Scholaring 101: Study Smarter, Not Harder

When you’re a university student, the noun “scholar” becomes a verb too. In my own definition, (because the Oxford Dictionary hasn’t picked this up yet), “scholaring” is the act of studying or working on school-related activities.

I’m writing this post from the library, which is packed with students writing long equations and definitions on whiteboards, having study sessions with friends, listening to music while writing on colourful cue cards, and highlighting important sentences from the sea of textbooks surrounding them. All of them are working hard and trying their best to get their scholar on. For me, this prompted the question: what’s the best way to study?

When I came to Nipissing four years ago, I thought I could transfer my high school study habits successfully. I always got good grades, so this made sense, right? Sort of.

The issue for me was that I didn’t understand how I processed and understood information. In high school, I had seen my peers highlighting textbooks or copying notes, so I assumed this is how we’re all supposed to study. The thing is, this technique worked for some of my peers, but I found myself having a hard time retaining information and fully understanding the material I was supposed to be learning, but since my grades were great, I never thought to change up my style.

It can take some time to understand how you learn. You might’ve heard of “learning styles”: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic/tactile. Visual learners tend to learn best by using pictures and images, auditory learners learn best by hearing the information, and kinaesthetic/tactile learners learn by touch and movement. Most people aren’t just one type of learning style, they’re a combination. It can take a bit of trial and error to find which work best for you. Here are a few study solutions you can try to start scholaring smarter, not harder:

Visual Learners:

  • make a chart or graph, draw a picture or comic to represent the information you’re learning, make a powerpoint, use different coloured highlighters to represent various key information (i.e.: blue for dates, yellow for places), make a poster on Canva.com of the material you’re learning, take notes with different coloured pens, make a brainstorming cloud, watch videos of the information on places like “Kahn Academy” for math and “Crash Course” on YouTube.

Auditory Learners:

  • Read your notes out loud, or have a friend do this for you, record yourself (or a friend) reciting your notes and listen to them, make a song using the information you need to learn, if you like studying with friends host a group discussion, make rhymes, perform the material in the format of an infomercial.

Kinaesthetic/Tactile:

  • do an interpretive dance, write notes, use “grips” on your pens/pencils, doodle while you read, walk or pace while reading, take your books to the gym with you, play a board game you create, build something.

 

Happy studying, scholars!

~ Amy