“No hay un sustituto para el trabajo duro” – Thomas Edison
We all want good grades. We all want to do well. But sometimes, it can be like a minefield working out how to study. Organising myself and learning to study well remains one of the most important life skills I’ve learnt.
I’ve created a guide of the 8 most effective study tips, mainly for learning another language, but they can be manipulated and altered to be effective in all areas of study.
I’m hard on myself. I know this. I come out with
good amazing grades (if I tell myself it more often, maybe I’ll believe it) but I’m always thinking about how I could’ve done better. I guess that’s a great study tip to start off. You can always do better.
Perhaps you’re wondering how best to utilise the Learn Spanish blog posts or maybe you’re studying for an exam or university finals and you’re not sure how to study effectively. Well, hopefully, my study tips that can help you become a better student and get those grades that you deserve.
8 Effective Study Tips
Planning is important. One of the most important. Have a calendar or a diary set aside. Circle all of your deadline dates and write which topic it is for. Then add a reminder in the diary, one month before the deadline date: a three-week reminder; a two-week reminder; a ten-day reminder; a week reminder; five days reminder.
I also put reminders on my phone with a pop-up notification. It pushes me to get on with the work. Don’t be that person who remembers twelve hours before and has to drink your body weight in coffee and energy drinks to get through. Take the time.
With the Learn Spanish blog posts, maybe take a look at the previous blog post on Monday or the Tuesday morning prior to the new one being uploaded. Refresh yourself.
Read and Find Resources
Once you know the assignment question, find journals, find papers, find statistics. Everything you will possibly need to write this paper. Save them to your desktop. Save them to your USB. Save them everywhere.
In terms of the blog posts, bookmark them. Refer back to them. Save an offline version so you can practice on the plane, the train or anywhere else where you might not have an internet connection!
So you have a brand new Mac? Great. You have a trusty laptop that has never let you down? Fine. But what if something happens. You want to waste all that time?
Save your work everywhere. Use a separate USB for assignment work. E-mail yourself your assignment every time you close the document. E-mail a friend, your partner, your mum too. Anyone who is willing to keep a back up for you. Email them.
Make sure you save all of the media that you need, all of the images on the Learn Spanish Blog Posts have been created to overview up the week. They will help you learn and practice. Feel free to save them to practice!
Speaking of backing up the work. Organise your work. Make sure everything is organised and is easy to find. At the beginning of the term, I create a folder for my unit. Inside the folder contains all of the assignment numbers. I then save a copy of the question inside each folder. Any resources will also be saved there. Do not waste working time trying to find where you saved your assignment. This should go without saying too, but save them under their proper name!
Remember how your teacher always gave you a sticker in class for working hard? Keep doing that. It worked then, it works now. We love recognition. We love to know we’re doing well. Reward yourself. You’re doing great. Treat yourself to a chocolate when you’ve written 500 words. Go out for dinner when you’ve finished. Things just to boost you.
I like to write myself little positive post-it notes when I reach a certain point. Just a little boost is all we need sometimes to push further.
Congratulate yourself, even if you learn one new word from the blog post, you have made another forward step in learning! I definitely think learning Spanish warrants a treat trip to Spain to try out all the new words, right?
Take Regular Breaks
Now, you have plenty of time to do this, remember. You started it over a month ago, right! Do not force yourself to sit and write this assignment until your brain has begun to fry. Take a walk. Step away from the computer. Save it, close it and walk away. Go and play a game. Go and walk your dog. Get some fresh air.
Once you feel revitalised, come back to it. Your ideas will be fresh and you will be able to pick out any mistakes a lot easier.
If you have a willing friend or family member, ask them to read your paper before you hit that submit button. A fresh pair of eyes can pick out where your brain has ignored that second the, or the bit of incorrect grammar that you have become so accustomed to reading in your paper that it has become ‘the norm‘.
Plus, learning is so much more fun when you’re doing it with a friend! Why not get together with a friend to learn together?
Give it a Go!
Don’t be afraid! Speak it out loud, practice with a friend, try it on your next holiday. Sometimes you make mistakes in language learning. You will either laugh it off, or the person will correct you.
Mistakes are part of learning. Do not beat yourself up. Take any form of constructive feedback and use it to help you get better. Keep working hard!