Effective studying techniques that can enhance your grades in school

kizmartins's picture

A close friend once queried me as to why he failed an examination and I passed excellently even though we had both studied together for weeks prior to the exam and used the same materials. He wanted to know what extra thing I did but truth is, I didn’t prepare any differently from whatever we both did. I went on to ask him his reading technique and I was a little stunned when he looked at me somehow mused and said he had none, right then, I knew what his problem was.

Getting a reading technique or knowing what style of reading bests fit and works for you is very necessary as it goes a long way to tell on your grades.

I remember once in an exam hall, a friend was screaming my name without caution, he wanted me to bail him out, he had no clue of the answers even though it was a repeated past question and we had both practiced the answers the night before; his problem wasn’t that he was dumb but he employed the wrong technique which was actually one of my own techniques.

There are different studying techniques, they are unique in their own way and do not work for every random individual. They range as follows:

1. Memorizing: This style of reading involves the individual re-reading to himself important pieces of information like some definitions from his materials; this helps the individual to commit to memory important facts.

2. Cramming: Many of us are very familiar with this style although many experts and teachers widely condemn it; we can’t take away the fact that that it works perfectly for many. Good luck to those it works for, as for me, cramming has never worked for me.

3. Past questions: This is one technique that has never let me down even when I had completely lost hope in a course, the lecturer had even advised me to drop the course for that semester and prepare properly for it the next year after he tried fruitlessly to help me understand the course when I met him privately on different occasions. I almost gave in but I was determined to prove my fears wrong, it was then I discovered the past question magic. I visited the library, got some past question of the said course, I discovered there were some topics and questions that kept resurfacing every year, I worked on them and voila, I made top 5 of the few who had managed to pass the course that semester.

4. Take notes and mark out big points made in class: First off, I want to emphasize on your regularity to lectures. This technique can’t work for you if you’re the type that goes to class just like the way NEPA/PHCN supplies light in Nigeria, as in the two days on three days off type of students. I’ll suggest you get a jotter or special note for this purpose. Take notes of each and every important points the lecturer keep emphasizing , you will sure come cross them in exam in as much as he takes his time to ring these points to your ears and especially if he keeps coming back to certain topics to make sure everyone clearly understands them. This is my own secret, when exams are approaching and my mates resort to begging our professors to give us areas of concentration which they most times don’t give, I don’t bother myself because I had already noticed from the records in my jotter, the main topics I would need to study more and the major points to take note of.

5. Tests, assignments, corrections, class work and mid semester exams: A lecturer once told my class sometime ago; “your teachers are not fools, or you people think we are? We give you back your tests and class work scripts not to make you feel less of yourself but for a reason which is far more better, go find out”, since this incident, I have always taken into consideration my tests and assignments solutions and the corrections of the ones I failed and I’ve never been disappointed . I know of a course mate who does not read at all, he doesn’t join us to run after passed questions or tutorials, all he does is just study the solutions to his assignments and class work all through the semester and he’s good to go.

6. Tutorials: some people cannot learn on their own, they either learn by meeting others to teach them or learn by teaching others.

7. Text book: this is another secret means I use often but it varies by individuals though. I only use this technique for my lecturers that come to class with specific textbook or never end a lecture without referring to a particular textbook. I got tired sometime ago of one of my prof as he made it a habit to in what I choose to describe as advertisement for a particular textbook, he always mentioned it as if he were the author. One day, I decided to go through this book to see what special thing he had seen in it and o my utter surprise, I discovered all our class work and tests came from the treated questions at the end of each chapter. I went on to make love to this book throughout the remaining part of my semester till my exams and I wasn’t surprise when I saw my grade in that course.

8. Re-read all through: Practice they say makes perfect. For me, I would say this is the most effective studying technique as it not only meets the need of every individual but it’s what I think is the ultimate studying method. This method involves reading and re-reading every lesson thought after every class and all through the duration of the semester unlike the fire brigade method of reading a night or hours before your exams. Students who apply this method not become adequately prepared for the exam but go on to know and understand each courses satisfactorily as they had followed keenly since the beginning of the semester till its end.

The list is endless, it keeps going on, however, I indulge all and sundry to study themselves and look deep into them, try to know and work with what technique that gives you the best of result. We can from now,stop being stranded in exam halls like Osuofia in London and start being the masters in our crafts.

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