PSYCHOLOGICAL TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE STUDYING

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					PSYCHOLOGICAL TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE STUDYING
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DR.HARI S.CHANDRAN
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STUDY STRATEGIESÂ Â
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q      Revise regularly- Revision should be continuous if you are
to gain a deep understanding of the subject. It should not be superficial
and rushed. Cramming might help you remember a few facts but it will not
give you the overall understanding of a subject, which you should be
studying for in your University Education.
q      Be systematic- You should begin organizing a study schedule
as soon as possible in the start of the semester
q      Use varied techniques- besides making summaries of your
lecture notes, use varying strategies for your revision. Draw up schemes
showing the relationship between the concepts you have studied in your
subjects or form study groups with your fellow students to discuss the
different topics and the relationships between them to reinforce both
understanding and recall.
q      Use relationship to memorize- Understanding the
relationships between pieces of information, such as their similarities
and differences, and using their relationship to information already
known is a definite advantage during stress of an examination.
q      Practice previous exam papers- You should obtain copies of
previous exam papers as early as possible in the revision process. Doing
these exams in the required time limit will give you practice in applying
what you have learnt to specific topics and practice in examination
techniques. This will also give you a good idea of the format, time limit
and the number of questions in the examination.
q      Attend lectures- Pay attention in lectures and tutorials
and so on for information relevant to exams. For example what topic might
be expected in a test etc?
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Stress the following areas in your revision:
Points emphasized in class or in the text
Areas the Professor has advised for study
Questions in study guides, past questions and reviews at the end of
textbook chapters.
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STUDY HABITS
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q      Decide what to study (choose a reasonable task) and how
long or how many chapters, pages, problems, etc. Set and stick to
deadline.
q      Do difficult tasks first. For procrastination, start with
an easy interesting aspect of the project.
q      Have special places to study. Take into consideration,
lighting, temperature, and availability of materials.
q      Study 50 minutes and then take a 10 minutes break. Stretch,
relax, have energy snack.
q      If you get tired or bored, switch task/activity. Stop
studying when you are no longer being productive.
q      Do rough memory tasks and review, especially detail, just
before you fall asleep.
q      Study with a friend. Quiz each other compare notes and
predicted test questions.
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  STUDY SKILLS
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Physical environment- Choose situations, which make you feel comfortable,
for example a particular space in the library, in your own home or study
room in halls of residence.
Plan a time table- Use a time schedule to prioritise study times and try
to stick to your schedule.
Mental activity- Remember that your concentration span is limited. So do
not sit for 3-4 hours at a time starting at one page of notes. Wait for
an hour or so reading and making extra notes. Draft out or use real exam
questions from past papers and consider how little you know and
understand
Stop to take a break- Have a coffee or short walk and mentally review
what you have achieved. Return to your studies.
You will find that the process of activity and review will be useful and
will help you to set a pattern of study.
Quality of study- Remember that it is not time itself spent on studying
which matters, it is the quality of the exercise of studying. Develop an
understanding of the material you are working on. Information simply
committed to memory will rarely see you safely through your exams.
 Choice of material- Don't shy away from material which you find most
difficult to understand because if you do it will be precisely this
material which will be problematic for you in the exam. Take this
material first.
Problems- If there are sections of the syllabus, which you cannot
understand, try to find the appropriate lecturer to help you. But try not
to leave this until the day before the exam. Ask someone on the same
course as you. If these strategies don't work for you try using a variety
of different textbooks, some authors explain difficult concepts better
than others.
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CONCENTRATION
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Concentration is the ability to direct one's thinking in whatever
direction one would
intend. We all have the ability to concentrate sometimes.
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Think of the time when you were engrossed in super novel or in a cinema-
Total
concentration. But at other times your thoughts are scattered and you
mind races from
one thing to another. Learn and practice concentration strategies.
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Poor concentration- External causes
                             -Internal
causes
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External
causes                                 Â
  Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Internal causes
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Noise-Conservations voice from TVÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
    Boredom, Dislike/ anxiety about
music that interest
you.                              Subject
being studied.
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Environment                              Â
                        Day dreaming while
studying.
 Which has highly distracting things TV, Worries and personal problems.
Chairs, snacks, people.                       Â
     Awesomeness of the study task.
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Control Â
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Find a place to study and study only.               Â
    Study according to your biorhythm.
Clear away
distractions.                             Â
         Have concrete goals.
Light.                                 Â
  Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Set
aside certain time to begin
Chair and
table.                                 Â
  Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Studying.
Posture.                                Â
  Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Control
daydreaming.
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     Keep a reminder pad.
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REVISION
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Revision is a process of looking over past work as preparation for
examination. It is an activity which can produce good results and reduce
‘exam nerves' if it is carefully planned and carried out in a
systematic way. Black coffee and sleepless nights just before your exams
rarely allow you to do justice to your talents.
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Towards end of a course, a review of your completed written work and of
past examination papers will often indicate the existence of close links
between exam questions and essays, assignments and project work. On this
basis, you select your own best work and use it for revision. Work, which
has been less successful, should contain advice from a tutor and this can
be followed up.
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What revisions can do for you:
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v    Extends your ability to assess your own knowledge and
understanding.
v    Provides an opportunity to analyze this in relation to the
requirements of the examination.
v    Enable you to pass examination and gain recognition for your
talents.
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GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESSFUL REVISION
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Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Make sure you know well in advance the topics to be covered
in the particular exam.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Keep copies of all course documents, projects, essay
questions, title of assignments and reading list on file.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Make this the basis of your revision. Resist the temptation
to try to start your course all over again from the beginning.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Review your own the assessed work, making a selection of
that with the best grade.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Compare your own work with the question asked as past
question papers.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â At this stage it is vital that you will have enough material
to answer all the likely questions.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â If you decide on to expand what you have already got, look
at less successful papers and see if you can improve them by careful
editing, filling in gaps, correcting errors of fact or understanding.
Ă¼Â Â Â Â Â Reduce each piece of work to note form.
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TIME MANAGEMENT
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Avoid overload.
Organize your hours to include ample time for rest, relaxation, sleep,
eating, exercising and socializing.
Break the study time into manageable amounts of time to avoid boredom and
loss of concentration. Sessions lasting 20-30 minutes are the best
Studying for six half hour sessions is much more effective than studying
for 3 straight hours.
 Don't put everything off until the last minute.
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PRACTICE EFFECTIVE STUDY TECHNIQUES
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Have appropriate study environments.
Split large task into more manageable tasks.
Read for comprehension rather than get to the end of the chapter.
Be prepared to ask questions as they come up during study, rather than
waiting until just before and exam.
Don't wait until the last minute to complete your projects.
Read the syllabus as soon as you get it and note all due dates( and
milestone times) on your calendar.
Be a model student.
Be attentive and participative in the class and punctual, prepared and
eager to learn.
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BE ABLE TO BE FLEXIBILE
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The unexpected happenings, e.g. Sickness, need to be able to fit into our
schedule.
Know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary (so that it doesn't
manage you, but you manage it).
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 HAVE A VISION
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Don't forget the big picture.
Why are you doing the task? Is it important for your long-term goals?
Have and follow a personal mission statement (personal and career) Are
your activities ultimately helping you to achieve your goals.
Know what is important to you.
(What do you value most)
Have a positive attitude.
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Dr. Hari S.Chandran, M.Phil (Psy), Ph.D, PGDPC is working as Cons.
Psychologist ,Department of Deaddiction&Mental Health,St.Gregorios
Mission Hospital, Parumala.Kerala, drhari7@hotmail.com
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