Step-by-Step To Successful Studying

Many children have no idea of how to study. They do not know where to begin, what to do first or, once begun, how to proceed. This article will explain the basic steps to follow in order to study well.


When an athlete participates in any sport, he first does some warm-up and stretch exercises. This is to prepare his body for the sport that is to follow, and to prevent muscle injuries. In the same way, when a student starts studying, he needs to do a mental warm-up to prepare his brain for the work that is to be done.

Our brain remembers more easily if we can fit the new information into a ‘file’ and relate it to something we know or understand. If we receive some information out of context, it does not mean very much to us. For example, if we heard the statement, ‘165 km per hour’, it is meaningless. If we heard the rest of the story, ‘Mr Flagg was fined for doing 165 kms per hour on the main road, through the middle of Castletown,’ we have a framework and can understand the sense of the information.

To do the mental warm-up, skim through the chapter to gain a rough idea of what it is about. Look at the headings, pictures, captions and bold print. This will prepare the brain for the detailed information that will be studied, and it will remember more easily.


Next, read through each section aloud. Reading aloud will allow the information to sink in through both the eyes and the ears, instead of only through the eyes. It will also help you to concentrate better.
Use your finger as a marker whilst reading. This also helps concentration, and helps you to keep your place.
Read in chunks of 1 to 3 sentences. Re-tell each chunk in your own words to make sure that you understand the work. It will also help you to remember more easily.


Write, draw, do a mindmap or sing the main points. A variety of different methods are explained in more detail in the Study Right course.
Check the details of what you are studying to ensure that you have understood correctly. Have you included the main points?


An excellent way to revise your work is to re-teach it to someone else. You could even teach it to your pet or your reflection in the mirror! Re-teaching ensures that you really know your work, as you cannot teach something that you do not know or understand.
It is important to revise your work many times in order to know it very well.

Written by Karen Gottschalk, Study Right (za)


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