Whatever level you are currently studying at, your final exams and assignments probably feel quite a way off right now (In fact, for some they might well be some years away yet). Of course, there is very little you can do right now to get your revision done or make sure you have got enough sleep the night before a test, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to improve your results right away.
If you can develop stronger study skills you will only help your chances when it comes to getting the grades you want. However, not everybody studies in the same way, so in order to maximise your potential you also need to know how you work best. You need to find your favoured learning style.
For example, some people may prefer absolute silence when they study, while others will find they work better in a group or with the radio on in the background. The most important thing is to match your study plan to your preferred (ie, most effective) way of learning, after all there is no need to make things harder on yourself!
You will need to work out if you are a visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), or kinaesthetic (hands-on) type learner by thinking back to the sort of subjects that seemed to come to you easier than others. These are the study styles that you will want to promote in your own learning plan. So, sit down and read, get an audiobook, listen to a podcast, or even get stuck in and gain some direct experience. By matching your learning style to your study plan you will improve your chances of taking in and remembering the information. You may even find it all more enjoyable – or at least not such a chore!
This is not to say that you won’t need to put in some effort by staying engaged with your lessons, listening to your tutors, and doing any work you are set – just that it will all seem a lot easier and be more effective if you concentrate on your favoured style of learning.
Plus, while you may wonder if there is any point to doing homework, it is something that needs to be done – so you may as well make it easy on yourself!
Taking things further, your learning style can even influence what career you choose later on in life. Those who don’t like practical learning may not enjoy a more practical job, while those who enjoy reading may be more suited for a records office, for example. Of course, you may be a way off of thinking about your ideal career right now, but there is plenty of careers advice when you need it.
Knowing your learning style is not just good for your college or school work, but can even help you boost your career prospects by learning a foreign language using your favoured style (which could also be handy when you go on holiday!).
However, if you really want to improve your learning you may want to try out a little learning kung-fu…
Instead of focusing on just one type of learning, try to learn in a few different ways, This will not only make you more adaptable with your studies, but it will also have an interesting effect on your brain as you take in the information.
By using different senses you are anchoring the information into your brain in different ways, making the connections stronger and more important so you are less likely to forget it. Of course, you will want to use your favoured learning style the most or when pushed for time, but it will certainly help to use others where you can.
Finding and using your favoured learning style will make your learning easier and more effective, which can only mean one thing – a better chance of higher grades at the end!