Regardless of what degree you’ve chosen, you will need to learn essential study skills to succeed in your degree program. Success isn’t only measured by a passing grade but by being able to apply the knowledge in your new career. Adopting the right study skills will guarantee that you pass your assessments and succeed in your career.
Many students and educators view study skills as remedial — skills that should be learned only to remedy a learning deficiency; however, this could not be further from the truth. According to Leading Learning and Skills Center (LSC), an organization devoted to student training, a major benefit of advancing to higher levels of education is learning how to manage your time, understand academic writing and take worthwhile notes.
During your education, you will need to become an independent thinker, effective studier and time-management expert; in fact, these skills are also required in many occupations. If you are pursuing an organizational leadership masters degree, learning these skills now will serve you in your studies and when you become an organizational leader. Putting time into learning and perfecting the right study skills will help you become a well-rounded student and future business professional.
• Time Management
While this skill does not directly involve studying, it sets the stage for the remaining study skills. According to the LSC, properly managing your time involves planning your week to allow for study time, effectively using study time and defining tasks for upcoming study sessions. You must allocate time in which you will not be disturbed by friends and family, be properly equipped and have all information organized.
• Alternate Your Locations
Dorm rooms, libraries and study halls are classic study locations; however, using the same one all the time may not be ideal. According to a report in The New York Times, cognitive scientists have found that alternating study locations is a more effective way to retain information than continually using the same study space. The report states that memory is associated with location, so changing the location increases the brain’s ability to remember what was studied. Additionally, a consistent change of scenery can help decrease the monotony that often accompanies studying. (Editor’s Note: Not everyone agrees with this perspective – Where you Study Matters by Dave Farrow)
• Don’t Go It Alone
According to the Huffington Post, study and homework tools are invaluable assets for understanding information. This is exemplified when dealing with difficult subject matter or involved projects. You can divide the workload, lessening the pressure placed on you. You will also be able to focus on specific information and share your understanding with other members — who will share their understanding with you. Working in a group will also prepare you for many careers. For example, if you wish to pursue a masters in human resources and have a career in this field, working in groups with peers will be essential to continued success.
• Test Yourself
Two of the oldest and most common methods of self-study have been found to be the most effective: flashcards and practice tests. You have been using flashcards since elementary school for a reason: They are a quick way to evaluate and expand your knowledge. Mix up the order of the flashcards to make sure you memorize the information, not the order. Practice tests are also an essential tool for evaluating your level of understanding. Additionally, The New York Times states that the act of testing can help your brain relearn and recall information that may be dormant.
Emphasizing the right study skills will help you succeed now. You will retain information, do well on projects and pass your exams. The benefits will not stop once you have received your degree — they will continue well into your new career. You will recall vital information that will be required throughout the course of your employment. You will be able to demonstrate your proficiency immediately, earn promotions and guarantee yourself a lasting career.
About the Author: Robert Lee is a contributing writer and post-graduate student. His first year of higher education was stressful and difficult — until he started focusing on the right study skills. Robert is now succeeding in his studies and already feels prepared for his upcoming career.