Do you ever wonder– how do the 4.0 kids do it? It may seem to you that some students are simply superior in their studying abilities, but that is not completely true.
Good students don’t just have “better” brains. Good students know how to study efficiently and effectively and thus practice studying smarter, not harder.
They understand themselves well enough to know how they can maximize success when it comes to studying. And that’s what we’ll be trying to achieve in this 7-day study transformation.
Follow the steps outlined in this post carefully, and by the end of the 7 days, you should have an idea of how to study more effectively. You can then implement these new practices into your daily routine and become a better student! Let’s jump straight into day 1.
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Day 1: Find a new study space
Today, try to find somewhere new to study. This may not seem to directly relate to the way you study, but changing up your study environment can improve your brain’s memory-recalling function to a certain extent.
Therefore, take all your study supplies and move away from where you usually study. If you usually study at your bed, go to a desk or table. If you usually study at your desk, try studying outside in your yard or at a local café.
Note that you should still avoid studying in areas designated to relax! If you’re moving away from your desk, don’t go to your bed or the couch! Here’s a post that explains the importance of having a designated, organized study space: How To Organize Your Desk To Maximize Productivity.
Day 2: Try various time intervals
Welcome to the second day of your study transformation! Yesterday, you changed up your study environment. If you found yourself more productive there, stay there today! If you didn’t, try somewhere else!
But in addition to what you did on day 1, you’ll be adding on a new task: trying different time intervals.
You may have heard of the Pomodoro technique, where you focus for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. You can also customize this timing to your own liking, such as 45-15 or 60-20.
Today, try out these various time intervals and decide which is the most effective for you. And when choosing the most effective, make sure that it’s a schedule where:
- You can stay focused the entire time of the designated focus period.
- You don’t feel burnt out after several (at least 2) repetitions.
- You get enough rest during the break.
YOU’LL LOVE THIS POST: 7 Terrible Study Habits To Quit Immediately
Day 3: Listen to different music
On to day 3! On this day, you’ll change up another aspect of your studying environment: music or background sounds! It’s no secret that the right background noise can improve studying effectiveness, but the “right” one is different for each person.
So today, listen to various types of music while you study and see which one helps you focus most readily. Make sure to listen to each for at least 30 minutes so its effects actually settle in!
Here are some types of music students tend to enjoy:
- Lofi music
- Ambience (café, library, etc)
- Classical music
- Soft pop/rnb
- Cinematic music
- Video game music
Day 4: Practice active recall
Here’s a simplified explanation of active recall: the process of studying and reviewing in which you actively pause to quiz yourself on the things you’ve learned so far.
On day 4, focus on implementing active recall into all your study efforts. Whether you’re taking biology notes or studying French words, pause every so often and try to recall what you’ve learned so far.
An effective way to do this is explained below:
- Skim each section of information you’ll be learning about and formulate a few specific and challenging questions for each of them.
- Start actively reading the information and “learn” as you would. Remember to take good notes, make connections, etc!
- Once you finish a section, try and answer the questions you made earlier. If you made a mistake or couldn’t answer the question, go back and review that piece of information!
Day 5: Go paper/digital
Congrats, you’re almost done! On day 5, try to change up the way you study by shifting from paper to digital, or digital to paper.
In essence, if you’ve been reading physical textbooks and taking paper notes, try taking digital notes, watching videos, using interactive textbooks, etc. Especially if you’re one to take notes during a lecture, typing up digital notes may be more efficient!
On the other hand, if you’ve been relying completely on typed notes, try taking handwritten notes for a while. Handwritten notes, though time-consuming and sometimes tiring, are proven to be better for the brain.
Therefore, both paper and digital learning have their benefits. Today is your day to change it up and try out the other method!
RELATED POST: How To Take Digital Notes The Right Way
Day 6: Practice contextual learning
You may have gotten the advice to “apply what you learn” before. That is the core of contextual learning, and is truly an effective way to completely understand and remember what you learn.
In practicing contextual learning, you use what you’ve learned to solve real-life problems. This could be something simple, such as using subtraction to figure out how much change you owe someone. It could also be more complicated, such as understanding how your cells are digesting certain foods.
Today, consider what you’ve learned so far. If there’s a concept you seem to be struggling with, try to imagine a similar scenario in real life and practice problem-solving.
This method may seem more straightforward for math and science approaches, but an effective method for practicing contextual learning for social and literary studies is to put yourself in another’s shoes.
For example, if you need to analyze a person’s motives, put yourself in their shoes and think about what your motives would be.
Contextual learning is definitely not something you can master in a day, so while you should do your best to practice it in this 7-day study transformation challenge, continue to practice it in the future! Meanwhile, congratulations on finishing day 6!
Day 7: Work with a friend
Welcome to the last day of the study transformation! On this last day, you can have a little fun (but not too much fun!). Today, work with a friend!
Working with peers can be beneficial because you can keep each other accountable, answer any possible questions, and listen to new opinions or perspectives. On the other hand, you may get distracted.
Therefore, try to find a friend (or a few friends) who you know are responsible enough to stay focused and productive for a good chunk of time, and ask them to join you in a study session!
You can have a study session at someone’s home, at a local café, at a library, at a park… the choice is yours! Of course, if you’d rather have an online study session, you can also host a FaceTime call, a Zoom meeting, a Discord call, etc.
Be sure to check out this post all about study sessions: The Easiest Way To Maximize Your Next Study Session.
After today, you should have an idea of how well you work while in a group. You can then choose to join more or less study sessions in the future!
And that concludes the 7-day study transformation. If you followed all the steps carefully enough, you should have some ideas on how to improve your studying efforts in the future! Leave a comment below with what you’ll be doing differently from now on!
If you enjoyed this post and are looking for more study tips from me, here are a few I think you’ll enjoy: