#39 The Best Way to Study

Students sometimes ask ‘what is the best way to study?’. The answer, there is no best way.

An important lesson for students to learn is that everyone learns in different ways, everyone has different approaches and preferences, and what works well for one person may not work well for another. This truth applies to all aspects of effective learning – time management, research skills, writing skills and so on. There are certainly good techniques and strategies available in all of these areas, and also approaches that work well for the majority of students. However it is essential that all students try different techniques to see what works best for them.

Preferences could also change over time, so it makes sense to at least once a year stop and reflect on approaches to schoolwork. What did you do, what worked, what didn’t, what should you change, what should you keep, and what new things could you try. This is what ‘metacognition’ is all about. It means taking the time to try and understand more about the process of learning and your role as a learner. Students who take a metacognitive approach to their learning are much more likely to improve their results. How can you find out different study techniques to try? Talk to the people around you – friends, siblings, parents – ask them what techniques they have used. Also ask your teachers what they would recommend for their subject.

You can also visit the unit on the Study Skills Handbook that covers how to study for tests and exams. Just remember – there is a worst way to study – just reading your notes over and over and hoping the information stays in your head!

You can learn more and find lots of new study techniques to try at www.studysamurai.com

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