The Complete Teacher


Better studying methods for your students

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 19 October 2022, 10:00 SAST
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In order for information to move from short-term to long-term memory, one needs to actively attend to this information. Refocus students' attention on the materials that they should be studying. It will help to study in a place free from distractions (people, TV, radio, music, and other diversions).

Help students establish regular study sessions.

Repetition is an important part of memorizing information. Studying materials over a number of sessions gives them more time to process the information. Regular studying will produce better results than cramming sessions. Encourage students to study in a number of shorter study sessions rather than one long session. It is difficult to maintain close attention to material throughout a long study session. Studying after a break gives you better feedback about what you know.

​​Teach students to organise what they are studying.

Information in your memory is organised in clusters. Teach them to take advantage of this to structure and organise the materials that they are studying. By using mind maps to group similar concepts and terms.


Teach students to associate what they are learning with what they already know. Techniques based on association (for example, creating images that link two things) often prove useful for learning individual words or definitions. Form acronyms or create rhymes. Associate what they are studying with something that they do daily; this will help them in recalling what they have learned.

Elaborate (Break down)

Reading the study material is just the first step in remembering. Elaboration (teaching them to think about what they are reading and how it relates to other things that they know) helps students to transfer the learning material into their long-term memory. One of the most effective ways of elaboration is to make up questions about the study material and then answer them.

Match learning to the testing conditions 

Teach students that they need to study in several different locations. Research has shown that people remember better if they have learned things in several locations, compared to only one location. The reason for this is that certain locations are then associated with certain learning material which makes it easier to retrieve the information.

Encourage students to teach new concepts to another person 

Repeating information out loud and especially teaching others that information enhances understanding and recollection.

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