The 7 Best Study Methods for All Types of Students - E-Student (2024)

“You must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Choosing the correct study method is a crucial part of the learning process that is too often skipped over by students. Picking the best study method for the situation can help studentsreach their full potential, while a poorly chosen study technique will kill any real progress, no matter how hard the student tries to study.

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely the exception, but the reality is that most students rely on ineffective study strategies. In fact, researchers have found that between83.6%and84%of students rely on rereading: a study method that providesvery limited benefits.

There are far superior study methods out there than rereading. Methods that have been developed and researched by the world’s top learning scientists. Yet, surprisingly few students have ever heard of them. That is why being able to utilize them effectively will give you not only an edge but an entire leg up on the competition.

These are the seven best study methods all students should know about:

Best Study Methods

Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition, sometimes calledspaced practice, interleaved practice, or spaced retrieval, is a study method that involves separating your study sessions into spaced intervals. It’s a simple concept, but a game-changer to most students because of how powerful it is.

To demonstrate how spaced repetition works, let’s bring a real-life example. Let’s say you have an exam coming up in 36 days and your first study session begins today. In this situation, a well-optimized interval might be:

  1. Session 1: Day 1
  2. Session 2: Day 7
  3. Session 3: Day 16
  4. Session 4: Day 35
  5. Exam Date: Day 36

In a nutshell, it’s the opposite of cramming and all-nighters. Rather than concentrating all studying into a small time frame, this method requires you to space out your studying by reviewing and recalling information at optimal intervals until the material has been memorized.

In the 21st century, this technique has gathered increasing popularity and it’s not without reason. Spaced repetition manages to combine all the existing knowledge we have on human memory and it uses that knowledge to create optimized algorithms for studying. One of the most popular examples of spaced repetition algorithms isAnki, which is based on another popular algorithm,SuperMemo.

For medical students, there is no better study method than Anki-based flashcard decks. In fact. there are entire online communities surrounding medical school Anki. You can get a small glimpse of that by heading on over tor/medicalschoolanki.

There, you’ll find a breadth of different medical school Anki decks to choose from, such as:

But, the power of spaced repetition is not at all only applicable to medical students. Anyone trying to become a better and more efficient learner can stand to benefit from using spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is used in conjunction with other study methods and it’s especially powerful when combined with the upcoming study method: active recall.

Active Recall

Active recall, sometimes called retrieval practice or practice testing, is a study technique that involves you actively recalling information (rather than just reading or re-reading it) by testing yourself, over and over. Most students dread the word “test” for good reasons. After all, tests and exams can be very stressful because they are usually the main point of measure for your academic success.

However, active recall teaches us to look at testing from another angle. Not only should we learn for tests, but we should also learn by testing.Through flashcards, self-generated questions, and practice tests, this study method uses self-testing to help your brain memorize, retain, and retrieve information more efficiently.

One study found that students who conducted only one practice test before an exam got17%better results right after. Two more studies conducted in2005and2012, plus a2017 meta-analysisyielded similar results, finding that students who used active recall and self-testing outperformed students who did not.

If you’re practicing for an upcoming exam, there’s no better study method than active recall. By using active recall, you’re essentially testing yourself dozens of times over, and if you conduct these practice tests over a long period of time through spaced repetition, you’ll be able to ace any exam without cramming.

Keep in mind, though, that while very effective, active recall is also one of the most tiring study techniques on this list. It requires very strong mental focus, deep concentration, and intense mental stamina. Active recall is cognitively demanding, so don’t expect to breeze through your learning materials with this method.

Next up, I’ll cover my favorite time management strategy for students: the Pomodoro method.

Pomodoro Study Method

ThePomodoro study methodis a time-management technique that uses a timer to break down your studying into 25-minute (or 45-minute) increments, called Pomodoro sessions. Then, after each session, you’ll take a 5-minute (or 15-minute) break during which you fully distance yourself from the study topic. And, after completing 4 such sessions, you’ll take a longer 15-to-30-minute break.

To give the Pomodoro technique a try without installing any software or buying a timer, I recommend you go to YouTube. YouTube is full of Pomodoro-based “study with me” videos from channels such asTheStrive Studies,Ali Abdaal, andMDprospect. Many of them include music, though, so if you’re distracted by listening to music while studying, you might benefit from a purpose-built Pomodoro application such asTomatoTimerorRescueTime.

There are various benefits to using the Pomodoro method: it’s a simple and straightforward technique, it forces you to map out your daily tasks and activities, allows for easy tracking of the amount of time spent on each task, and it provides short bursts of concentrated work together with resting periods.

But, it’s also worth noting that the scientific evidence behind the Pomodoro method is mostly conjectural as there is littlescientific research on its effectiveness. And, another drawback of the Pomodoro study technique is that it’s not ideal for tasks that require long, uninterrupted focusing.

Despite that, though, I use the Pomodoro method on a daily basis myself and it has become an integral and irreplaceable part of my workflow.

Feynman Technique

TheFeynman Techniqueis a flexible, easy-to-use, and effective study technique developed by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. It is based on a simple idea: the best way to learn any topic is by teaching it to a sixth-grade child.

While this concept is not as advanced as the super-optimized spaced repetition algorithms I covered earlier, it’s still a method that continues to be relevant nearly a century after its creation.

The Feynman Technique is a powerful learning tool that requires the learner to step out of their comfort zone by breaking down even the most complex topics intoeasily digestible chunks. Digestible enough for the average sixth-grade child.

This may seem like an easy task at first. After all, how difficult could it be to explain something to a child? In practice, it can be very difficult because you have to simplify and explain everything in an age-appropriate manner. When you start using the method, you’ll quickly realize that unless you have fully mastered the topic, meeting a child at their level of understanding is not easy in the slightest.

To explain something clearly, you need to define all unfamiliar terms, generate easy explanations for complex ideas, understand connections between different topics and sub-topics, and articulate what is learned in a clear and concise manner. The Feynman Technique forces you to learn more deeply, think critically about what you are learning, and that is also why it’s a very powerful learning method.

Leitner System

TheLeitner Systemis a simple and effective study method that uses a flashcard-based learning strategy to maximize memorization. It was developed by Sebastian Leitner all the way back in 1972 and it was a source of inspiration to many of the newer flashcard-based methods that succeeded it such as Anki.

To use the method, you’ll first need to create flashcards. On the front of the cards, you’ll write the questions, and on the back the answers. Then, once you have your flashcards ready, get three “Leitner boxes” big enough to hold all the cards you’ve created. Let’s name them Box 1, 2, and 3.

Now, you’re all set to start studying with your flashcards. In the beginning, you’ll place all cards in Box 1. Take a card from Box 1 and try to retrieve the answer from your memory. If you recall the answer, place it in Box 2. If not, keep it in Box 1. Then, you’ll repeat this until you’ve reviewed all the cards in Box 1 at least once. After that, you’ll start reviewing each box of cards based on time intervals.

Here’s an animation that shows how the Leitner System works:

The 7 Best Study Methods for All Types of Students - E-Student (1)

Besides card placement, another important detail of the system is scheduling. Every box has a set review frequency, with Box 1 being reviewed the most frequently as it contains all the most difficult-to-learn flashcards. The Box 3, on the other hand, will contain the cards that you’ve already recalled correctly, and that is why it does not need to be reviewed as frequently.

If you’ve never heard of the Leitner system, you might be surprised to hear that some of the world’s biggest learning platforms such as Duolingo use a variation of it to teach hundreds of millions of students. It’s particularly effective at language learning, due to the ease of creating translation-based flashcards.

While I love the Leitner System for its simplicity, I don’t use it often anymore due to the lengthy setup process and as other flashcard study methods such as Anki tend to be more time-efficient. But, if you prefer physical flashcards over their virtual counterparts, you should definitely consider using the Leitner system. It’s a beautiful study technique that has stood the test of time.

PQ4R Study Method

The PQ4R is a study method that was developed by researchers Thomas and Robinson in1972. The name PQ4R stands for the steps used for learning something new: Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, and Review. It’s commonly used for improving reading comprehension and it’s an irreplaceable method for students with reading disabilities.

However, the usefulness of PQ4R is not restricted to students with reading disabilities. The same six steps can be taken by any student trying to better understand what they’re reading. Improving reading comprehension is an excellent goal for any student and if you need to read through a massive textbook for an exam, the PQ4R method offers an effective framework. It will allow you to better understand all the passages of text, and it will help you to retain the information better.

Through improving our reading comprehension, we can become better at synthesizing information and interpreting text. However, we must be careful to not let this strategy consume too much of our time in study sessions. Many modern learning scientists consider reading a passive and ineffective study strategy, and it’s best to rely on other methods when you have the chance to do so.

While I don’t use this study method as frequently as most others on this list, I still consider it an important strategy in my skill set. Whenever I need to extract the most important details from a large textbook, I bring out the PQ4R to help me get through the information quicker while boosting memorization and retention. The PQ4R is a good study method to have ready, but it’s not something you should view as your primary strategy.

SQ3R Study Method

TheSQ3R study methodis the predecessor of the PQ4R method and it was developed by Francis P. Robinson in1946. It’s a time-proven studying technique that can be adapted for virtually any subject and the name stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. The method can be used to study anything quicker, better, and in a more structured way than conventional methods.

While groundbreaking for its time, the SQ3R study method has the same drawbacks as the newer PQ4R method. For one, it’s mostly used for improving reading comprehension, and reading is not considered an effective study strategy anymore. Another problem the method faces is that it lacks the “reflection” component that the newer PQ4R study method brings to the table.

In addition, three out of the five steps of this method involve a passive approach (surveying, reading, and reviewing) rather than an active one, and modern learning theories suggest thatactive retrievalis far better for information retention than passive reading. Thus, I recommend using this study method only during times when you don’t have the time to use a more robust method such as spaced repetition.

SQ3R is best used when you have a limited amount of time to study and your main source of information comes in a textbook. In such cases, the technique can be very helpful for summarizing the key points written in the source material.

Now, it’s time to start wrapping up this article.

In conclusion, there are many excellent study methods you have to choose from as a student in the 21st century. The best one for you will depend on your learning style, the material that you are studying, and how much free time you have. When possible, I recommend you study using a combination of spaced repetition, active recall, and the Pomodoro method. But, the other strategies listed here certainly have their uses as well. Above all, try to be flexible and keep an open mind. In doing so, you’ll be able to maximize your learning potential.

The 7 Best Study Methods for All Types of Students - E-Student (2024)

FAQs

What are 7 things you could do to study more effectively? ›

10 tips on how to study effectively
  1. Get organised.
  2. Don't skip class!
  3. Take notes.
  4. Talk to your teacher & ask questions.
  5. Space out your studying.
  6. Create a study plan – & stick to it.
  7. Don't just re-read but study.
  8. Set up a quiet study space.

What is the best method for studying? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

What are the 7 study skills? ›

Reading
  • Read more than once.
  • Highlight and take notes.
  • Make margin notes.
  • Don't put off reading assignments until the last minute!
  • Review after reading.
  • Keep from dozing off: don't read right before going to bed, and don't read in bed.
  • Read and understand captions and figures.
  • Make a glossary of terms.

What are 5 study tricks? ›

5 Study Tips to Set You Up for Success
  • Find a Go-To Study Location. For starters, find a quiet, well-lit area that is available to you whenever you need to study. ...
  • Avoid the Stress of Cramming by Using a Spaced Study Session Method. ...
  • M N E M O N I C S. ...
  • Simple Self-Testing Practice. ...
  • Learn, Relearn, and Learn Again.
25 Apr 2018

What are the 10 good study habits? ›

Good study habits to develop
  • Find a good place to study.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Take breaks.
  • Space out your studying.
  • Set study goals for each session.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Study with a group.
  • Take practice tests.
15 Sept 2022

What are 10 study tips? ›

Top 10 best study tips
  • Be consistent. If you try to cram, you'll set yourself up for failure. ...
  • Sleep properly. ...
  • Try the Pomodoro method. ...
  • Create the right environment. ...
  • Create flashcards. ...
  • Break everything down. ...
  • Teach other people. ...
  • Get some exercise.
7 Apr 2022

Why do I forget what I study? ›

To paraphrase Dr. Palombo, gaining new information can interfere with your memories of old information, when the two are similar. One possibility is that the neural circuitry associated with the old memories gets rewired and harder to access and retrieve later—resulting in what we know as forgetting.

How can I study hard? ›

So pick up a few new study tips, and prove your outstanding ability in your assignments and exams!
  1. Don't miss a class. 'A' students never miss a class. ...
  2. Review your notes quickly and often. ...
  3. Organise your notes visually. ...
  4. Plan ahead. ...
  5. Explain things to others. ...
  6. Get together with a study group. ...
  7. Stay positive. ...
  8. Trust your instincts.

What are the 5 good study habits? ›

Try out some of our five favourite study habits and learn some life-long skills.
  • Make a schedule. Number one on any list of study habits has to be making a schedule. ...
  • Create your environment. This one is so important while we're on lockdown. ...
  • Study in bursts. Treat your brain like a muscle. ...
  • Find a study group.
6 Apr 2020

What are 6 study tips? ›

Six Steps to Smarter Studying
  • Pay attention in class.
  • Take good notes.
  • Plan ahead for tests and projects.
  • Break it down. (If you have a bunch of stuff to learn, break it into smaller chunks.)
  • Ask for help if you get stuck.
  • Get a good night's sleep!

How long should year 7 study? ›

Most guides that you will find tend to focus on doing a set number of hours per week according to the year level a student is in ie Year 7 (7 hours), Year 8 (8 hours) up to Year 12 (12 hours).

How can I focus 100% on studying? ›

Here are some simple study tips to help you stay focused:
  1. Set study goals. First things first; start with the basics and set your study goals. ...
  2. Make a study timetable. Once you know what you want, the next step is to prepare a weekly study timetable. ...
  3. Learn to say no. ...
  4. Stay focused on your priorities.

How can I get 100 in studies? ›

How to Concentrate on Studies for Long Hours
  1. Make a Proper Routine. It is a must to have a plan in mind. ...
  2. Set A `To-Do' List. ...
  3. Set Study Goals. ...
  4. Find an Effective Study Method. ...
  5. Find an Appropriate Study Environment. ...
  6. Clear the Study Place. ...
  7. Do Concentration Exercise. ...
  8. Switch Off Unnecessary Electronics.
17 May 2022

How do I study for 100 in exams? ›

5 Proven Tips on How to Score 100 Marks in Math Exams
  1. Strategizing and Time Management.
  2. Practice With Mock Tests.
  3. Create a Formula Notebook.
  4. Positive Attitude.
  5. Strategies to Follow During the Exam.
29 Mar 2022

How can I be brilliant in all subjects? ›

Take notes and ask questions to stay engaged in class.

Paying attention in class will help you learn better and may also boost your grade. When a teacher is giving a lesson, take notes, and if you don't understand something, raise your hand and ask questions.

What are the 8 study skills? ›

Active listening, reading comprehension, note taking, stress management, time management, testing taking, and memorization are only a few of the topics addressed in our study skills guides for students.

How can I be a topper in 10? ›

How to become Topper in Class 10 and 12 Exam?
  1. Practice makes a man perfect, as the saying goes.
  2. Refrain from cramming for exams at the last minute.
  3. Develop an interest in the subject matter you are studying.
  4. Take Advantage of Your Mistakes.
  5. Don't Limit Yourself to Mediocrity.
  6. Use the internet wisely.
11 May 2022

Which time is best for study? ›

Most of the students prefer to study in the early morning, generally from 4 or 5 AM in the morning as the brain is more likely to concentrate. It could be the best option for students who have more stamina early in the day.

How to improve my memory? ›

Advertisement
  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. ...
  2. Stay mentally active. ...
  3. Socialize regularly. ...
  4. Get organized. ...
  5. Sleep well. ...
  6. Eat a healthy diet. ...
  7. Manage chronic conditions.

What are the 3 secret study tips? ›

3 Secret Study Tips
  • Know what your lecturers want. Before you start studying a topic, write down your lecturer's learning objectives for that topic. ...
  • Make a study plan. Many people waste time when they study because they don't have a plan. ...
  • Use effective study techniques.

How can I study without sleeping? ›

If you must stay up all night, the following tips can help you do it safely.
  1. Practice. The easiest way to stay up all night is to reset your internal clock. ...
  2. Caffeinate. ...
  3. But avoid energy drinks. ...
  4. Take a nap. ...
  5. Get up and move. ...
  6. Find some bright lights. ...
  7. Use your devices. ...
  8. Take a shower.
10 Mar 2020

Why do I study better at night? ›

For some students, they have more energy later in the day. Hence, the evening or night time is a more effective time for them to read and study. Studying at this time also helps to improve your concentration and creativity as there are fewer distractions, and with everyone in bed, there is definitely peace and quiet.

How can I learn and never forget? ›

How to Prevent Forgetting
  1. Aim for mastery, not relative performance. ...
  2. Eliminate multiple choice questions. ...
  3. Use contextual clues. ...
  4. Work digitally and save often. ...
  5. Quiz instead of review to enhance memory for lists. ...
  6. To prevent forgetting, ask “why.”
9 May 2016

How can I study fast and dont forget? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

How can I study without failing? ›

8 Study Tips and Tricks That Never Failed Me
  1. 1 - FIND YOUR "WHY" ...
  2. 2 - CREATE A TO-DO LIST. ...
  3. 3 - CREATE A STUDY-TIME AMBIENCE. ...
  4. 4 - TAKE A 30-MINUTE BREAK. ...
  5. 5 - ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. ...
  6. 6 - MAKE HANDWRITTEN NOTES. ...
  7. 7 - DON'T CRAM FOR EXAMS. ...
  8. 8 - CREATE A STUDY SYSTEM THAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU.
7 Nov 2021

How can I study 10 hours? ›

5 ways to study effectively and industriously for 10 hours:
  1. Organize your schedule: ...
  2. Take uniform breaks. ...
  3. Find the best resources for NEET and NEXT PG examinations. ...
  4. Focus on difficult subjects first. ...
  5. Avoid Distractions: Create an Effective Learning Environment.
22 Feb 2021

How can I study 4 hours? ›

Here are some of the best science-backed techniques to focus while studying:
  1. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Create a study schedule.
  3. Use soothing study music.
  4. Turn off all the technology that distracts you.
  5. Prepare a perfect study spot.
  6. Get up for a walk or workout.
  7. Train your mind to focus for a longer time.

What grade is 8 years old in Australia? ›

Australia
YearAgesSchool
Grade or Year 27–8 (sometimes 6–7)Primary
Grade or Year 38–9 (sometimes 7–8)
Grade or Year 49–10 (sometimes 8–9)
Grade or Year 510–11 (sometimes 9–10)
10 more rows

What is a year 11? ›

It is the eleventh or twelfth year of core education. For some Year Eleven students it is their final year studying and may include final exams. In the US and Canada, it is referred to as tenth grade. students in Year Eleven are usually aged 15–16.

How Long Should 12 year olds study? ›

9–10 years old: 20-30 minutes. 11-12 years old: 25-35 minutes. 13-15 years old: 30-40 minutes.

How do you get 90% in all subjects? ›

Strategies you should follow to score above 90% in CBSE Board Exams 2022
  1. Make a good study plan. ...
  2. Small-scale study. ...
  3. Prepare notes. ...
  4. Categorize the important areas. ...
  5. Revise your work daily. ...
  6. Textbooks study. ...
  7. Practice mock papers and previous years' papers. ...
  8. Eat healthy and nutritious food.
29 Mar 2022

How do you get 80% in exams? ›

Study frequently.

Studying hard for only a few hours the night before the test isn't going to help ensure perfect scores. If you really want to ace those exams, study old and new material every day, or at least several times a week. This will make test-taking a breeze. Take study breaks.

How to score 98 in class 10? ›

How to Score 99% in Class 10 Board Exam
  1. Make a timetable- Time is very precious! ...
  2. Choose a Suitable Environment. One of the biggest hurdles in exam prep is that the students get easily distracted while studying. ...
  3. Learn and Write. ...
  4. Practice from CBSE Sample Papers.
13 Sept 2022

How do you get an A * in maths? ›

How To Get an A* in A Level Maths
  1. Have a list of all topics that appear in the course.
  2. Use both AS and A Level papers from other exam boards to help expose you to a number of different ways that questions can be framed.
  3. Plan your revision time, but don't over-plan.

What are 3 different ways to study effectively? ›

Studying a single subject for a long period of time and repeating phrases over and over to memorize them (known as massed practice) Reviewing one topic repeatedly before moving onto another topic (blocked practice) Reading and rereading a text. Highlighting or underlining important concepts in a text and then reviewing.

What are the 6 study strategies? ›

Specifically, six key learning strategies from cognitive research can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice.

How do I study for 100? ›

Spend at least 30 minutes studying each day.

Short bursts of intense studying are more effective than super long study sessions. Try to avoid going over 45 minutes without taking a break. Try rewriting your class notes each day to commit them to memory.

What are the 4 types of studying? ›

There are 4 predominant learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. While most of us may have some general idea about how we learn best, often it comes as a surprise when we discover what our predominant learning style is.

How can I improve my learning skills? ›

Top 10 Strategies for Learning New Skills
  1. Ditch Your Learning Style. Are you a visual learner? ...
  2. Make It More Meaningful for Yourself. ...
  3. Learn by Doing. ...
  4. Study the Greats, and Then Practice. ...
  5. Teach What You Learn. ...
  6. Spend More Time Practicing Things You Find Difficult. ...
  7. Take Frequent Breaks. ...
  8. Test Yourself.
11 Jul 2017

How do I study everything in 6 days? ›

Setting Up a Study Schedule
  1. Study Schedule Day 1: Ask and Read.
  2. Study Schedule Day 2: Organize and Make Flashcards:
  3. Study Schedule Day 3: Memorize.
  4. Study Schedule Day 4: Memorize Some More.
  5. Study Schedule Day 5: Finalizing memory.
  6. Study Schedule Day 6: Review and Quiz.
25 Feb 2019

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