Studying is a complex process when it’s done well.
Good studiers utilize various study techniques and methods, particularly during intense exam study. Their desk and their bedroom walls are often covered with the fruits of their study sessions — flow charts, diagrams, acrostic poems, study notes, flash cards… And then there’s everything on their computer as well!
When teens are looking to improve the efficiency and efficacy of their study sessions and exam preparation, they often ask, “What do I need to do?” “What study techniques should I use?”
Of course it’s important that teens are aware of the different study techniques and methods out there, but the more crucial and fundamental question they need to ask themselves first is this: How do I best process and retain information?
That is the question every student needs to ask themselves.
They then need to embark on the journey of figuring out the answer to that question, because it’s knowing the answer that will guide them through the tumultuous time of high school and exams.
Regrettably, this is something a lot of us don’t know, or even think about, until high school has long since passed.
You’ve probably heard colleagues at work say things like, “I need to see a picture or do something myself before I understand it.” Or, “I hate meetings because I can’t pay attention!”
What people are really saying when they say things like this is, “This is how I best process information”.
They know what techniques allow them to process and retain information most effectively.
And that is the absolute key when it comes to studying.
How this relates to your Learning Style
Knowing how you best process and retain information is a very similar thing to knowing what your Learning Style is. In fact, figuring out what your predominant Learning Style might be is one way of understanding how you best process and retain information.
If your predominant Learning Style is ‘Visual Learner‘, that probably means that you best process and retain information by — no marks for guessing here — visual study techniques. Techniques such as watching videos, drawing diagrams and sticking them up all over your study space, using lots of color, etc.
It’s important to remember that knowing what your predominant Learning Style is shouldn’t restrict the learning techniques you utilize when you’re studying, as you may easily still benefit from techniques associated with other Learning Styles.
But — knowing what your predominant Learning Style is will likely act as a useful guide throughout your years at high school (and beyond!), keeping you aware that you should always be trying to utilize study techniques that work for YOU. What works for other people may be very different.
How this feeds into your Study Formula
What we’re ultimately trying to achieve here at The Study Gurus, is to help high school students figure out their Study Formula.
Your Study Formula is the process that you follow EVERY TIME you study and prepare for exams, and it’s made up of all of the study techniques and methods that you have figured out through trial and error work for you.
Your Study Formula includes the study techniques that take up the majority of your study time, like writing study notes, but it also includes all of the little details that make your study process unique to you, like what colored pens you like using when you study (not even kidding) and how frequently and for how long you take study breaks.
Because your Study Formula encompasses ALL of the study techniques and methods that you use when you’re studying, you can see how understanding how you best process and retain information would influence your Study Formula hugely.
Let’s put it another way. The relationship between knowing how you best process and retain information and getting good grades is essentially this:
High school students who get the grades they’re capable of understand how they best process and retain information, which means they’re in the best position possible to understand what study techniques and methods are most likely to help them study efficiently and effectively, which means they have a conscious awareness of the things they need to do when they sit down to study.
And for those of you who like flow charts:
Understanding how you best process and retain information → understanding what study techniques you should use → having a tried and tested Study Formula → consistent results that reflect your academic potential.
The only other thing to say is, does your teen know how they best process and retain information?