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The Power of Active Learning: Techniques to Enhance Your Study Sessions

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By: Aisha Turdieva

There are many different techniques for studying, and not all methods might work for you. To succeed well in any academic environment, you have to learn and understand what method works for you. Maybe just revising and reading your notes might help, or you might need a structured approach. In any way, you can find some famous and helpful studying techniques in this article!

Some Basic Pointers:

Before anything, you have to pay attention in class and learn how to take good notes. Taking good notes is fully dependent on you, and there is no one clear method of taking notes. You should create a system that will work for you and allow you to understand the content you covered clearly. Furthermore, on how to cover and revise your notes, you should choose and try the most effective method for you. It is important to remember that no one method will automatically make you a consistent A+ student, but they can nudge you toward the correct road. Here are some study methods you can follow + when and how you can utilize them in your studying.

A Test in a Month

If you have been told, or you know that you will be having a test in a month or even within a longer period of time. I would say the most effective way to study for it would be to use the Leitner technique. The purpose of this technique is to train your brain to remember things, such as terms, definitions, and explanations. The way it works is you have 5 boxes, and you number them from 1-5. Write things you need to memorize and put them inside the first box. The number corresponds to how often you are going to check yourself on those terms. Example: box 1- practice every day, box 2- practice every other day, box 3- a practice once a week, box 4- practice every 2 weeks, and box 5- practice every 3 weeks. Each time you get one right you move it to the next box, and each time you get one incorrect you move the card down a box. This ensures topics that you have difficulty grasping has a higher priority and more attention to, but still ensures you have consistent practice and revision with the topics you are comfortable with. The method is better illustrated below. 

Leitner system alternative. Source:

A Test in a Week.

Now if you have only one week left, and you have to study and revise your notes, how will you do that? I would say the Pomodoro Technique works best for that. You choose the time of hours you want to work for, and then divide it into intervals. For example: if you want to study for 3 hours, then you get this: study for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes, and you do that until your time to study (3 hours) passes. I would say that this is efficient for people with a shorter attention span because instead of studying 3 hours straight you just distribute it evenly. For it, you can either time yourself, or, better, follow one of the many simple Pomodoro Technique Videos on Youtube. 


A Day before the Test

And now if you have a test/exam the next day, you are a lost cause. Kidding, of course, you can save yourself by doing the following. Choose what you have to study the most about, the most important topic for your test, or the topic you are weakest at, then schedule a study session. The study session should not be long or draining, but a simple revision to get the basics and vital information fresh in your mind. Write down what you know about the topic, do 3 revision questions (or general information/answer sheet), and then highlight what areas of knowledge you seem to lack. Take those into account and start working on your weakest skills/topics. Remember to not overwork yourself, as doing such can hurt you more than help you. Get some sleep because you do not want to be getting a bad grade just because you were tired.

In conclusion, there are various ways to get yourself ready for an upcoming exam/test. Though I included only the most efficient ones (from my perspective), there could be more you think works better. However, just utilizing one method is not the hat trick, yet implementing multiple study methods into your daily study sessions is what will propel you above to higher grades.

These techniques mentioned here include the Leitner technique, the Pomodoro technique, and the Last Minute Technique. Although the last-minute technique works, that doesn’t mean that you should put everything away until the last possible minute. The point is different study methods can help in different situations. You just have to find one that works best for you.