VOS: Study Smarter, not Harder

Study Smarter, not Harder

Psychology explained
Productivity & Growth

July 2023

Study Smarter, not Harder

Time is running and there seems to be a lot of information to remember. Don't worry, cognitive psychologists have been researching for years how to remember things well and recall them when they are needed. So let's look at a few techniques together for a better studying.

How to make your study more effective?

1. Start Smart

Before you start, try to remember what you’ve already known about the learning subject. It might be just snippets and that's okay, it all counts. As a next step, find the main points of what you are going to learn and make an outline. Titles may be fine.

2. If You Study, Study

Once you start studying, study. Turn off the sound on your phone, notifications and minimize the sounds around you that would distract you from concentrating. Focusing your attention on the topic will help you save your time. To support your concentration, try the breathing exercise in the VOS app.

3. Use Examples and Pictures

There are a thousand words hidden in a picture. When you're learning, draw a diagram or find a picture that describes the theory or idea. This will help you not only to visualise the subject but also to understand it better. As well picture the subject with a concrete example. The best way to do this is to link it to something close to your heart and something you encounter often.

4. Test Yourself

Rereading and memorization the text is one of the most common yet least effective techniques. Instead, try to free recall. You can involve a friend, sibling, parent or stuffed animal. This can sometimes be the most faithful listener. When you explain the learning subject to someone else, you will remember it much better. This is one of the best techniques! Cards are effective as well. You can use some apps on your phone or write them out by hand. This is where you summarize the essential points of the chapter.

5. It's Never Too Early

Start at least a day earlier than you think you need to. You will get a better sense you're not leaving things to the last minute and it will allow you to connect and absorb things better.

And finally don’t forget to be kind to yourself – exercise, meditate, sleep. You can do it!

Check out the resources we used to learn more:

  • Kowalski, K. (2020, September 9). Top 10 tips on how to study smarter, not longer. Science News Explores. https://www.snexplores.org/article/top-10-tips-study-smarter-not-longer-study-skills
  • Lineweaver, T. T., Hall, A. C., Hilycord, D., & Vitelli, S. E. (2019). Introducing and Evaluating a" Study Smarter, Not Harder" Study Tips Presentation Offered to Incoming Students at a Four-Year University. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19(2), 16-46.

--- your VOS

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