How not to waste time learning? Tips to improve your learning

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Good organization and preparation for credits and exams can have a decisive impact on the academic performance of your studies. Effective learning starts with the right mindset – a positive outlook can turn your learning from punishment into an opportunity to learn new skills.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to effective learning. Learning methods must be adapted to the individual needs of each student. Everyone has different skills, so it's important to determine which learning methods are most effective for you and which aren't.

What is the most effective way to learn?

Finding the best way to learn is an ongoing process. This is not something that can be left overnight before the test. You must constantly improve your learning skills to better understand which methods work (and which don't).

Learning to learn better helps you avoid panic and frustration the next time an important exam is cancelled. Firstly, you are more likely to get good results and will be less stressed before the exam if you take the time to practice the material correctly!

Mastering effective learning habits will not only make your learning easier, it will also help you get better grades in high school and college.

Discover the 11 factors of successful learning. How to learn faster and more effectively?

1. Plan your learning: get organized!

Always keep a planner with tasks to complete with you. Entering all assignments, projects, exams and credits as soon as they are given will remind you of them. Remember that you can have hard copy or virtual J notes

2. Don't get distracted during class

It's important to stay focused and avoid distractions when the speaker is speaking. Practice active listening by focusing on what is being discussed and taking notes in your own words.

This will help you make sure you can hear (and understand) what is being taught in the classroom. Enjoy the fact that you attend lectures. Don't waste your time sitting idle and wandering your mind around things unrelated to the topic being discussed.

3. Know and eliminate your distractions

Distractions are everywhere – from cell phones to social media and friends. Be aware of distractions in class and try to avoid them. Avoid sitting next to your friends when you know they are going to talk to you. 

By turning off your cell phone, you ensure that you are paying attention to the speaker. Be present in class not only with your body, but also with your spirit. You spend your time in classes and lectures, try to make the best use of it.

Como não perder tempo aprendendo? Dicas para melhorar seu aprendizado

4. Take care of the quality of your notes

Writing clear and complete lecture notes will help you process the information you will learn later. Take care of the best quality of your notes. Remember, you create notes for yourself. 

Use shortcuts, create mind maps – basing notes on personal associations. Your brain will remember important information much faster and better. Also remember that if you missed a class, talk to your friends or teacher to make sure your notes are complete.

5. Don't be afraid to ask

If you don't understand something, raise your hand and ask a question. If you don't feel comfortable asking in front of everyone, write a reminder to talk to the teacher after class. A complete explanation of the topic will allow you to understand it from start to finish.

6. Prepare a study plan

When you plan to study, look at your calendar and think about what you have to do. Think about what questions and what questions will be posted so you know how to focus. 

Set specific goals for each study session, for example how many topics you will cover on a given day or how many pages of your book you need. 

That way, you can easily control what stage of learning you are in and how much is left until the end. You will avoid the last minute and you will be assured of consistent studies on the material obtained for the exam.

7. Write down your notes as often as possible

After completing the class, review and develop your notes. Viewing your notes helps transfer learned material from short-term memory to long-term memory, which will come in handy the next time you need to prepare for an important exam.

8. Talk to the Speakers

Teachers and tutors are there to help you learn. Talk to the teacher and ask for clarification or additional help if you need it before the test. Taking your own initiative gives teachers a signal that you really want to fully master the course material.

Como não perder tempo aprendendo? Dicas para melhorar seu aprendizado

9. Find your place to study

The best place to study is one that is quiet, well lit and with little traffic. Make sure you have a clear workspace where you can read and write. Everyone has different needs, so it's important that you find a website that's right for you.

10. Learn in rapid succession

Take a short 10-15 minute break every 30 minutes of studying to recharge. Shorter study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your time while studying.

11. Simplify your notes

By shortening your class notes, you can make learning less tiring. Underline or highlight keywords. Create visuals like charts, connecting grids, mind maps, or sketches to organize and simplify information and help you remember it better.