In the past I have used multiple study strategies. I’ve had times that I was extremely prepared, and thus used creative methods to study. For example I made quizes for myself to take, I made flashcards, wrote revision booklets, did many past-exam questions, etc etc. These things actually all worked really well for me. I think that what works best for me is to not study the whole day, but rather 2-4 hours a day. Doing this in intervals of 30 minutes with 10 minute breaks has also been really useful. I aim to stay hydrated at all times and make sure I have a plan of exactly WHAT I am going to study, WHEN and HOW. Reflecting back on this, these have all really worked effectively for me.
But of course it’s also happened multiple times that I was not prepared and had to cram the night before, or a few days before, the exam. This usually causes an extreme amount of stress in me, and sleep deprivation is definitely an issue here. Although I wouldn’t advise this for big exams like the upcoming end-of-year exam, it has worked reasonably well in the past. I don’t advise it because of the accompanying stress and sleep-deprivation. But reflecting on it, my marks weren’t considerably lower than those of tests that I studied better for. But of course, with the amount of theory we need to know for psych, I think that with this method it’s next to impossible to get a good grade.
So I suggest to actually just do what I do when I’m organized. Make it fun. Seriously. I actually really like studying sometimes. Just make it fun, be creative. I love using my whiteboard, and acting like I’m teaching a class. I know this sounds weird, but it really helps. When you teach someone else, you really have to get what you’re talking about and have to express it in a way that is understandable for everyone. I also suggest making flashcards for subjects that have a lot of theory. It takes a REALLY long time though, which is a negative. But then again, you learn when making the flashcards and if you do it in a pretty way and do your best to make it look good, you’ll enjoy it and you can use them for a long long time. Quizzing yourself is also really great. Making the test itself is already fun and it’s just really useful. I also really suggest going over past-exam questions. This will give you an idea of the terminology you can expect and you can really learn from this.
I think there definately are psychological aspects to studying. The main one being repeated study periods. Long term and short term memory play an important role when studying, because we need to make sure that the information we’re studying doesn’t only go to our STM. We want it to be in our LTM so that we can remember information till the exam comes up (and after). The main tip for achieving this is to study regularly and repeat. Don’t cram a lot in short time periods. Stretch it out and repeat the theory as much as possible.
So yeah, there’s a lot to keep in mind. But my main tips are repetition and making it fun. If you’re really negative about it, it will never go well. So just make it fun and don’t go on for too long. Make sure you give yourself some well-earned rest and enjoy yourself.