8 Ways to Study Faster and Retain More

By Susan Wallace

You try to make a daily schedule and stick to it. However, after a long day of classes, you’re too tired to go through the study material.

This is a universal question among students: how to learn faster and retain more? You don’t have too much time to study before the exams. How do you use it in the most effective manner possible?

The first step is to make a commitment. Approach the process with a positive attitude. We’ll list a few important tips on how to study effectively, so you’ll get ready for the exams on time.

8 Ways to Study More Effectively

  • Use Knowledge as a “Semantic Tree”

Elon Musk is known for being a versed person. He knows a lot of things from different niches. He devoted his life to learning and making progress.

Do you know what his approach is? He links the things he learns with things he already knows. Elon treats knowledge as a semantic tree. He makes sure to understand the big branches, which are related to basic principles. He proceeds with the details only when he mastered the basics, which they can hold on to.

Take Elon’s advice: don’t dig into advanced material before you master the basics. 

  • Work Out Your Priorities

Let’s say you have these tasks on your daily schedule:

  • Wake up early, exercise, and eat a healthy breakfast
  • Attend classes by the late afternoon
  • Attend an important extracurricular activity
  • Write homework for two hours
  • Study for two hours
  • Watch the new episode of your favorite TV show
  • Go to bed by 10 pm

The TV show isn’t mandatory. You can also skip the work-out for one day. You can find a  website that does assignments for you, so you’ll cover the homework. Then, you’ll have enough time for studying.

When your schedule is too busy, you have to learn how to prioritize. 

  • Do an “Evaluation of the Day” Before Going to Sleep

This is a simple technique that trains your brain to remember more: you’ll revisit the day in your thoughts.

  • Close your eyes and start seeing all your actions. You woke up, brushed your teeth, had breakfast… visualize everything that happened.
  • Try to reconstruct the events in chronological order.
  • Do not let any scenes draw you in. Don’t think about them. Just “see” them.

If you turn this into a daily habit, you’ll train your mind to become more aware of every moment. You won’t be able to remember everything the first time you try the technique. With time, you’ll become more focused.

Via Unsplash
  • Train Your Brain

Here’s something fun that you can do: play a game. Lumosity is awesome! It trains your brain to get better at remembering and using information.

You get different games every day, so it never gets boring. A session takes less than 10 minutes, so you have no excuse. Your mind needs exercise, just like your body does.  

  • Try a Relaxation Technique

You feel too tired to study? You want to have a nap, but you feel like you would waste a lot of time? A long nap can throw you off the daily schedule. You’ll sleep for an hour and you’ll need some time to get back on track after you wake up.

Why don’t you try a relaxation technique instead? It will only take ten minutes, and you’ll feel refreshed as soon as you complete it.

It’s easy to find relaxation videos on YouTube. All you need to do is lay down, close your eyes and follow the guidelines.

  • Meditate!

Meditation has great power to improve your working memory. It teaches you to be present in the moment. It will be difficult for you to stay focused at first. With time and effort, meditation will become a habit.

You’ll extend the meditative state beyond those twenty minutes of practice. You’ll stay mindful throughout the entire day.

  • Have a Break

If you’re trying to memorize too much material over a short period of time, you’ll get to a state of “information overload.” Your brain has its limits. The more you force yourself, the more stress you accumulate.

It’s best to take a short break when you feel too tired. When you feel like your brain is about to shut down, relax or have that nap. It’s okay to be flexible with your schedule. You’ll make up for it by going to sleep later than usual.

  • Turn Studying into a Habit

If you’re wondering how to study better, this is the main rule to follow: do it every day. It’s better to study twenty minutes per day than to binge-study for entire days before an exam. You’ll turn studying into a routine, so you won’t be burdened by the process.

It’s Not That Hard

When you feel burdened with too much studying and too little time before the exams, remind yourself: “I’m not alone in this situation.” Everyone else has the same period of time to get ready. They deal with the same responsibilities on a daily basis. Some students are more successful than others simply because they are more effective.

You can be more effective, too. Follow the tips above, and you’ll discover the hidden desire for learning.

BIO: Susan Wallace has always been bored by traditional education. It took her a long time to see the beauty in learning. Now, she loves writing blog posts that help students elevate their learning skills. Everyone can achieve their goals as long as they firmly set them.

We said this: Follow these tips to make sure the time you spend studying counts!