Sometimes studying can be a really enjoyable and satisfying experience.
You get in a groove, you smash out some good study, you feel like you’ve achieved something.
Other times… well…. let’s face it — sometimes studying is a slog, and it can involve studying for subjects topics that you’re not too keen on (unless maybe you’re a senior and you’ve chosen all of your subjects).
The good news is, studying is made easier when you go into it knowing that you’re not going to enjoy every second of it, but that you have a few study tricks up your sleeve to get through the tougher times.
Here are our 5 favorite tricks for making studying more interesting when it’s a bit…well… not interesting…
1. Mix it up — punctuate your study with the topics you enjoy the most
As we’ve discussed previously, studying for your exams will inevitably involve studying for subjects or topics that you don’t enjoy as much as others.
To help get through these topics — and to generally help you get through your exam preparation — you might find that your motivation levels stay higher and more consistent if you spread out your study of topics that you find more difficult or don’t enjoy.
For instance, you might like to start your study day with two topics that you enjoy (at least relatively speaking) studying, before tackling something that you know is going to be harder. Starting with a topic or two that you enjoy will get you in the swing of studying and boost your motivation levels, which should help you get ‘mentally prepared’ for tackling the trickier topic next.
You might be someone who likes to start with the harder topic and get it out of the way — and that’s absolutely fine! But if not, spreading out your study of the not-so-fun topics might be the way to go to make your study days more interesting.
2. Study with a friend (sometimes)
Studying with a friend can inject a bit of fun and socialization into your study.
But not only will studying with a friend liven things up a bit occasionally, it can be a really effective way of UNDERSTANDING and CONSOLIDATING what you’ve been studying.
Chris and I used to discuss the main topics of what we believed was going to be in our exam the day before, and boy did it help! While in the exam, I’d be able to think back to our discussions and remember things I would otherwise have forgotten!
Obviously it’s not practical or wise to study with a friend all the time, but doing so now and again can be a great way of having a bit of fun, AND studying effectively at the same time.
Particularly during the pointy end of your exam study when you’re starting to ‘polish’ your exam preparation.
3. Use a range of different study techniques
Even the best studiers in the world might get a bit bored just reading a text book as their solo study technique.
Thankfully — there are myriad study techniques that you can employ when and as you see fit throughout your exam preparation! (Have a scan of our previous articles to find study techniques you didn’t know about.)
Of course your exam study will require reading, but there is also videos, writing study notes, drawing diagrams, going over past exams, doing practice questions, using flash cards — just to name a few different study techniques.
Using a mixture of these study techniques and any others that work for you will help prevent your study from going ‘stale’ and help keep your enthusiasm levels UP!
4. Watch videos wherever appropriate
Educational videos are SUCH a great resource they deserve their own number on this list.
There are so many fantastic videos available on the net that explain any concept you could possibly hope to learn at high school.
I personally find watching videos a really good way of coming to grips with a difficult concept, and often a bit more exciting than just reading on its own.
To help make your study day more interesting (but still productive!) you might like to try watching a couple of videos on a topic before writing some study notes on the topic in your own words.
This double whammy of watching and writing will be a massive help for your understanding and information retention.
5. Use mnemonic devices
Don’t try to learn the first 20 elements of the Periodic Table by rote learning alone.
Memory-aiding techniques like mnemonic devices can be such a god-send when it comes to learning information that would otherwise be hard to memorize.
AND — they definitely make studying what might otherwise be quite dry material more interesting.
Overall — do what works for you
Any advice we share here at The Study Gurus should ALWAYS be read with our most important mantra in mind — studying effectively is all about figuring out how to study in the way that works for YOU!
We all learn and study most effectively in our own unique way.
We will be stoked if the study tips above work for you, but it should ALWAYS be open to you to modify, adjust or tweak any study technique we suggest you try. It is also perfectly acceptable for you to try something and think — nope that’s not for me! In fact that’s great, because you’ve taken another step towards figuring out how YOU study effectively — and figuring out what YOUR Study Formula is.
So if you (or your teen) have discovered some study techniques that help to make YOUR study sessions more interesting, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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