The academic year is all set to begin and most of us go back to school or college with mixed feelings! We all know what lies ahead — teaching, learning, tests, and examinations. And it’s the tests and exams that we usually dislike because we often feel stuck about how to crack the study code, i.e., how to study or learn and how to prepare for our exams.
The ‘study code’ includes not just techniques to remember and recall information, but also techniques to manage your energy, plan your studies, and ensure your health is maintained.
Instead of simply ‘jumping into’ studies, first be on your mark and get set to study. To do this:
◼ Take notes
The first step is to take notes or write down key points in a notebook when your teacher is teaching.
◼ Prepare to study
▣ Scan your chapter: Look at headings, sub-headings, diagrams and pictures, and their captions, and most importantly, the summary. Underline any keywords that catch your eye.
▣ Create an advance organizer: Create a table of contents or topics and sub-topics if there isn’t already one in your text or a graphic organizer of how you will arrange the topics to study.
◼ Seek clarification
▣ Read the chapter: Read your chapter in detail keeping the above in mind and see if you have understood the content. Mark any content that you have not understood.
▣ Clear your doubts: If you don’t understand something, you may not understand the chapter, and may even struggle with the next topic and the next. This is the most common thing that makes students give up on studies. So, ask your teachers, parents, friends, or anyone you know for help to clarify your doubts.
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.