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How to Study as You Head Back to School

Schools never teach us how to study, yet it’s the most important skill for succeeding at school. Get-It-Done Guy has 7 expert study skills to help you master your learning.

By
Stever Robbins
5-minute read
Episode #235

How to Study Tip #6: Study With a Group

The point of school is to learn stuff yourself. That means no cheating. If you copy from someone else, you may get the grades, but you won’t actually learn. They’ll learn the material, you’ll just learn to copy. In today’s world, you need the actual skills if you want to get ahead in your career.

That’s why a study group can be super helpful for learning new material. For each class you’re taking, schedule study time each week. Invite your friends Kaitlan, Dawn, Trevor, Victor, Krista, Carlos, Luis, Helen, Timmy, and Lucrezia. Get together to study. You each bring your own books, laptops, and study materials. Work on your own work, but use each other as a resource. If you don’t understand something, explain it to each other or explore it as a group.

Groups have power! Scheduling these meetings guarantees you’ll take the time to work on that subject. You’ll also learn other ways to think about the material. Plus, you all have different strengths. You may each suck at something, but at least you’ll suck at different things (and conversely, be good at different things). Together, you’ll cover more than you would alone.

How to Study Tip #7: Get Enough Sleep

Finally, sleep. Yes, sleep. When you dream, your brain consolidates new information, transfers it to long-term storage, and begins to connect it to everything else you know. You’ll wake up understanding the material even better. If you stay up until 3am playing beer pong and then try to get up at 8am for class, well, you’re making choices. Make different ones. You’ll be happier.

See also: How Can Sleep Make You Fit?

It’s been a few minutes, let’s review. We’re talking about how to study. Get the big picture by skimming, then fill in details later. Take notes by hand, star and review difficult material, review at irregular intervals, study with a group, and get enough sleep. That’s a lot to remember, so make sure you take notes. Then review them tomorrow and at the end of the week. You only have to learn how to study once and you’ll be able to master a lifetime of learning.

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.