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Effective Study Skills That You Need to Know

The need to study for exams is one of the most stressful aspects about school, and therefore it is important to build effective study skills, which are study skills that truly help you understand and memorize the material. However, most students fall into the trap of being unprepared, simply studying the evening before a major test. This not only leaves one terribly nervous, but it also doesn’t help to achieve a high score. For those that would like to improve their studying, it is imperative to be familiar with the best methods that can help you do so. Below you will find the study methods that are the most effective for success on your exams.


Your mind is a powerful tool that can not only intake and record information, but it can also be used to positively affect your study habits. Because the mind is malleable, you have the ability to influence outcomes. Therefore, when studying, it is important to do so with a positive mindset rather than that of drudgery, dislike, and even anger. This is one of the study skills that will help you succeed. In 2007, Stanford’s Psychology Professor Carol Dweck conducted a study on how mindset affects learning. According to her study, students that had a positive approach towards learning and exhibited the motivation to do so were more successful at understanding and learning the material than their negative-minded counterparts. So, when you study for exams, it is vital that you approach the task positively, expand your mind to enjoy the material, and even find the motivation within yourself. When you do what you love, you only do it better. With that, it is easy to understand why mindset is one of the most effective study skills.

The Right Place

It’s understandable, with all of the technology and media around, it is oftentimes quite difficult to disconnect. This results in you studying in front of your television, near your cell phone, or in a loud and rowdy environment. With that, you have also probably noticed that despite “studying” in such an area, your exam results were not as high as you expected. Well, there is a good reason for that, which is that your mind is terrible at focusing at more than one thing at once. According to the University of Minnesota, the best place to study is in a quiet space, such as your home desk or library. You also should use the same space for your study sessions, as the mind begins to adapt and understand that it is study time. This leads to an effective study skills so you can study for exams the right way. In addition, it is recommended that you turn your cellphone off and avoid television, as they just pose distractions.

Keep a Study Schedule

Just as the mind is adaptable, so is the body. One of the most effective study skills that you can adopt is to keep a study schedule. A study schedule is one way that you can always help yourself remember to study of exams. To help yourself adapt, you will want the scheduled time to be around the same time of day almost every day. The average time recommended for studying is about an hour each day, making this one of the simplest study skills you should adopt.

Flash Cards

Alright, while you may think that flash cards are a thing of the past, or they are just used for young kids, flash cards are actually an excellent study tool, making it one of the best study skills that you can use. Flash cards are perfect for memorizing material when you need to study for exams, and they are also a quick way to memorize information.

Frequently Review Material

Another one of the study skills you should adopt is frequently reviewing material (hint – flash cards). Doing so is a perfect way to study for exams, according to a study by UC San Diego School of Medicine. Frequently reviewing material helps your mind store the information in your long term memory, making it extremely easy to retrieve the information when you need it for an exam. You can help yourself actively memorize by creating summary charts of the information, using flash cards, rewriting the material, skimming the information and finding the “big picture,” and practicing application. Effective study skills are important, and adopting this one will certainly help you out.


Lastly, while the material that you study is important, the real star of the show is you. Among the list of effective skills, the most effective skill is between it all is to take care of yourself. Chances are, if you are not sleeping well, eating healthily, getting the right exercise, and are not mentally prepared, you will find that success extremely difficult to achieve. Therefore, when you study for exams, the most effective study skills also include taking care of your body and your own needs while you use the above study skills to prepare for your exam.