At university, you see a lot of different types of students. A lot. Sometimes you come across those who work regularly and still struggle with basic concepts, while others ditch classes and exams and try to cram everything in the last two weeks. It doesn’t even matter what kind of school we are talking about. Law, medicine, economics, and so on – if you are a student, you may want to read up on this. Here is how you can study better.
It sounds appealing, it really does. I’ve done it myself a few times, to be fair. The appeal stems from the fact that you can goof off for a while, or even for the most part, and then overclock your brain to achieve barely passable, mediocre results.
Cramming is not the ideal method of studying, because it kills learning. You are just memorizing info with little to no understanding of it and it will linger in the background after the exam for a while, only to disappear completely.
If you are going to be working a legal gig, for example, you are going to be stuck for hours on end with documents full of legal lingo. If you only cram, you will lack the work rhythm you need to survive the average workweek.
Study groups are often, but not always, great for learning. You can quiz each other, help each other with tough info, or force each other to sit down and start working. However, it doesn’t work well for some people. There are those that do their best work alone. Others get too social in study groups. Different methods of studying could be an issue or a creative way to overcome certain problems. Try it out and see if it’s up your alley.
This ties in to cramming, but it concerns your day-to-day work.
Let’s compare studying to going to the gym. You see fit people, or buff people if you are into that, whatever. You decide to hit the gym, in order to look like them, or be as strong and flexible as them. It won’t work if you do it two weeks a year. You’ll pull a muscle or seriously hurt yourself, because you hadn’t covered the basic forms and exercises.
It’s the same with attending classes and taking notes. Attend every class regularly, participate in it, comment and ask questions, take notes, and outline what you have learned at home. If you do this, half of your work is already done. Consider the Cornell system of taking notes.
I don’t know what it’s like at other schools, but the competition among law students is terrible. In some even cutthroat. It’s important not to get completely caught up in the idea of trying to be the top dog. The real world does not have that many kill-or-be-killed situations, depending on your location and job. Remember why you are doing this and don’t make more enemies than absolutely necessary.