Studying is a habit and it should have been ingrained early on. Children should be taught of the importance of studying. They should be made aware that daily studying will make it easier for them to retain to long-term memory what they are learning. Ideally, it is best to encourage children to set a time for studying even if they do not have homework. They could just read their notes and books, do some problem solving and a read up on new information and current affairs. Ideally.
The problem today is that majority of children were not €forced€ to integrate study time in their schedule. These are the kids who are now in grammar to college level €" the generation Y and Z. These are the generations that have been bombarded with too much technology (internet, gaming consoles, and gadgets), too much automation and too much extra-curricular activities. The habit of studying has somewhat been obscure. Focus is lost because of too many distractions. However, there are still ways to help these students acquire effective study habits.
No two people are alike in their approach to studying. What works for one student might not work for another. There are students who are so motivated with their studies that learning for them comes naturally. However, for those who find it hard to study and retain what they have learned, there are some basic yet effective ways to study.
Manage your schedule
You cannot expect to study better just by thinking about it. You need to act on it and the first thing that you should do is to set a time for studying. Make a schedule of your daily classes and your free time. Your schedule should include other social events and other activity that you engage in. Make a weekly schedule and for each day of the week do a table in one hour increments. Block the hours in the 24 hour table. Indicate your schedule for classes, lectures, extra -curricular work and other events that you need to do within 24 hours. Block off the hours for sleeping too. There is bound to be some vacant hours left and these hours are the free time you have for studying. If you find the hours not to your liking, adjust your other activities so you can have the time you prefer for studying.
Choose the place for studying
You have the option to study anywhere. Of course the venue would probably depend on your preferred hour of studying. If your free time to study is set at 3:00 P.M., you could probably choose the library for your study period. If your time for studying is after dinner, then your room is probably the best choice for you. The important thing is that you should be comfortable while studying but not too comfortable for you to fall asleep. There should not be any distractions like television, MP3, gaming console, mobile phones and computers (unless you need to browse online for study material).
There are ways and means for you to study effectively. Experiment on what works for you. There are some experts who recommend the SQ3R method €" Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review.
Survey has something to do with scanning the study material. You have to have a gist of what you are about to study. You cannot study effectively if you start head on. It's like surveying the map of an unknown territory. You would have a better grasp of the area before you plunge in the details of the place.
Formulate questions to what you are studying. If you are able to ask questions with what you are studying it goes without saying that you are getting into a deeper analysis of the material. Ask the how, why, what, when and where. As you answer each question try to associate each answer with a graphics or colored notation. This process is akin to mind mapping €" that is writing down notes in graphics are it is easier to remember visuals than text.
Reading is not scanning unless you are one of those who speed read effectively. When you read, READ! Read to understand and not read just to get it over. Digest what you are reading. Take down notes while you read. Emphasize what you read by bullet points and arrows for ease in remembering. If the reading material has graphs and tables, study them well as they are easy to retain and recall.
Recite what you have read. As you read stop at intervals and try to recall what you have read by saying out loud what you have understood from what you read. Try to recall and recite the main idea, bold and italicized headings and subheadings, any graphs or illustrations. Associate facts and details with graphics and pictures as this would help you remember more.
Review what you have read and studied. Read the notes that you wrote down. Your notes might be a hodgepodge of texts, graphics and drawings but to you, just glancing at those notes would trigger the information you wrote down. Don't review an hour or so before an exam. This would be tantamount to cramming which is not good at all. Cramming would stress you out. The final review is like €fine-tuning€ all that you have studied.
Manage your study time. It is best if you get a good night's sleep before an exam. Remember to set aside a study period every day as this would reinforce good study habits.