Several factors have been identified by various authorities as essential for effective studying. The factors hitherto identified are psychological, socio-economic, geographical, or racial. We are going to restrict ourselves to only the prominent and generally acceptable factors such as:
Concentration means absolute attention. The student’s mind must be entirely focused on the object of study.
The onus falls on the learner to discipline his mind and shut out all distractions. There are social and psychological factors that would want to entice the learner to trade his mind between the classroom and some other places.
But Lubega (1987) observed that ‘hearing is the function of the outer ears and listening is that of the inner ears’. There is a close link between listening and studying.
Therefore, if the state of one’s mind is essential for listening, it goes without saying that it is much more essential for studying.
The economic hardship and political crises that characterize our livelihood in this part of the globe could lure one out of his study.
The student, therefore, has to explore his willpower to concentrate his attention on his studies. It should also be noted that the learner’s attention is either fully secured or lost. Partial attention is equivalent to a lack of concentration.
This is the physical study location of the learner. Odejide et al. (1995) identified the library, personal or family study room, bedroom, or dining room as possible study locations.
It is also common knowledge that a peaceful, isolated, calm, serene, and comfortable environment promotes effective studying.
Factors such as adequate lighting, adequate ventilation, and comfortable seats cannot be compromised.
In a situation where the light is too bright or too dim, where the ventilation is adequate, and where the seats are not comfortable, studying would be hampered.
The study setting should not be liable to interruptions. It should allow the learner to keep a strict schedule and shield him from unsolicited visitations.
From the ongoing, it could be observed that the ideal environment as stated above is elitist and alien to our experience (and culture).
Be that as it may, the student has to negotiate for just that environment if his efforts at studying would yield the required results. Such an environment is a condition that must be met to ensure effective studying.
The library is a collection of books and other library and artistic materials for reading study and consultation. The library is patronized by people for personal studies and research.
The library also has facilities for loaning books to people for research. It is a vital source of information and access to materials that are unaffordable or inaccessible.
An ideal library is also a place where absolute silence is enforced and sustained.
Considering the mouth-watering qualities of a library as stated above, it becomes pertinent to recommend it as a condition for effective studying.
It should also be stated that the learner could have a personal library. A student must consult textbooks in his discipline to complement the information gathered from classroom lectures.
And since the personal library of an average student cannot be sufficiently equipped to provide for all the materials that he might need, it is absolutely essentilt to the larger and more enriched libraries of institutions and establishments.
A scholar must be kept abreast of developments in his discipline and related fields of knowledge. The library provides current authoritative and dependable information needed for a scholarship.
The student could consult the library for current developments in his field of study. Annexation of the data gathered at a lecture with the one collected from the library will form a reasonable stock of the usage of the library.
Knowledge of how to use the index, appendix, bibliography, notes, and references would make the student familiar with the library. The student should endeavor to have a personal library which he could consult at will.
The student should learn to take notes from lectures or from the books he has read. Note-taking aids the concentration of students during lectures and is good for record purposes.
When a student takes notes from lectures it becomes extremely difficult for him to be distracted since he will not like to miss any of the points being made by the lecturer. Additionally, the human memory may lapse as times go by. Each passing day reduces the depth of the information stored in the brain. Therefore, the notes taken during lectures or personal studies can be referred to when there is a memory lapse.
Note-taking was not intended at making the student a stenographer. A student’s notes should comprise a logical connection of only the essential ideas.
A student should be able to differentiate between facts and opinions and points and illustrations or details when he listens to lectures or when he studies.
The student’s note should consist of only the facts and the points, opinions, illustrations, and details should be left out.
Personal Study Schedule
A student must have a personal study schedule, apart from the one that directs his school activities.
However, it is not enough that a timetable is drawn; the student must be so disciplined to implement the schedule.
The student should however be sincere with himself when he draws the schedule; the schedule must be such that he can implement it.
Specific times should be apportioned to studying and others for writing assignments, projects, group discussions, and seminar presentations.
Subjects that are more difficult than the others should be allotted more time and attention in the student’s schedule. A time when the student’s cognitive ability is at its best should be fixed for a study of such course.
The student should ensure that as much as possible he adheres to his schedule. Each course is studied as at when due and should not be allowed to lapse to the period scheduled for another course.
However, it should be noted that the student is not a slave to his schedule, he could make necessary adjustments when the need arises. But such adjustments must be necessary and justifiable.
The personal study schedule of the student will collapse if he refused to equally plan for the other activities of the day.
He should plan for when to leave his bed, when to eat, when to go for lectures, when to relax, etc. A failure to put the above into practice could make a mess of his study schedule.
Most students adopt the Fire Brigade approach to their studies. The fire brigade is needed only in cases of emergency, especially when there is an inferno. It is therefore seen as a necessary evil.
Most students create time for their books only when they have assignments, tests, or examinations to write, such as an approach is negative and devoid of scholarship.
A student’s approach to his studies should be systematic and consistent. Studying should be a habit and a necessity not a compulsion, an anomaly.
A good student must not wait for work to pile up before he would start to study; he should rather squeeze out time to study daily.
He should see the need to revise the lecture he had listened to in the earlier hours of the day when he got home.
The adoption of such a systematic approach would reduce memory lapse to the barest level or even eradicate it. Also, studying could be enjoyed if developed into a habit.
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