First you will understand what active study is all about. I will go through the 5 tips and in the end explain how this study method can really help you and if it’s worth it.
Now for the active study tips.
1) Create questions of the subject you are studying
The best way to get your brain working at full power is by building questions around the content.
Questions act as a trigger to remind you of what we are studying .
Have you noticed that teachers in the classroom often ask questions to students? Several researches have shown that teachers by creating questions stimulate their students in learning.
This is one of the ways to check if they are following what is being studied/taught. Questions put us in an active and conscious position.
Even studying alone you can ask yourself questions aloud about the content. This will help to create the triggers and when you need the information it will be easier to retrieve it.
If you are studying in a public place such as a library, you can mentally ask the questions. Or even write the questions down on a sheet of paper, sticky notes or a computer document.
Formulate core questions that address concepts and foundations that are relevant to understanding the subject.
The deeper and more specific the question, the more effort the brain takes to process the answer – and that’s a good thing.
2) Critically reflect on studies and readings
Now let’s talk about one of the main active study strategies : critical reading.
We are not always fully aware of the effects, consequences and implications of what we are reading – we just read, without question. This is not a good thing for learning.
Active study is based on a broad strategy that involves much more than just skimming over the text.
When reading, avoid just reading. Seek to reflect critically on that topic , seeking to contextualize, bring it to your life, to reality.
Superficial reading is not enough for learning, as it only provides a few elements, not contributing to the formation of new lasting mental connections.
Critical reading, on the other hand, stimulates the brain and strengthens our neurons. When we criticize what is being read, the level of comprehension and memorization increases considerably.
The idea here is not to form questions about the content being read, as we said in the previous tip, but to question the reasons, the reason, the importance of the topic being read.
You won’t always agree with what’s written and that’s okay. Critical reading helps us form an opinion on the subject, which is positive not only for learning, but also for our formation as subjects.
A person who only reads, without reflecting, ends up repeating ideas without understanding what they really mean. This skill can be useful when dealing with simple and straightforward questions, but for more complex questions it takes more than reading.
3) Adopt regular study habits
Daily habits greatly influence the results obtained in the studies. Active study depends on creating healthy study habits that are regular.
It is not possible to obtain good results without discipline and dedication when studying.
Study every day, even if just a few hours a day. Not everyone can spend all day studying. There are many other commitments involved in everyday life.
If you keep in the habit of studying a little every day, in a short time you will be able to fulfill all your goals.
Regularity is the secret to exhausting all the content, even with a tight schedule. This is the foundation of spaced learning that helps your brain master content more easily.
But what are regular study habits? We’re not just talking about studying every day, but doing it right. Set a time for your studies and establish a routine.
It is worth choosing a place to study that is easily accessible, quiet and offers minimal accommodations, such as a chair and a table for your books or computer.
4) Integrate studies into your personal life
When we study in a contextualized way with our life, we are able to create much clearer connections, which facilitate our learning.
Active study requires that we look for elements in everyday life to help with studies.
We find it much easier to learn what has use or application in our personal lives.
It is much easier to teach a farm worker using examples from the countryside than using examples and elements from the city.
When we learn from a language we already know, studying becomes much more pleasurable. That’s why we find content that addresses issues that seem very distant from our reality strange.
Bringing it into everyday life means creating contexts.
If you are studying a legal institute, ask how it can be applied to your community.
5) Focus on studies
For there to be active study, one of the main elements necessary is concentration.
After all, we need to be completely focused on one task to achieve maximum throughput.
Forget the multitasking myth . We often hear that the human brain is capable of processing several things at once.
This makes people think that it is possible to study and watch television at the same time.
However, it is far from the truth. The brain can perform more than one task simultaneously, but that doesn’t mean it can do it perfectly.
When we focus on more than one activity at the same time, our attention is divided and the results may be inferior . So, when studying, focus only on studies.
Put aside the television, cell phone, games and even friends. All distractions can wait a while. Active study only works when we really focus.
How to implement active study
Earlier we talked about active study and how it works in practice. But how to implement this strategy?
Everything depends on consistent planning, which is followed with great rigor and discipline. A good way to use active study is through Method 5.
Keep in mind that active study goes beyond merely reading the content or repeating what has been studied.
It consists of studying through all the existing ways, such as questions, notes, criticism, interaction with the teacher and with other students and much more.
In this way, the study method is considered much more efficient , since it leads the student to truly understand the content. This is a strategy with better results when compared to the passive study.
Is active study worth it?
As you can see, active study demands much more from students.
After all, in addition to reading, it is necessary to reflect on what has been read, ask questions, integrate the study into the context of personal life and implement various strategies.
For you to be able to study efficiently, you will need much more discipline. The results are worth it as you will be able to memorize a large amount of content in a short time and consistently.
This form of study will help you achieve the results you want. It sure may not be the shortest way, but it is the most efficient.
Remember that there are no shortcuts to learning. Each person has their own time, their own limits and needs. Believe me, it’s worth studying properly and following your pace.