4 Different Approaches to Studying

It seems like the majority of our time in college is spent studying. Knowing what techniques work best for you will make your studying time much easier and more effective. Trying out different methods is the best way to find out what works for you.

The Reading/Writing Approach

Reading the text and taking notes is the most typical style of studying. Make use of highlighters and different colored pens to distinguish between different concepts. Remember not to write down everything from the textbook, only what is most important. Creating written quizzes for yourself is also a great way for you to test your knowledge. A good technique for studying is to also rewrite your notes on a whiteboard as you’re reviewing.

The Visual Approach

Many people like incorporating images into their notes. Color coding, drawings and graphs are useful memory tools. Infographics and charts are also helpful ways to visualize what you’re learning.

The Auditory Approach

If you absorb information best after hearing it, you can record lectures (with your professor’s permission) so you can re-listen to them later. You can also get your textbooks on tape. One study technique is, after learning about a new topic, say everything that you can remember without looking at your notes. Reading out loud is a good way to cement information into your memory. Some people like making recordings of themselves reading their notes that they can listen to. Finally, try studying with a friend or in a group so you can discuss the information with other people.

The Kinesthetic Approach

People who prefer a more hands-on learning experience will benefit from interacting with the material, such as by creating models or diagrams. Tracing words with your finger while reading can help your retention. Typing out your notes is also a good way to add a tactile element to your studying. Experiment with combining memorization with simple movement, like pacing. Make sure to take lots of breaks while studying. You might also find it helpful to change locations as you study.

No matter how you learn best, there are lots of tips and tricks to help you succeed. Test out these studying techniques to see which ones you like best.