How to Study Effectively: 5 Study Methods to Learn Fast

Studying is an exercise that is usually considered by many as tedious. And that explains why the smiles return to the cheeks of the students after the Exams are over. Putting in long hours, usually considered as boring into the study schedules is what causes a huge majority to hate studies.

So, what if you get better results with a few hours of studies only? Study is an exercise that need not be tedious. Besides, when studying does not appear to be boring, it’s no longer difficult as well. An exercise that keeps you interested automatically gets easier.

5 Ways to Study Effectively

Studying effectively certainly includes cultivating and retaining the interest in the entire exercise. An activity that can invoke and maintain your interest yields pleasure rather than tedium! And the same applies to studies!

You might be surprised, but taking a keen interest into what you call reading with a positive frame of mind can really make you happier. Besides, when you study happily, the exercise can yield positive results far beyond your expectations. And you can prepare for the impending Exam better. Needless to say, the same applies to your preparation for the IAS Exam.

Described below are 5 effective ways to study better for the IAS Exam preparation

  1. Reward Yourself

Almost anybody would agree that we tend to focus on a work better when there is a reward in question. Most of us like to indulge in something or another. But, at times, the same activity appears to be a disturbance, or even a waste of time when we have to focus on something more important.

Why not transform the same time wasting activity and/or disturbance (whatever you consider it) into a great motivational force by converting it into a reward for yourself. Here are a few ways how you can do so:

  • Decide upon what motivates you the most: Does a game of Badminton rejuvenate you? Or is it Chess? Or do you like to jog for 10 minutes in the morning? It’s you who knows what motivates you the best.
  • Finalize your goal: Whether you want to finish the current chapter till the evening or score high in a Mock Test or the Test Series, the goal fixed by you should be realistic. Do not promise yourself preparing for an entire Paper within a single day! Fix feasible goals.

Finally reward yourself when you achieve your goal. Play Badminton or the game of Chess that you had been craving for. Go for a jog or a walk. But again, do not take a stroll for more than 10-15 minutes. Remember, you are rewarding yourself to get rejuvenated and study again and not to waste the time. And time is definitely among the most precious of the resources when it comes to the IAS Exam Preparation.

You’ll discover for yourself that rewarding yourself with the activities you are fond of, keeps you motivated and rejuvenated to study further and better.

2. Pomodoro Techniques

The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to help you manage time and keep the boredom at bay. The Technique is also known as the Tomato Timer. It was developed using a kitchen timer that was shaped like a tomato by Francesco Cirillo.

The technique requires you to study with the timer in front of you. You would be following the steps given below:

  • Fix a task (e.g., penning down the answer for a question)
  • Set the timer (say, to 25 min or as suitable)
  • Get set on the task
  • Put the pen to rest when the timer rings. Evaluate the task accomplished.
  • If your score<4 points, set the timer again, begin with the task again. And follow all the steps.
  • After repeating the task 4 times, take a longer break, say 15-30 min. Now, begin all over again.

Besides, the Pomodoro Technique helps you prioritize all your tasks by means of listing them. Thus, you plan, track, record and visualize the entire exercise you make use of to study (here, specifically for your IAS Exam preparation). Moreover, apart from prioritizing the topics that you would like to prepare with the greatest priority for the IAS Exam, the tomato timer technique provides you the time for rejuvenation so that you can study better.  

3.    SQ3R Study Method

Also known as the SQRRR Method, the SQ3R Study Method comprises systematic step by step manner of reading and comprehending a book. This is how the study method works:

I.Survey: It would take just 5 minutes. Simply go through the major titles in the chapter and throw a glance at the graphics including the Bar Charts etc. Also scribble 3 or 4 lines in your notebook that convey the idea of what the chapter is all about.

II.Question: Now, you should be getting to know the facts. For example, if the chapter you are to read talks of the French Revolution, try to understand it better concerning:

  • What were the major causes behind the French Revolution?
    • When did the Revolution begin?
    • Who were the major agitators?
    • How did it initiate?

III.Read: Now, that you have a perspective for you have taken down the major questions, begin to read the chapter. Though you would be reading the entire chapter, you would be focusing more on getting all the questions answered that you have noted in the previous step.

IV. Retrieve: After having read the chapter, take down all the major points, not only concerning the questions you have noted down earlier, but also all the relevant information. This information retrieval will go a long way in your preparation for the IAS Exam.

  • Review: It’s the revision that you make. Try to recall whatever you have read. If you have forgotten something, read it all over once again.

The method given above suggests a dynamic rather than a static reading. It helps you understand and comprehend the content more logically, rather than making a mere reading. Besides, by making the revision, when you review whatever you have read, you will also be able to retain the entire information better.

Feynman Technique

Richard Feynman, the great physicist, has been famously known as The Great Explainer for he could explain the most complex of the concepts with great simplicity in a simple way even to the layman. The Feynman Technique is named after him. It attempts learning and explaining the concept(s) to the imaginary listener(s). If you really get a listener who is willing to spare his time, there would be nothing like that!

No sensible individual can deny that you can explain a concept and make someone else understand it, only after you have grasped it well yourself. Thus, the individual who has been explaining the concept, gets to understand the concept himself in a far better manner.

Kolb’s Experiential Learning and Learning Styles

David Kolb’s learning styles make use of the knowledge that no single style would fit all when people make an effort to learn something. Everybody has different learning capabilities. Nobody can teach a fish to climb a tree.

Kolb’s learning styles make use of:

  • Concrete Learning: It’s here that a learner gets to learn a new concept or goes through a new experience.
  • Reflective observation – The learner reflects on what he has learnt.
  • Abstract conceptualization – The learner is able to form new ideas. By now, he is also able to modify the existing ones. Thus, his knowledge of having learned a new concept does begin to yield results.
  • Active experimentation – The learner applies the new ideas to the environment around and might also experience something different.

The learners’ perception also counts. Kolb classified the learners into four categories based on how they process the entire method:

Diverging – These people visualize everything by different perspectives. Their style of processing is “diverging” as rather than actually going ahead and practically doing something, they prefer to gather information and form ideas. Such people are usually well known names in the field of arts for they have varying cultural interests.

Assimilating – This style of learning counts well for the careers in the field of Science. People opting for this kind of style prefer clear information that can be formatted logically. Such learners prefer exploring the analytical models. Sound logic rather than the practical approach appeals to them more.

Converging – These are the people who solve problems dealing with the practical issues. They are more inclined towards the technical tasks. They make use ofabstract conceptualization, apart from the  active experimentation.

Accommodating – Such people prefer intuition over logic. They make use of analysis made by others and believe in an experimental, but practical approach.

Based on various methods discussed above, the IAS aspirants can opt for the suitable methodology to base their preparation on for a good score in the IAS Exam. The techniques would also help you study more with less of the tedium and a highly impact on your learning, comprehending and retaining powers. Thus, you would be better able to prepare well for the IAS Exam.

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