SummaryFrustrated with studying? Seton grad Anna Eileen offers five study methods to lower your amount of time spent studying while increasing your understanding.
Since attending college, I have found myself appreciating the opportunity to attend lectures and deepen the understanding I have attained from reading the textbook.
I remember when I was homeschooled, I did not always utilize the resources, such as audio lectures and reaching out to contact the teachers/counselors that were available to me. Instead, I sat in my room with my textbook, trying to memorize everything with sheer willpower.
Now, I realize that that was not a good approach. What I do now and should have done then was to study the material in ways that helped me truly understand, which lowers the amount of time spent studying, while increasing the quality of the studying.
There is a plethora of ways that you as a Seton student can add in study methods that fit your learning style.
1. Talk it out.
I was recently talking to one of my classmates who said that he has a hard time studying on his own because he needs to talk about the material with someone. Homeschoolers usually have a lot of opportunities to do this.
Discussing challenging material with your parents or explaining the concept to a willing younger sibling are great ways for auditory learners to enhance their home education. When I was talking Latin in high school, I remember recording myself reciting declensions and saving them to my phone. Then, I could go back and listen to them several times throughout the day.
Seton has instilled a love of outlining in me. For some classes, I take notes in class in the form of an outline. I always bring a pencil with me to class so I can erase and correct the outline if needed.
I do this not because I am a neurotic organization freak (or so I tell myself), but because I haven’t found a better way to see how all the different parts of a concept are connected. I recommend outlining after reading subjects like science and history.
I can guarantee you that few people can sit down, read a section of a textbook, and just understand everything without needing to work with the material a bit. Outlining really helps me and I wish I had discovered it when I was beginning high school.
3. Videos/Audio Lectures.
I have to put a disclaimer in here that it’s not a good idea to google a concept and watch whatever video pops up about it, because there is no way to know what the person is going to say. It’s better to not understand the material than to understand it incorrectly.
However, I have found the science videos from Crash Course and Khan Academy to be helpful. And of course, it is a good idea to listen to the audio lectures that Seton provides.
Quizlet is a great website that allows you to make online practice tests and flashcards for whatever you are learning about. You can quiz yourself in a variety of different ways, which enables you to study the material in many forms.
Quizlet is great for students who get distracted or frustrated by sitting and studying their notes for prolonged periods of time. I use this website all the time now and I wish I had known about it in high school.
5. Draw it!
This is really important for subjects such as biology — it’s very hard to sit down with a book, read it, and understand how cells and such work. However, I could also see that this can help for subjects such as history, in which you have to understand the logistics of a battle.
Last semester, my Anatomy and Physiology professor made the class turn in labeled drawings for almost every chapter. Some of us hated it and some of us found it really helpful. Do what works for you and don’t be afraid to try drawing if you are not artistic. I can barely draw, but I sometimes sketch things next to my notes to help me visualize the content.
Seton students, how do you study best?