The school year has just begun, and with it, exams. While there is nothing more satisfying than receiving a top score on your exams, every student is different, and the way they learn is unique. While some students enjoy attending classes, others enjoy doing homework and writing essays, and others still find taking exams, dare I say it, enjoyable. According to the VARK system, there are different types of learners. Verbal, visual, logical, and auditory learners. And within those groups, some learn alone, while others need study groups. So what is the best way to prepare for exams?
Understanding your method of learning is essential to your academic success, as it can help you optimize your studying and ace your exams. By learning about the best techniques and methods for your learning style, you only help yourself.
No matter which type of learner you are, or whether you have yet to discover which style fits your needs best, keep reading below to learn more on the most effective learning methods to date:
The Pomodoro Technique
One of the most basic approaches to teaching learners to work productively is the Pomodoro Technique. It entails dividing any large task, or series of tasks, into smaller chunks, with timed intervals, giving your brain the stimulation it needs to maintain 100 percent focus for several shorter 25-minute intervals, rather than exhausting it with one long task.
The Pomodoro Technique is evidenced to provide long-term benefits to the human mind by strengthening the attention span and concentration and has also been proven to help students stay on top of deadlines by providing an efficient way of handling their workload.
Other pluses of using this technique include eliminating the habit of multitasking because it requires effective planning while tackling procrastination and by relieving physical and mental exhaustion, by breaking down large tasks into smaller ones.
Want to know how you can benefit from the Pomodoro Technique?
First, you’ll need a timer. Then just follow these easy steps:
- Choose the task that you have to complete then estimate the amount of time it will take you to finish.
- Set the time intervals aka “Pomodoros” to 25 minutes.
- Work on your task until the time is up.
- Tick your checkbox and take a 5-minute break
- After completing four Pomodoros, take a 15-30 minute break.
The Flashcard Method
The Flashcard Method is a simple, tried-and-true, method of remembering facts that engage our mental faculty of “active recall.” The attempt to remember a concept by recognizing it on a flashcard, or a multiple choice quiz, results in a stronger neural connection, which in turn has a positive impact on the learning process. Furthermore, one of the main advantages of using flashcards is that it allows students to learn quickly, by enabling them to concentrate on the areas where they are weakest, by filtering the cards they need to focus more on, based on the accuracy of their answers.
Fact: Rehearsing active recall can retain information 150 times higher than when studying passively.
Flashcards also stimulate the metamemory (our knowledge and awareness of our own memory processes) because it includes metacognitive strategies. (Metacognition is the process of consciously reflecting on one’s processes and comprehending the patterns that underpin them.) When we see the answer side of a flashcard, we are prompted to consider, “how did my answer compare to the correct answer?” Which in turn helps us retain implicit memories (information that you remember unconsciously and effortlessly), resulting in improved learning performance.
The use of flashcards also triggers the ‘confidence-based repetition approach’ to learning. This method has been scientifically proven to boost confidence, correctness, retention, and learning while also improving memory performance.
This method is effective for various learning styles, including visual learners, who retain information best when concepts are illustrated with images, diagrams, and charts.
The Feynman Technique
Last but not least, the Feynman Technique consists of reducing a subject to its basic principles. The goal of this technique is to test one’s ability to teach a complex concept from scratch despite the listener’s educational background. In essence, to break down a subject into easier concepts to aid in understanding and retention. If a child can understand what you’re trying to teach/learn, then you have mastered the technique.
The Feynman Technique is extremely handy in learning complex information. It breaks subjects down into easier pieces of information to understand, thus better suiting your learning process.
One way to practice this technique is by describing an historical event. Practice telling the key events and dates. The ability to transform concepts into a story is an art, and the only way to succeed is through practice. Another way to ensure that you’ve truly broken down a topic to its most basic components is by teaching it to children.
With a Little Help From a Friend
We hope these methods help you succeed in the upcoming academic year. Remember, by cutting down on disturbances and stimuli, you achieve a more effective study session and build your concentration.
At emaze we understand how much goes into studying, teaching, learning, creating, all of it! Not everyone approaches their studies the same way. That’s why we have taken it upon ourselves to create as many templates and themes as we can. We want everyone to create content the way that suits them best and maximize their results. Don’t forget to try us out and see what’s new, happy studying!
Pro Tip: Try different learning methods until you find the one that fits you best. As always, don’t forget to let us know in the comments below, which style worked for you?