How should I study?

Tips for studying - Luis Vives Study Center

How should I study?

Hello, #Vivers! If you have already reviewed our article on how to plan your study, this one may also interest you. Sometimes, the success of our academic life does not depend so much on the hours we dedicate to studying, but rather on the use of them. Any good study advice you are given will be based on this maxim.

Tips for studying - Luis Vives Study CenterWe tend to be used to organizing ourselves in a certain way and are quite reticent about any proposal for change. José Pascual, pioneer in the use of Study Techniques and Personal Development and Human Relations tools, states that “one of the most common errors is to think that we already know how to study.” If until now we have not obtained the desired results, why not change?

Let's start by making a schedule with the aim of arriving at the exams with all the material assimilated. Try to always start your study session at the same time and stick to it every day of the week (yes, Saturdays and Sundays included). Start with the subjects of medium difficulty, continue with the difficult ones and end with the easy ones; Dedicate the time you deem necessary to each one (you'll see if it's enough or not). Every time you finish studying a subject, give yourself a few minutes of rest.

Don't forget to include leisure in your schedule. Think that making better use of your study hours means having more time to do those activities that you most want.

Tips for studying: the importance of reading quickly

Are you already seated and with all the necessary material on the table? Well let's start. Your goal is to read quickly and understand what you read. Pronouncing the words will hinder this task. Guide yourself with your finger or a pencil, too. There is a formula that will allow you to know if your speed is adequate or not:

Number of words in the text x 60 / Seconds spent reading

LevelWords per minute
Excellent260 or more
Good220–259
Normal190–219
Insufficient170–189
Very poor169 or less

It is estimated that around 50% of what is read is forgotten as soon as it is finished. This should not worry us because, if we manage to repeat what we have studied with our words, the retention is much greater. Memorizing “like a parrot” is meaningless, it is proven that we remember more easily what we have assimilated or understood. The most important advice for studying that we can give you in this sense is that you do not try to retain everything in your memory (because, in addition to being impossible, it is useless): summarize and extract the essentials. To move away from traditional rote learning, there are methods of synthesizing and assimilating content that will be truly useful, such as underlining, diagrams, summaries or concept maps. Also use them for your revisions, they will be of great help in the days before the exams.

It is essential that you observe everything that does not work and change it. Keep in mind that you probably won't find your “ideal plan” the first time, but you will have to refine your method until you find the study mode that best suits your conditions. You should also know that the work plan is personal: what is very useful to one person may not be of any use to another. Everyone has to find their formula.

Improving our academic results is within everyone's reach, we just have to set our minds to it, establish a plan and be consistent with its execution.

We hope that this article has been useful to you and that these tips help you improve the way you study and, with it, your results.

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