Try to multiply the credits (university credits) of your exam for 10/15 hours.
Make backward planning.
Back … what ?!
The backward planning is a method of managing complex projects. Here’s how you can apply it to preparing for your university exams …
- Get a calendar and mark the date of your exam.
- Decide how much time a day you will dedicate to preparing this exam.
- Divide the total time of preparation for the exam, which you established in the previous point, for the number of hours of study per day, thus obtaining the number of days you need to prepare for your exam.
- Starting from the date of your exam, go back to your calendar for the number of days just found.
Bingo! You have just planned the study of your exam, with a start and end date.
If you want more details about this method of planning exams, I have created a free report in which I explain it step by step (yes, I also explain how to plan multiple exams at the same time).
Let’s go back to how to organize the study during the preparation of your exams.
Prepare the study material
OK, you’ve determined how long to study, when to start and when to finish … but … what the hell do you have to study now?!
Each exam is a story in itself.
For some exams it is useful to study on a textbook, for others it is essential to have good notes and for others you will still need to practice with the workbook.
The best way to understand what material you will need to study is to have a chat with who that exam has already passed it brilliantly.
Once you understand what you need to study, you will have to start reading and re-elaborating the study material, creating a synthesis, or even better (if you have a visual cognitive style) of concept maps.
It does not matter to remember every single detail … it leaves aside perfectionism and focuses on the key concepts: if you have done some good concept maps, the details will emerge by themselves at the right time.
Store the material
Now that you have synthesized and mapped all the study material, you just have to memorize it best for your exam.
Of course the best way to memorize a concept is to understand it, but if you followed the method this problem should have already been dealt with during the lessons.
Try some and concentrate on the one that will give you the best results.
3. The exam: The big day has arrived!
Despite all your efforts: the lessons followed one by one, the concept maps and the countless hours of study, comes the day of the exam and you fail miserably! What did not work?! Why did not the method of study work?!
The reality is that you did not work and not your method. But do not worry, there is a solution for every problem.
On the day of the exam, irrational factors often come into play.
An unjustified anxiety, the fear of failure or the inability to communicate effectively during an oral exam.
Each of us has areas for improvement, but I can assure you that there are practical methods to overcome each of these obstacles.
All you need to get a really bomb-proof study method is to identify your area for improvement and follow these 3 simple steps: (1) practice, (2) practice, (3) practice;
But no more talk, here are some practical techniques to overcome the main fears related to the fateful day of the exam …
- Find your serenity with a breath: Breathing techniques are among the most effective for fighting exam anxiety.
- Come to the exam full of energy: Mind and body are inextricably linked: if you eat badly and do not do sport, not only your body, but also your mind and consequently your university performances are affected.
- Overcome the fear of failure: We live in a society that has demonized bankruptcy, which is why we are so terrified by the idea of failure. But how would you feel if I told you that it is impossible to fail? That whatever happens will you be infallible? That even the bankruptcy is necessary to achieve your success? Are not you convinced?!
- Learn to speak in public: Whether it’s an endless crowd or your grim prof., Public speaking can be terrifying.
The techniques I talked about in this post were an integral part of my method of study and allowed me to graduate in engineering in less than 5 years and with honors.
Yet, as I told you at the beginning of the article, the organization of the study is just one of the 4 pillars you need to excel at university.
There are 3 other essential elements for your academic success: MOTIVATION, LEARNING and MEMORIZATION.