Some Great Study Hacks.

Please dear reader, these are just some simple, honest hacks that always work for me. Not some extra set of rules (there are no flat rules anyway), or some Scientific long things.

1. Dissect:

To really dissect a topic, I try to study each subject across a variety of sources.

The manifold perspectives from different reference texts and materials bring me more depth and clarity on the subject.

For instance, I regularly consult Wikipedia for general points, Medscape and WebMD for drug data, and Slideshare for slide sets that cover my subject.

2. Deep work (engagement + disengagement):

You don’t want to spread your limited time and flow power too thin by raiding social media every ten minutes.

Depending on the strength of your focus, you can subscribe to the 50–10, or 75–15, or 100–20 minute study-break plan — where you do deep study for the former time and take the latter time out for a break.

I normally use the 75–15 plan. I can either take a stroll or catch a nap, or reward myself with an appropriate distraction e.g. Quora.

Deep disengagement re-energizes you during the break, while the rewards also add some extra motivation.

3. Diversify:

This is to check and avoid routine fatigue.

I often try to diversify my study schedule, my environments and my subjects.

Robotic studying drains me out too soon.

Largely, I believe from experience that mixing your subjects in your study system makes each one less boring.

Also, the habit of studying at different places and times is another way you can keep your brain more interested and focused.

4. Drill:

I try to practice exam-like questions from time to time. (I often use Quizlet.) Especially after am done with a topic, I get the related questions and assess myself on how much I’ve understood and internalized the concepts. Afterwards, I read more technically, focusing on my weak areas.

Also applying the concepts into everyday life is another way I master them. For example, in Medicine we’d go for clinical rotations and interact with patients, and be expected to make accurate diagnoses and treatment suggestions like doctors.

While the exposure compels me to return and do my homework — to avoid gross mistakes, it also ossifies the areas am already good at.

5. Discuss:

I have a young doctor friend who I regularly gist with. One of my closest friends.

So we talk a lot about a lot.

Often amid our usual evening gists over the phone, she chips in her day’s clinical experience with me — of course comprising what I’ve learned — most of which I recall and relate with, having gone through the Basics. And as we interact, I remember my stuff, as well as understand them better.

6. Discover:

Figure out your type.

Are you an audio or visual learner?

If you’re more of audio, then you can get your lectures recorded so you retain more by replaying them.

If you’re visual, you can utilize tools like Mind Maps while reading, and also watch some educative videos on the subject.

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Then always endeavor to gravitate to your time zone… :)

Are you better at note taking or at speed reading? Then don’t force yourself to take notes if it doesn’t work for you.

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn to do so either

The point is: there are almost no golden rules for effectiveness and productivity besides dancing to your own tune.

Image sources: Google


This article was originally posted on Quora.