10 Ways to Stay Organized When Studying
Have you ever struggled with studying? Is staying organized and tackling information for exams a challenge? If so, there could be a simple solution. Maybe you need help with new organization techniques which will not only make studying easier, but more enjoyable. Staying organized while you study is a great way boost your retention levels and increase your overall test scores. What are some of the best ways to stay organized when studying? Keep reading below to find out.
1. Learn the Cornell note taking method to organize notes
The Austin Community College shows that there are many benefits to note taking. According to their website, note taking keeps you alert, engages your mind, helps you emphasise and organize important information, and it creates a condensed record for study. If you are unsure of how to begin taking great notes, you can use Cornell notes to start. This method involves dividing a sheet of paper into three sections. One section is for general note taking, the other is to emphasis key points, and the final is to summarize the info and highlight the key points after class in order to review and reflect upon what was discussed.
2. Use binders and notebooks
Using binders or notebooks is a great way to organize your notes. If you sit down to study, but it takes hours just to organize the information you have, it will be hard to focus on learning the material. Binders help keep your notes organized and separated by subject, which will also help speed along the process of finding information later. Use tabs with labels for important information so it is readily accessible.
3. Write the date and topic of your class discussion at the top of your notes
Before you can become an organized studier, you must first learn how to take good notes. Taking notes is essential to reviewing for tests and quizzes later, so if you are not already taking notes this is a great place to start. At the beginning of each class or lecture, put the topic and date of each lecture at the top of the first page. This will make it easier to find information later on when you are reviewing.
4. Create a schedule for studying
Set aside time each week for studying by making a schedule. You can make it so you study a certain amount of time every day, or only study on certain days. The idea is to make it a routine so you get into the habit of studying regularly.
5. Use a calendar to plan
By using a calendar, it will be far easier to plan out exactly how much time you should set aside to study. Start by counting backwards from the day of each exam so you can see how many days and hours you have to prepare. Working in study time around other competing schedules will ensure that you give yourself enough time to get ready for your exams and will make studying less stressful.
6. Organize your workspace
Find a place to study. It can be anywhere you feel you will perform the best. Some people prefer using their own homes but others like to go to a public place, like a library. Just choose a dedicated location where you can study with ample time and little distraction. Make sure this workspace is organized. It should be clutter free and have the supplies you need to study effectively.
A list of things you should have include:
- Note Cards
- Different Color Highlighters
- A Stapler
- Plenty of Paper
- Anything Else You May Need
By keeping these items stocked up, it will reduce the time you spend looking for things you need when you should be studying.
7. Use color coded flash cards
Using flash cards is a tried and true method of studying. It appeals to a wide range of learning styles and is quite an effective way to increase the amount of information you can recall and memorize for tests. By color coding flash cards, you can keep them organized by subject or even by individual subject categories.
However, technology is changing how you can create flash cards. There are many digital resources available and quite a number of flash card apps you can download on your smartphone or tablet. Check out this list of awesome flash card apps.
8. Eliminate distractions
When you are studying, staying focused can be challenging. Eliminate as many distractions as you can so that you can stay focused on your work. Stay off your cell phone and social media until later. Some people like noise while they are working, but the TV can be very distracting. Instead, try listening to film scores or instrumental music or a white noise app. This will have the same effect but will not be as intrusive as TV shows and advertisements.
9. Divide information into sections
Attacking a large portion of information at once can be overwhelming. Break down your notes and subjects into smaller groups. For example, if you have a list of terms, try dividing them into groups of ten and study only ten words at a time. Once you have mastered these words, move on to the next ten. Continue this trend until you have learned all the words you need to know. Use your study schedule and calendar mentioned above to decide which subjects to study on which days instead of trying to study everything all at once.
10. Set a timer and take breaks
When you are studying, it is very important to take breaks. According to Psych central, taking breaks actually can help improve your overall focus. If you have trouble focusing on studying, try setting a timer for 30-50 minutes and study until the timer goes off. Then, set the timer again for ten minutes and take a quick break. Once the timer goes off again, set it for another 30-50 minutes and so on.
In conclusion, staying organized when you study will help you learn more and get better grades. However, it starts with taking good notes and maintaining a system to organize them. If you can’t find your notes or if you don’t have any to begin with, studying becomes increasingly more difficult.
Let us know what you think in the comments below! Do you have any other tips to staying organized when studying?