Studying is one of the most important skills you could ever hope to attain either before or once you’re in Uni – the ability to nap for less than 10 minutes and at any location is also an art of University survival, however that deserves a blog of its own. So for this blog, since both NCEA and University exams are fast approaching, I thought I’d lay out 6 study tips I’ve learnt throughout Highschool and University.
- Find out what kind of learner you actually are!
When I was in year 12, I went away on a Whakapiki Ake trip to the University of Auckland and a key thing they got us to do was to establish our learning style. We did this by doing a short questionnaire that informed us of our personal learning style – visual, aural, reading/writing, kinesthetic or a mixture of all four. At the end of the questionnaire, you’re then provided with a range of study strategies that match your learning style.
Although it may seem to be a bit dweeby to take a quiz about studying, understanding how you personally acquire information is super important; because it could be that the knowledge you gain from re-writing notes for hours on end, is equivalent to the information you retain from drawing out a speedy 10 minute diagram and eating Burger Fuel.
- Colour code like a boss.
Even if you find out you’re not a visual learner, I would still highly recommend colour coding. I find it so much easier to pick apart a diagram or a paragraph if words and images are colour coded, as my eyes are drawn to the key information and the complexity of the image can be broken down into nice pretty colours. Also if you are a visual learner, and you find yourself in a test needing to label a diagram, I can bet you all the ice-cream in the world that if you colour coded – retrieving that information from your brain will be much easier.
- Practice questions, practice questions!
For most, I’m sure this is a pretty obvious one (not that I’m included in the “most” category – whoops!). Doing practice questions is one of the best study techniques – especially if you’re under test conditions. It allows you to know what you know, and know what you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to make your own practice questions too! I’m planning on trying it out in preparation for MEDSCI this semester!
- Search Youtube for everything.
I’m telling you, youtube tutorials are magical things and need to be rated as highly as memes. Fade Wikipedia, Crash Course and Armando are a ⅓ of the reason as to why I function at University. Youtube tutorials and videos are great in that they are likely to explain things in a completely different way to your teacher/lecturer. So if you don’t get a concept because of how it was taught to you, chuck it into the Youtube search bar, flick through some videos, and experience enlightenment.
- Flow charts.
Flow charts are things I wished I utilised more in High School, as they allow you to piece together big concepts and even whole topics. They’re also a good way of testing yourself to see if you understand or can remember how something fits together. I would highly recommend using flowcharts for Organic Chemistry in NCEA level 2 and level 3 if you’re not already, as it’ll not only help you out heaps right now, but it will also assist you in first year Biomed or Health Science, if that’s what you decide to do.
- Have breaks.
Knowing when your brain is at max saturation is an essential study technique. If you clog your brain to the point where you’re scanning over a sentence several times and still have no idea what you’ve just read, chances are your brain has tapped out and you’re no longer going to be learning. So have naps, drink lots of water, eat tasty snacks and have a walk around to let your brain recoup and get back on the grind.
Until next time my fellow bloggies! xx