Are you studying to just pass exams or to learn and to understand?

Just a quick glance of a vivid memories during my undergraduate studies. There was a time when I did all the wrong things- yup! I am that student before ~

The student who begins studying the day before a Test 2 since busy with assignments in week 10 till week 14.

The student who is too “shy” to ask lecturer questions because feel too scared to look dumb..

The one that sits in the library studying, but spends most of the time on their phone… let the time flies and regret later TT

The one that passes the course, but forgets everything they learned a week later..

The one that tells themselves “this semester will be different”, but nothing changes.

It took me a while to figure out how to be a good student. But once I did, my grades and life improved. One of the main reasons for my improvement was a change in my study habits. Instead than simply passing tests, I studied to learn and understand.

Because if you understand something, you’ll remember it.

Here I share the strategies that will help you understand and remember what you study:

  1. Ask What Why How? Question everything – Question your lecturer in class, question the material you read, question yourself. By asking questions, the curiosity will force you to think deeply about a concept and analyse it. Then, it will lead and stimulate your brain to search for the answer. Currently, all information is just at the tips of your finger. You can dig more and not only rely on the given material by your lecture. Be proactive!
  2. Recall, recall, recall – There is no shortcut to digest the information well. Constantly test yourself by doing practice questions and recalling answers. Repetition of this technique will help embed concepts and information in your mind. In this case, a night before exam study might not enough for you to digest all information. You need to strategies and chunk up your materials well and be discipline.
  3. Take notes in your own words – Chat-GPT currently is most favourite application to students. However, did you realise when you try to answer exam question you are stuck to build your own words? You are blank? This is because you did not practise to write your own notes. Writing by your own understanding will forces you to think about what you study in more depth. To write something complex in your own words requires a higher level of understanding.
  4. Use mind-mapping – Use the bird eye POV, draw a big picture of what you had learn. This technique helps you to visually connect the main concepts of each topic and the entire subject as a whole.
  5. Learn from first principles and build from there – each subject will have its fundamental principles. Once you understand those core principles you can relate new material to them, making it much easier to understand.

Realign your purpose of studies, then you will feel how hunger your brain will be seeking for more information and knowledge. All of above strategies need a full swing of discipline and will power. Study to understand, and you won’t forget what you study. It’s not too late for restart and recharge even this is your final year. Try the best and do the best. Always remember keep on practice, practice and practise. Practice makes improvement.


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