10 Best Ways to Study & Actually Learn What You’re Studying

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Have you ever wondered what are the best ways to study and how to be efficient when studying? This post will help you to become more efficient student and learn new ways to study and learn!

Lately I posted about how I combine medical and economics studies with work, blog, business and more . That post has got a huge amount of comments and views so I decided to carry on the same path. From that previous post you’ll find my time management tips and from this one you’ll find my tips on best ways to study. I hope these tips will help you guys to be more productive and succeed on your studies.

10 Best Ways to Study

1. Find a Spot without Distractions

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If you like studying alone in a silent place, go to library and find a silent spot where you can focus 100% on your studies – or stay home if there is not too many distractions. Cafeterias can also work fine if you are not disturbed very easily.

2. Focus 100% on the Studies

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The best way to study is obviously to study instead of doing other things and fooling yourself. So, turn off that social media and focus on what is important. I sometimes turn of my computer Wi-Fi and put my phone on flight mode to focus more without distraction. Sometimes this isn’t possible but at least don’t have that Facebook open in the other tab.

3. Set Goals and Timelines

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Give yourself a measurable goal every time you study! For example 45minutes of studies with covering topics A and B, then 15 minutes break and then 45 minutes to cover topic C.

If you enjoy planning or have tight deadline, do goals in prior for month, week or so. If you don’t play with that tight deadlines at the moment. You can also go with goals for just one day or hour. Just don’t waste time on planning if you are a go with the flow -type of person. In that case it can be better to just give yourself a deadline when certain things have to be done and you can be slightly more flexible on goal setting.

4. Do Notes Efficiently

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Find the best way to study and do notes. Some people enjoy drawing, others write, some make poems and some might even make videos that facilitate their learning. Find your best way to do notes and start using it as often as possible.

Remember to focus on the important things instead of every detail and example from the study material. The point of notes is to be a shorter way to describe things in a way that helps you to understand and remember things that are important in the study area.

5. Try to Actually Understand What Your Studying

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Don’t try to memorize things – focus on understanding the topics instead. For example, if I’m studying how the anatomy of the human heart I’m trying to understand it as a part of the bigger system instead of just trying to remember the anatomy without the context around it.

It’s easier to remember where the heart muscle is thicker if you actually understand that there is a bigger pressure in the left side that pumps blood to the whole body (instead of pumping it just to the lungs that the right side does) – and because of that bigger pressure the muscle needs to be thicker. Makes sense, right? And when it makes sense it’s easier to actually understand and remember in a long run.

6. Repeat and Reread

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So you read and tried to understand but still don’t remember? Probably you forgot to repeat and reread same things and/or your notes. It’s good to memorize what you just studied and then you trough your notes to make sure you’ve actually understood what you read.

Before exam, I like to go through all the notes and memorize the topic in my head. If something remains unclear, go trough that topic again with notes, book, videos or whatever works for you.

7. Ask for Help

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If you don’t understand something and it does not make sense, ask for help. You can ask it from a friend, teacher or google. If it’s important make sure you won’t just leave it like if you don’t understand it straight away. Seek for help and ask every time things don’t seem to make sense.

8. Use Different Forms of Media

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Many of us are used to study from books by reading, right? But there is plenty of media forms around and if you’re getting bored with reading or facing issues with it, don’t be afraid to try the other ways too. Some people learn excellently from audio books and for example for me videos and some study games and apps have been a great source for learning.

9. Try Studying with Others

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If you’re a person who enjoys studying with a group do not hesitate to ask friends or other people studying the same topics to study together with you. You can for example read the same topic and then discuss about it. Or you can read different topics and teach each others. Did you know that teaching others is actually a great test for you? You need to understand the topic very well to be able to teach others!

10. Don’t Forget the Recovery

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You cannot study 15 hours a day everyday. Your brain needs sleep to process what you’ve studied and to recover from the hard day with all the different topics. So take breaks, go out for a walk, have some healthy snacks and sleep enough. That’s how you will get more out of those ours spent studying.

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* All the photos of this post are stock photos

How do you study? What are your best ways to study and actually learn? Would you add, remove or change something in this list?

4 comments

  1. Thanks again for great tips! I’d say number 6 (Repeat and Reread) is the most important for me. I’ve found flash cards are a great tool for this. I’ve been happy with Anki (https://apps.ankiweb.net/), but there are probably other great apps as well. When using flash cards, it’s really important to actually try to remember and learn the cards, instead of just shuffling them through and in a way cheating yourself. I got my way in to med school using flash cards and never looked back. Just wanted to share this tip! 🙂

    1. That’s a great tip, Zeta! I have to check out that site and also test some flashcards. I actually used those when studying anatomy but haven’t even tried after that. Thanks for the remainder. ☺️ And also, thanks for the comment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Setting daily to-do lists and weekly study goals was what got me through grad school without losing my mind completely. I also like to read my notes/readings aloud to help myself focus only on the material.

    1. Happy to hear that those methods have worked for you! I haven’t tried reading things aloud (except when studying foreign languages), I think I have to try this one. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

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