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how to study well in class?

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SARAH’s Answer

Hello! How wonderful it is that you've recognized that it is important to study well and have taken a step to ask how to do this. Studying well is a great way to ensure you learn the subject matter. The best way to study well is to understand how you learn best and allocate enough time to review what you are studying on a consistent basis, as opposed to cramming it all into one day. Repetition will help with retention of information.

Different learner styles can include:
1. Visual learners
a) How to recognize if you're a visual learner: Someone with a preference for visual learning is partial to seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions and more. This is also referred to as the “spatial” learning style. Students who learn through sight understand information better when it’s presented in a visual way. These are your doodling students, your list makers and your students who take notes.
b) How to study if you're a visual learner: The whiteboard or smartboard is your best friend when teaching these types of learners. Give students opportunities to draw pictures and diagrams on the board, or ask students to doodle examples based on the topic they’re learning. Teachers catering to visual learners should regularly make handouts and use presentations. Visual learners may also need more time to process material, as they observe the visual cues before them. So be sure to give students a little time and space to absorb the information.

2. Auditory learners
a) How to recognize if you're an auditory learner: Auditory learners tend to learn better when the subject matter is reinforced by sound. These students would much rather listen to a lecture than read written notes, and they often use their own voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. These types of learners prefer reading out loud to themselves. They aren’t afraid to speak up in class and are great at verbally explaining things. Additionally, they may be slower at reading and may often repeat things a teacher tells them.
b) How to study if you're an auditory learner: Since you'd generally find it hard to stay quiet for long periods of time, repeat new concepts out loud - recite them. Answer questions. Engage in group discussions so you can properly take in and understand the information you’re being presented with. Watching videos and using music or audiotapes are also helpful ways of learning for auditory learners.

3. Kinesthetic learners
a) How to recognize if you're a kinesthetic learner: Kinesthetic learners, sometimes called tactile learners, learn through experiencing or doing things. They like to get involved by acting out events or using their hands to touch and handle in order to understand concepts. These types of learners might struggle to sit still and often excel at sports or like to dance. They may need to take more frequent breaks when studying.
b) How to study if you're a kinesthetic learner: The best way you will learn is by through moving or physically engaging with subject matter. For example, acting out a certain scene from a book or lesson you're being taught. You could try incorporating movement into your study sessions: pacing to help memorize, learning games that involve moving around the classroom or having students write on the whiteboard as part of an activity, or drawing diagrams (I personally have found drawing diagrams to be extremely helpful as a kinesthetic learner).
Once kinesthetic learners can physically sense what they’re studying, abstract ideas and difficult concepts become easier to understand.

4. Reading/writing learners
a) How to recognize if you're a reading/writing learner: According to the VARK Modalities theory developed by Fleming and Mills in 1992, reading/writing learners prefer to learn through written words. While there is some overlap with visual learning, these types of learners are drawn to expression through writing, reading articles or books, writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary and searching the internet for just about everything.
b) How to study if you're a reading/writing learner: Much of the traditional educational system tends to center on writing essays, doing research and reading books. Reading to absorb information through the written word and taking opportunities to get your ideas out on paper will be essential to your ability to learn and retain information. Read material, write it out.

It took me until college to really understand my learning style and once I was aware of that, I was able to study and learn much more effectively.

Wishing you all the best!
-SM

SARAH recommends the following next steps:

Determine your learning style: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Reading/Writing
Set aside time daily to study what you've learned in classes
Practice studying based on your learning style
Evaluate if your study session was effective, and make adjustments for the next session (for example, maybe you need to combine strategies from visual and kinesthetic or auditory and reading)
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Douglas’s Answer

Hello,

To maximize the benefits from teacher-led classroom presentations, I found it helpful to preview the relevant textbook chapters prior to the class. This approach allows you to ask meaningful questions during the class and grasp the concepts more effectively. Additionally, when tackling assigned homework, choose a distraction-free environment. This means no phones, televisions, radios or other potential distractions. The notion of multitasking effectively is a myth.

Wishing you all the best, and I hope you find this advice useful.
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David’s Answer

Hi Kennedy, how's everything going? Sara Miller has already provided you with a fantastic answer. You can use it to identify your own unique learning style. During my college years, when I first embarked on my major, I found it quite challenging. This was mainly because my high school grading system was primarily project-based, with exams only contributing to 10% or less of the final grade. Consequently, I didn't do well in some subjects. I tried numerous strategies, but I can assure you that cramming for two days or the night before the exam was the least effective. So, here's the method that I found most beneficial:

1 - Preview the material before class. Most subjects provide a syllabus or sometimes presentations on each topic. The goal is to get a basic understanding of the topic before the lecture. This way, you can concentrate on areas you find difficult or deem important during the class. Don't forget to jot down any points you didn't grasp at first.

2 - Be attentive during class. This will be your second exposure to the material, so comprehension should be easier. Take note of the topics your teacher emphasizes and compare them with your pre-class notes. Don't hesitate to ask questions. If you're uncomfortable asking during the class, wait until the end to clarify your doubts.

3 - After class, set aside some time to go over your notes. This doesn't have to be an intense session, just a review of your initial and in-class notes to ensure you've understood everything. If there's anything unclear, don't hesitate to seek help from your teacher or tutor.

4 - On exam day, be vigilant. Review all your notes on the specific topic and make a new set of notes focusing on the key points. You can ask your teacher to clarify what these are. Lastly, ensure you remember and understand everything in your new notes. If you've followed steps 1 to 3, this should be a quick review to refresh your memory. Depending on the subject, you might want to create flashcards or compile important equations.

I used to struggle with reading books and focusing when the teacher was explaining something in class. However, this method helped me because each step is manageable, and it breaks down the topics into smaller, digestible chunks. The only downside is that you can't afford to miss a day. But remember, consistency is key to success!
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