Are your study sessions active enough?

By Zoe Taylor

Sometimes you might find that while you’re technically studying, you’re not actually taking any of the information in. You might read one paragraph and find that you can’t actually remember or understand what it’s actually said. This is because your study sessions aren’t active enough. So while you may have set aside one hour of study, in actual fact you might have only taken in 15 minutes worth.

There are a few different things you can try to ensure that you get your full hour’s worth (or at least 55 minutes worth) out of your study.

Highlight Key Points
As you’re reading, you’ll find that some key points jump out at you because they seem important. Highlight them as you go, then re-read what you’ve highlighted. This will help you take in what you’re reading and make it stick, and it’s also handy if you’re going back over your notes because you can jump to the key points that have been highlighted.

You don’t even have to print your notes to highlight the text. Download the readings and save them as a PDF, then open them up in Adobe Reader and select the ‘Highlight Text’ button located at the top of your screen towards the right (Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.06.53 pm). You can then select the text you want to highlight by clicking and dragging the mouse over the key text, literally ‘highlighting’ it.

Add Your Own Comments
Adding comments to the readings is a great way to ensure you’re taking in the information. They can be additions to what the notes say, or your thoughts on why key points are important or how they apply to certain brands.

Adding comments in Adobe reader is easy too. The button next to the highlight button (Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 3.16.46 pm) allows you to click anywhere on the document to add a comment. The comment is minimised to an icon similar to the button until you click it again, to avoid a busy page.

DeathtoStock_Creative Community6

Summarise the Session
After you’ve finished your set readings for your study session, summarise what you’ve just read. Just copy out key points (you may have highlighted them) into a Word Document, note on your iPhone or even into a new document on Evernote. It also helps to put these key points into your own words. So not only are you actively copying down the notes (a great revision tool), you’re also thinking about the points you’re writing down in such a way that makes sense to you, which will make it easy for you to retain the information.

15 Minutes On, 15 minutes Off
If you’re easily distracted, it’s a good idea to break your study sessions up. Do 15 minutes of reading or writing, then take 15 minutes to have a bite to eat, a drink or play a quick game on your iPhone. That way it’s less likely that your mind will wander while you’re reading – a common cause of inactive studying.

Make Sure you Complete Set Activities
If your lecturer sets you activities to do with some reading you’ve done, it’s in your best interests to complete them, because you’ll be forced to actively think about the topic and come up with your own answers in regards to the subject.

Make sure you’re not wasting your time when you set aside study sessions. Use these hints to turn your study sessions into active ones!

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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