Do you always find yourself mugging content at the last minute? Are you always underprepared for your exams? Do you find it hard to just start studying? Here are 5 tried-and-tested solutions to your problems!
1. Create a To-do List
When you reach home at 9pm after band practice, you kinda just want to lepak around, slack, and pretend the pile of homework doesn't exist. But as a student, you can't really not do your homework, right?
Try creating a to-do list! A to-do list can help you to reorganise your workload by ranking the work due from most to least urgent. For example, the Math worksheet due tomorrow should be written at the number 1 spot. This usually helps you to focus on what you need to do at the present. Moreover, you can follow the sequence of the list and complete tasks at your own time and target. Last but not least, let's not forget the gratifying sense of accomplishment when you cross out an assignment! A to-do list keeps you on-task and motivated, and you can even give yourself a reward (maybe a cup of bubble tea) after completing the list!
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique
We often allow ourselves a short break window after finishing an assignment. Taking breaks are encouraged and should be implemented in our daily study timetables, however, do you find yourself taking breaks that are way too long?
Developed by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is a method popularised on TikTok and Youtube. A "Pomodoro" usually consists of a 25 minutes session of focused work followed by a 5 minutes break, ensuring that one does not burn out from prolonged periods of studying and focusing. Additionally, it also creates a momentum to studying, where the stipulated work and break times become familiar and eventually, habitual. The Pomodoro Timer is very accessible with technology, and there are a myriad of pomodoro timers available on the Internet for our usage. Fun fact, the word "Pomodoro" means "Tomato" in Italian!
3. Get rid of distractions
This is probably a very "duh" tip, but it is undeniably important. When studying, one should ensure that there is absolutely nothing in their field of vision that is potentially distracting. Keep your fidget spinner, store away your books, and most importantly, put that phone away. If you are prone to doodling while studying, keep the notebooks and pencil as well.
By the way, listening to music while studying is not helpful at all. In fact, it is considered a distraction. Do not listen to Taylor Swift or K-Pop when studying!
4. Plan your time
As typical Singaporean students with lessons, CCAs, and other enrichment activities to juggle, it is all the more crucial for us to plan our time wisely. This will keep us on our feet, where we can wake up the next day and know exactly what we need to do.
There are many platforms for us to plan a timetable or schedule. One can do it on a notebook, on the calendar, or even on specialised apps that are purposefully created for planning. Notion, for instance, is a great app that allows us to allocate our study timetables meaningfully. Do remember to commit to the schedule you've planned!
5. Consolidate your learning
After finishing an assignment, the idea of taking a break immediately is very tempting. However, without reviewing your own work, it is hard to pinpoint the source of your error and correct it. A prime studying tip is to always make notes - be it on post-its or in a notebook - after finishing each and every assignment. For example, after finishing a Biology MCQ, you can review the questions that you answered wrongly and pen your key takeaways from the worksheet.
It is also important to take effective notes that are easy to read and understand. While the current trend is to create pretty "bujo" notes, they are unfortunately purely aesthetic and are often too time-consuming to make. A good note-taking method is the Cornell method, where only key points are taken down. Though it may seem a bit plain, this note-taking method will make your report book look pretty instead!