Successful students do well because they have managed to develop the right study skills alongside all that knowledge consumption. Not having those skills and lacking the right approach to your studies can significantly hinder your performance.
Do you cram all your studying together?
We’re all guilty of it. However, constantly leaving your work to the last minute resulting in late nights, attempting to keep your eyes open, is not the most conducive method for effective study. Short and regular study and revision sessions are a better way to go. Plus it ensures your long-term memory is engaged, therefore making your brain remember the data throughout the year until the exams (and beyond).
Do you start with the easiest subject first?
Be bold: the subjects and topics you find difficult will require the most effort and energy to get through. So face them when you’re at your optimum level of focus. Break them down into more manageable chunks or concepts to make the task easier.
Do you study when you feel like it?
Organisation is key to joining the league of successful students. Creating a schedule which has specific slots throughout the week outlining when you are learning or revising is a great way to stay consistent with your work. This also gets you into a good routine, keeping you calm and focused.
Do you go with the flow when deciding what to study?
Develop more effective study sessions by setting clear objectives, as you’ll know exactly what you want to achieve. It also helps you to be more aware of the progress you’re making within a subject; highlighting areas of concern which can be flagged up and tackled.
Are you surrounded by distractions?
Distractions can be destructive (not to sound overly dramatic), so avoid studying in noisy places and try to find somewhere that’s as quiet and comfortable for you as possible. Soft music in the background helps your brain concentrate while doing something else as long as there aren’t any words (i.e. not songs) as these would be distracting.
Do you study by yourself?
It’s of course beneficial to be able to study effectively by yourself, but working with others is not without its merit. Joining forces with others will mean you can discuss topics and concepts in a more interactive way, thus easy access for help when you’re struggling to understand something. And you’re likely to finish the work more quickly while in a group too, so it’s a bonus!
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, try to start implementing better habits and study skills. You’ll definitely see an improvement with your studies.
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The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a cornerstone of the IB Diploma Programme (DP).