Studying purely for the sake of learning is the ideal situation, but in the real world, we’re usually studying to pass an exam.
What’s the difference?
Strategy versus tactics.
Every good blog post should include a classic quote, so here’s Sun Tzu:
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
If you’re focused on studying for the sake of learning, it’s all about tactics - otherwise known as study skills.
But if you have an exam looming, it’s important to start with strategy.
You need to know *where* to focus your time and effort before you begin using the *how*.
Makes sense, right?
If you’re like the average student, you’re probably short on time, which makes a strategic approach all the more important.
This video explains the 6 steps for strategic exam preparation.
These 6 strategic steps might be common sense, but they're not always common practice.
Don't make the mistake of skipping any of them.
Whether you’re cramming for an exam tomorrow or you’re super organized and you’re preparing three months in advance, you’ll follow the same steps.
For more details about preparing for different types of exam questions, grab this free download.
And if you're preparing for a memorization exam, be sure to know how to memorize effectively.
So that’s strategy, now what about specific tactics?
How do most students study?
If you took a survey of typical students, I bet the most popular study techniques would include:
There's only one problem with that list...
... none of them are highly effective!
So I asked The Learning Scientists some simple questions:
What does academic research recommend you should do? What are the most effective ways to study?
Here are the top six tactics.