Study tips for busy students

Further education is indispensable in every phase of life nowadays. Thus, studying in addition to your professional activity is no longer a rarity. It is obvious that this can be very stressful and it can be hard to fulfill your academic obligations. Therefore, I will share with you my top study tips that help me to study regularly in my stressful everyday life in this blogpost.

Of course, there are different learning-types and each one of us can study easier in other ways. For example, some of us are more of a visual type but others may be auditory, haptic or communicative types. I count myself as a visual learner. Because of that not all of my tips may work for you right away. Nevertheless, I think that all concepts can be applied to every type of learner.

Stay mobile

The most important thing for me is that I am very mobile with my study materials and ideally always have them available. That way, I can always and without much effort study and use spontaneous waiting-times in a meaningful way.

I basically only learn on my laptop and get all the learning materials, as far as possible, in digital form. I work through them and summarize them. At least by then I have available in digital form. I store it in my cloud, which gives me access to it everywhere.

The advantage: I can study anywhere and anytime. In the best case, it is enough to take my laptop with me (which is thinner than almost any book), in the worst case, I can also read my summaries on my smartphone!

In my opinion, this mobility is very important, especially if you have a lot on your mind anyway. The possibility to learn everywhere is certainly one of the main reasons why I can study as much as I do in my stressful everyday life.

Summaries

I already mentioned it above, but summaries are extremely important for me in many ways. My first step in working through scripts is ALWAYS making a summary. In my opinion, this has the following advantages:

  • Own language: University scripts are often written in a language that is not very easy to understand. Even if this is not the case, I always work through summaries that are written in my own words more easily than scripts that are not written in “my language”.
  • Length: Summaries should always be much shorter than the actual texts, but still contain all relevant points. Because of that you can work through your learning materials faster and more often.
  • Reflection: By reading, thinking about it and writing a summary, you already reflect several times on the contents you just worked through. You already start the learning process and a lot of information already remains in your memory.
  • Refresh Knowledge: If you want to retrieve the knowledge about a certain subject area later on, it is usually enough to read your summary once so that you can remember the relevant information again.

I try to go for a maximum of 1/3 of the length of the original text in my summaries. That way I can shorten the text significantly but I still don’t lose important content.

For particularly complex and multi-layered topics, I have occasionally also made summaries of my summary. These focused only on the most important points and covered little more than 4 pages.

My personal tip for summaries:

I rarely write complete sentences and often use abbreviations that I create myself (sometimes in the context of a complex of topics).

Often instead of long

Of course, I also have a lot of longer learning sessions. I almost always
study on my weekends for several hours at a time. I also try to accommodate many smaller lessons over a longer period of time though.

This has the advantage that I am always concerned with the learning content. That way, they are easier and longer remembered and I can better internalize them.

After all, the goal should be to remember the learning content in the long term and not just to learn it for the upcoming exam.

Interest

The last point is not a real study tip but a general piece of advice. Of course, there are often topics you need to learn, but that do not interest you. Bottom line, you should definitely bring an interest in the learning content though.

It is not only easier for you to study that way. After all, the goal of your further education should be to develop yourself in a direction in which you later want to work in.

And who does not like to work in an area for which he has a strong interest?

How do you study best? What are your personal study tips? Let me know in the comments!

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