Are you taking a course at our school? Don't wait until the last possible moment to start studying - the sooner you get started, the better. You'll have time to talk to your teacher, ask questions and discuss any doubts you may have.
Here's what some of our best students recommend for optimal results:
1. Study in structured steps
Go over the subject matter step by step and don't try cramming everything at once. For example, schedule going over 1 chapter a day, with a weekly review of the last few chapters.
2. Don't go overboard on highlighting
Many students grab a marker and highlight like there's no tomorrow. That's a double-edged sword - highlighting, although useful at times, can also make you stop paying attention and prevent you from drawing your own conclusions.
Underlining a word here and there is okay, but consider that the first step of your process. Actively include the highlighted parts - I like to make them into memory cards.
3. Read twice, then switch
Go over your course a couple times, then move on to a more active study method. After the second re-read, you start feeling like you already know everything, so you stop paying attention. And that's an illusion - you remember reading the lessons before, but you'd have trouble replicating them.
4. Get enough sleep
Research shows that you process learning material while you sleep. That's when your brain forms new connections. Short naps can also be useful.
5. Test yourself
Create question cards, make a mock exam or use sample questions from the coursebook. Try to answer everything without checking the book - only look for the answer as a last resort. Rinse and repeat until you know all the answers by heart.
6. Make a summary
Many students like to create a summary or mind map of the subject matter. If you have one of those, and use it, you can review the lesson and check for things you missed, as well as remember important details. You can also try "teaching" someone else - not only will that test your knowledge, but you'll find out if you can re-tell the subject matter in a way that makes sense.
7. Don't forget the "why"
Don't memorize facts and regurgitate them. Make connections between different parts of the lesson, look for reasons and causes.
8. Speak from experience
We're great at remembering things we can relate to. Try to find a connection between the subject matter and something you've experienced.
9. Take breaks
It may sound counterproductive, but don't study all the time. Take break to clear your mind, recharge and then start over refreshed. Trust us, that'll help you in the long term. Go for a jog, walk the dog, or make your favorite meal - just step back for a moment before continuing.
10. Learn by doing
Putting theoretical knowledge to practical use is the best way to retain it. That's the main benefit of practical courses - practical exercises help you go from "I know how this works" to "I can do this".