How to study
Learning how to study requires self-discipline and commitment. By nature, humans are inclined to become distracted by their surroundings. Some people have the ability to concentrate and focus while other people struggle with these skills. Learning to study effectively should begin with an assessment of your learning personality.
Some people have the ability to only focus on one task at a time. They find it difficult to follow more than a set of 2 step instructions and they can only concentrate on one thing at a time. For this individual, studying should take place in a quite environment where interruptions will not occur. To the contrary, other people find it easier to do several things at once and find it difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time. If this is your personality, try studying with background white noise and chewing gum or sucking on candy while studying. Tailoring your environment to your learning style is a key element of successful studying.
For any learning personality, studying is best achieved in a well-lit environment with room to spread out. Before you begin, make sure you have eaten, used the restroom and have water on hand. This will minimize the number of reasons to stop and leave the room.
Have a clear objective of what you are trying to review and retain. Be realistic about what you can study in the length of time you commit. Do not expect to study material for an entire term or semester in an hour. Break down the material into manageable segments and take breaks between each one. Write down dates, names, events, etc. as it has been proven that people best remember what they write down. For difficult bits of information, create acronyms, analogies, or even goofy rhymes if it helps you remember the basics.
When you come to bits of information that you find you are failing to retain, make a note of it. Skip over that information for awhile and return to it for review later. Generally, studying is best done over 2 or 3 days rather than just one. Sleeping on information often helps in retention and clarity of thought. Avoid excessive caffeine consumption and other artificial methods of staying awake and alert. Peppermints are suspected to aid in concentration, so have some handy.
With some serious commitment and discipline you can learn how to study effectively and successfully. Over time, you will learn what does and does not work for your personality and can alter your practices for a higher success rate. In no time you will know exactly how to study and when to do it to ace every test.