As we slowly fall into that Autumn feeling, there is a lot of people around starting the next chapter of their education story. May it be going into the next year/grade at school, starting/a new year college or university. No matter what year, or what kind of exam or coursework you’re going to have to sit through, you have to study. Remember though “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so if you want that top mark, you’ll have to keep regular studying on your schedule. Also, stay positive, tell yourself you can get there, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

1 - Highlighter System.

Highlighters are always useful, they keep you organised and I find that if you mark certain parts of your notes, books, etc, then it’s a lot easier to know how that part fits into the question or essay.

DO - Use a different colour for different things. For example, if I was asked to write an essay that I had to find information on. I would use;

YELLOW - Key names, places, dates.

PINK - Key terms.

BLUE - Primary information.

GREEN - Secondary information.

PURPLE - Equations/Quotes.

Obviously, you can choose your own choice of colours & meanings. This system is also handy for planners. For example, have a colour per subject.

NOTE - Read your notes 10 times, speak your notes 10 times and write them twice. This is a simple memorization technique.  

2 - Know the structure of an essay.

A few things that every essay should include; TITLE - INTRO - BODY - CONCLUSION - BIBLIOGRAPHY.

  1. Title - Make up a thesis statement for your title, this is the first thing the reader will see. If you want to stand out, a great title that's intriguing will always get attention. Under your title give your name, and a sneaky word count never hurts anyone.
  2. Introduction - This is where you can state your titles thesis statement. Writing about what points you are going to be including in your essay. Explaining your points will help in supporting your statement.
  3. Body - The body section is all about giving the evidence of your statement. With the evidence that you have, you will need to have the supporting arguments and explain them by giving examples. Examples of arguments that could be a threat to the points you are trying to make. Then, use examples of times challenging points have been overturned, helping support your statement even more.
  4. Conclusion - With this part you want to give a breakdown of how all your points were used to succeed in proving your thesis statement. Please don’t start to write about any new points in this part, go back and write about it in the body.
  5. Bibliography - A bibliography is where you reference all your information that use in your essay. If you used a quote from a book, add what book you found it in and it’s information eg author, year, publisher. If you found arguments on an online form, add the link to the form room. This looks very nice on a new page with your essay.

3 - Three steps to notes.

I know that most people make notes in class, then look at them once when they think that’s the right time you’ll need it. However, do you really feel like you’re taking the information in?

  1. Write quick messy (not too messy that you can’t even read your own writing) in class. Not every word that the speaker is saying, or a whole paragraph of a book. Just stick to names, important details/information.
  2. Do a rewrite. Once you get home, rewrite your notes from the day, keep them tidy.
  3. A few days later, take your notes and do a reread of them. While you’re reading decorate your notes using the highlighter system.

NOTE - Remember, if you are studying in 30 minutes time slots with 10-minute breaks then you have more chance of retaining information.

4 - How do I know that I’ll remember it all?

A blank sheet of paper is your answer to that question, at the end of your studying time use a blank sheet to write down everything you can remember from what you have been studying. Don’t look at any of your notes, just on what you remember. You can have physical proof of what you have learnt, and you can also see what you didn’t remember. Reread what you’ve written on the paper and use your notes to pick up what you forgot. Make a list of the things you need to take another go at studying.

5 - Procrastinate? NO! 

One thing when studying, which is the biggest no-no, is leaving it until the last minute. Make a schedule, study before or after you do something that you would do every day. Give yourself the time to study. Just sit, sit in a tidy and quiet area and study. Eat a bit of chocolate, did you know that if you do it is meant to help you remember things?

 

Let me know if these tips help you, and comment some things that help/helped you study. Good Luck!