You may be caught up in the holiday spirit right now, but exams will be here before you know it! Of course, this doesn’t mean you pull a Rapunzel and lock yourself up in a tower to go through your towering pile of notes. Studying can be a lot more fun than you think! All you need to do is figure out which technique works best for you. Here are some tricks you could try out:
Make a Mind Map
Are you one of those students who fill up the last few pages of their notebook with doodles and diagrams? Go one step further and try your hand at mind mapping! Write the title of the concept you’re trying to learn in the centre of a chart paper or a board. Then, think about all the things you would associate that title with, and write them around that title. Connect those words to the title with a line, as if you’re doodling branches. Keep adding more words and connecting them to different words on the page through these branches – that’s a mind map. This video should help you create the perfect one!
Memorise with Music
If you love listening to music, try using it to remember concepts or poems! “I learnt Hindi poems for my 10th boards by singing them according to my favourite tunes, and I still remember them!” says Yogesh Lala, an entrepreneur. Assign special songs to different concepts.
Apart from helping you remember, music also helps you focus. “I loved listening to Pink Floyd while doing Maths. It drowned out all other distractions – even in my head – and helped me focus better on the problems,” says Pavitra Sampath, a senior editor with a health insurance company.
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Learn On the Go
Physical activity releases endorphins or feel-good hormones. If you’re feeling stuck or bored, get up and get moving! And while you do so, match your steps with the lessons. Recite a maths table aloud or memorise a formula as you hop, skip and groove. When you look back at your movements, things you learnt with every step (literally!) will come back to you with ease!
Make it Stick!
Did you come across something you just can’t remember? It could be a formula, the names of kings and queens, dates, diagrams… anything, really. Write or draw them on post-its and stick them where you’re most likely to spot them. Use a whiteboard, if necessary. You could stick them inside your cupboard, behind the door of your bathroom or even on your study table. Looking at something over and over helps you recall it better.
Add a Splash of Colour
Got too many concepts and lessons to handle? Colour code them! This works well if you get mixed up between similar lessons. Train your memory to see concepts in a particular colour. Use colours that are different, not different shades of the same colour. For this, you might need markers, post-its and crayons. Start associating the colour with the concept to help you remember it better.
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When in Doubt, Just Daydream
This one’s a great method if you are too tired to ‘do’ anything. Take a deep breath, sit back and daydream. Think about what you have just learnt and spin an imaginary tale around it. Let your imagination run wild! If the concept doesn’t stick, the story you built around it sure will!
Focus on the Bigger Picture
Sometimes not knowing why we are learning things can make them seem dry. Take the case of the Archimedes principle. Why did Archimedes come up with it? How did he do it? To develop an interest in a particular topic, start looking at the bigger picture. Where does it fit in this big world? “Knowing the ethos of a concept and why we are learning it helps with motivation. The inspiration to study something is usually lacking. Once that is tackled, learning becomes easy. You look forward to knowing more about it,” says Rohit Sasvehalli, a life coach.
When nothing else works, it’s time to “gamify” your study plan. Assign levels to different lessons and concepts. Once you complete a “level”, reward yourself with a break! “Watching television was my biggest motivation. I would finish studying just so I could get TV time,” says Letty Mariam Abraham, senior editor with Midday.
Another way to gamify your lessons is to use different methods to approach the same problem. Try your hand at Vedic Maths and learn quick ways to multiply, divide and square numbers. Look at problem-solving like a game to make it a lot more interesting.
Studying does not have to be a punishment, especially when there are so many fun ways to learn! All you need to do is find your interests and use them to make a study plan. Think about the activities you look forward to the most. If it’s drawing, turn your lessons into beautiful illustrations. If it’s music, assign a tune to every concept and sing it as you learn it.
Sounds like a fun way to study? Go ahead, give it a try and tell us what worked for you!
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