How do you study?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Hollipop, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    EDIT: Below there will be a post with the results of my experience, if you need some helping studying, you might wanna check it out!

    Greetings all Fapstronauts!

    As a teenager who grew up with porn and received many bad advice from the media in general, I easily developed an instant gratification mentality, which means I have trouble doing anything that requires effort or an investment mindset.
    Studying is one of those things, probably the toughest. It's really really boring (specially if you're already demotivated from school) and achieving a good grade requires a lot of it.
    So I have a couple of really important exams coming up soon that may decide which college I can go to and I'm getting a bit worried. Yesterday I tried to study a bit, and I was still able to maybe learn something for 3 or 4 hours but then I lost track of myself and got so bored I started playing some video games and watching some videos.

    Does anyone have some tips on how to achieve a better studying plan? I try to get some breaks and stuff but even then it gets sooooo boring :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  2. Reuby

    Reuby Distinguished Fapstronaut

    I am very happy with how I fared in year 12 and I was one of the best achievers. I also loved school.

    Exam study was not a highlight though.
    For most of my subjects my teachers gave us all study guides, written by teachers from the state I live in suited to the textbooks and curriculum we used. It was great and a lot better than having to work out what to study ourselves. So if your teachers don't do this for you hassle them for some help or guidance.
    30 minutes per subject a day for 8 weeks before an exam is much much better than 4 hours a day for five days before, but there is no point in being religious with it. Also studying when really tired is useless so go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. Don't deny yourself all of your normal leisures but when taking a study brake do something active instead of continuing to sit playing games.
    Do past exams and set yourself high goals for them. For maths I did a few past exams and aimed to get my mark to at least 95%. I think I almost got that high but in the actual exam I didn't even get 90% :( but it was close, so try for a benchmark higher than you need.
    Work at a proper desk and leave your phone in the other room / incinerate it.
    You should always check the answers when revising because if your practising doing everything wrong that would be terribubble.
    If you feel like your going nowhere gtfo for a while and eat an orange or go for a bike ride. No pmoing!!

    and just bloody white knuckle it. It's your future.
     
  3. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    That's a lot dude! That's some motivating words! Imma try to put what you say in practice :)
     
  4. jatar

    jatar Fapstronaut

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    @Hollipop

    I think the first thing you should do is plan your studying. For example, count the pages you need to learn and divide them by the number of days you have available. Make sure to deduct a few days for unexpected events, like a headache, lowered efficiency on a given day etc. You will know how much you need to learn each day to be safe. It will also motivate you to study efficiently, because if you finish your allotted amount of pages before the time is up you'll have more free time.

    Try a technique like Pomorodo - studying in relatively short bursts interspersed with even shorter brakes. I never used the Pomodoro intentionally, but when I was in college I would intuitively study for 40-45 minutes and then take a 5-10 minute break, which is essentially the same thing. The key is to stay disciplined and find an activity that can help you relax during the break but at the same time is easy to put down when the break time is over.

    I also liked changing subjects frequently. For example, I would be studying one subject first for about half of my planned study time for the day, and then spend the rest of the day on another subject. It prevents tedium that comes from reading about the same thing for a prolonged period of time.

    Maybe it's not the best advice to give on a website that promotes healthy lifestyle, but another big help was sugar. Your brain needs energy to memorize all the stuff you're learning and sugar is an easy way to provide this energy. I would eat lots of chocolate and drink Coke when studying.

    If you're planning on studying intensively (like 8-10 hours a day), make sure to set a time when you stop no matter how far you've gone that day (for me that was 8-9 PM). I know that runs counter to my first advice about setting a number of pages to learn each day, but believe me that having a burned out brain from studying into the night which leads to lower efficiency the next day.
     
    Hollipop likes this.
  5. proudxlegendary

    proudxlegendary Fapstronaut

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    Man good tips, which I had them before my exams, I'm a little worried about them now hehe
     
  6. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    Thank you @jatar ! I'll try to use your tips the best I can :) I'll use a Pomodoro timer next time I study and I'll try to have some source of sugar nearby. Unfortunately I cannot change subjects because in this case I'll be trying to study for a Math exam, so it seems boredom is inevitable :( I also don't really have a set number of pages to study but I'll try to define a number of exercises I have to solve per day or something. One of the things you've enlighten me the most in is the fact that I don't really have goals when studying so that really decreases my will to do so. It kinda works like NoFap. If I have a goal to not PMO for like a week lets say, then I'll be way more determined to finish that goal. If I set a number of exercises to study per day, then maybe I'll work harder to get there so I can lay back for the rest of the day :) Thanks once again to both of you for your helpful replies!
     
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  7. proudxlegendary

    proudxlegendary Fapstronaut

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    You can do this man, I also really had no motivation to do stuff like this. But I noticed by just doing it, like I am doing now it really pays off :) .
     
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  8. jatar

    jatar Fapstronaut

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    If you have different areas of math to study for this exam, you could for example do geometry in the morning and functions in the evening to mix things up a bit :).

    That's exactly why I used this technique. Plus you'll have a feeling of achievement every time you hit your goal. Just remember to keep the goals realistic and update them accordingly if they seem too high/low in practice.
     
    Hollipop likes this.
  9. Yo, good luck on your exam.

    I was always that kid who finished 2nd or 3rd.. from behind.
    Turns out I'm too easily distracted. Maybe ADD although never diagnosed.
    And definitely instant gratification.

    So, my technique now to study is first to make it a habit.
    - I force myself every morning to study or read materials for 30 minutes, after a while it becomes a habit that I don't have to force
    - Activate my pomodoro. It's a clock app that turns off notifications, blocks off websites, etc. and I put my cellphone away so there is 0 distraction
    - Remember the pain that I would get if I don't study (my business will go down) and the pleasure (I can live better) and really feeling those feelings.

    Hope it helps! Good luck once again.
     
    Hollipop likes this.
  10. empowerednow

    empowerednow Fapstronaut

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    Two key take away words: CONSISTENCY and PERSISTENCE. To be most effective, I'd suggest creating a study plan and sticking to it consistently - even if you don't feel like doing so. For instance, I would say 3-5 hours a day of studying is already sufficient - you just have to keep this consistency until you develop a habit. What about persistence? Simple. FORCE yourself even if you don't feel like doing it. It's always difficult in the start, but then you'll eventually look back and be thankful for your past actions. As you continue doing this, you begin to be more comfortable until studying will no longer be a chore - you're no longer "studying", instead you're "learning". We should not be equating the two words, for they are entirely different. One is bothersome, while the other one is fun.
     
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  11. silenteagle

    silenteagle Fapstronaut

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    The most important thing that you have missed out is to set a goal and also a small reward so that you are actually motivating yourself to work harder.
     
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  12. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    Thank you all for your kind replies! You're 100% right, I really do need to make this a habit. Before I'd just give up even before I had done any of it so it never felt like a habit. I already have my study plan ready, luckily the board of education puts the old exams online every year so I can practice but getting through the old ones. I plan on doing at least 3 of them per day, which means that after the third one I can stop if I can, which is a pretty good goal. I say "at least" 3 of them because I'm not gonna stop myself if I'm actually in the mood to study :D I plan on starting to study right after breakfast. No distraction until I do 3 exams. No videos, no games. Only 5 minute breaks after every 25 minutes that I'll probably spend on this website. So far I'm almost done with the first exam, the future looks bright!
     
  13. proudxlegendary

    proudxlegendary Fapstronaut

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    Man, just wanted to say I've passed my finals :) Could've done better since I had zero motivation back then. But as advice even if You think you know enough just learn, spares you a LOT of stress at the judgement day (Mine was today) Man I was so fking nervous because I had only spent like maybe 3 hours in total, everytime just 1 day ahead before the test. Because as I said before I had no motivation. Well I was lucky enough to pass but if you wanna build up some confidence just learn, even if you think you know everything or you don't know what to learn, learn!.
     
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  14. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    The same happened with my last exam (yesterday), that's why I want to change my ways! Also because Math is pretty important considering I'll be using it a lot in college, so I need to get my studies straight before I get there. Congrats on your finals and thanks for the feedback!
     
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  15. proudxlegendary

    proudxlegendary Fapstronaut

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    Thnx man, just I just felt I had to say this :)
     
  16. yousuff

    yousuff Fapstronaut

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    Materials that I keep with me when I studying:
    01. Notebook 02. Some extra papers 03. My Laptop 04. Books 05. Some color pens.

    I first try to understand the fundamental of topics from books or Internet. Then try to jot them down > Revise them for few times > Then I explain the whole things to myself. If there are any little things I don't understand, I simply google them. Jot some important details down. And also I use lots of figure to understand the topic better. In the end, I try to explain again and write the whole things in scrap papers. This approach takes much time but I am happy with it because I know my friends are going to need help from me to explain it to them.
     
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  17. Hollipop

    Hollipop Fapstronaut

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    What worked for me:

    Once again thanks everyone who took their time to help me on this thread. My exam is now done (I think I did good yay :) ) ! I wasn't able to study nearly as much as I wanted mostly due to my lack of motivation, but I did have a couple of good days that really made me realize I can indeed do this. I can go back from a NoStudy routine to actually being able to study hard! I made so guidelines for people who might be having the some problem I was. It obviously works on a case by case basis, but some of these topics are likely to resonate with at least someone.

    1. Start. Start well. This was the most important thing to me by a landslide. Plan your study time (more detailed below) so that by the time you start studying, you have goals and know what to do. Then, when you do begin to study, do not dare to give up right away. Give studying a change, stay for a while. Momentum is extremely important. I noticed that if I started the day off strong, by going to study right after I took a shower and had breakfast, I would have the strength to keep going. A poorly-wired brain is likely to act that way. As soon as the day starts it learns what to do and it will rather do that for the whole day instead of doing something new. That's why you should NEVER start your day by doing something unproductive like watching a YouTube video or something. Another tip: if you're bored or you already fucked up and you've been playing videogames all day, there is still a chance you can come back to the studying side. Just start. Gather enough strength to get up your chair and grab your books and a pencil. The hardest part is getting back to it. Know that once you start writing / reading you're a lot more likely to keep studying at least for a while.
    2. Zero distractions. Don't let these fool you. One of my saddest days during this study period was when I started off really well in the morning and was doing exercises really fast and stuff and it was time to have lunch. I decided to listen to a podcast while I was doing it because it's what I liked to do and before I noticed I didn't feel like studying anymore (not that I ever did haha). So, no distractions, any. I know this might sound a bit extreme, specially if you're not used to this (like me!) but no Facebook, no YouTube, no series, no texting, nothing. If you're not used to studying and you need to get back on track, you need to make sacrifices. Once you finish your goals you can go back to your loved activities.
    3. Goals and planning. Super, super important. If you give yourself a goal, you'll have a reason to study. If you have a math test coming soon, tell yourself something like "I'm going to do 30 exercises today". Not only does that make you plan your whole studying time, it also gives you motivation to get through it so you can go back to the distractions I mentioned above. Plan ALL you are going to do - what you'll read, what you'll write, where you'll do it, when you'll do it, for how long. If you're like me and you can't stand studying for too long, a timer might be helpful. I used a Pomodoro Timer. 25 minutes of studying followed by a short break of 5 minutes and once in a while a long break of 10 minutes. Just be sure to not use those breaks for something that will distract you. Instead, use it for something that will make you more pumped up. I always tried to so stuff that made me feel active, like trying to so some push-ups or doing the dishes. Coming to this website is also really good because you can just read a couple of thread and get back to studying.

    Those are the key points. If anyone happens to come across this and would like to know more about my personal experience of getting back at studying, feel free to ask :)
     
  18. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus Fapstronaut

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    Practice tests. Then, when grading them, make flash cards for the stuff you really didn't know. Study smarter, not harder. This helps you identify the stuff you need to spend your time on.
     
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