My Personal Study Method
- Read and annotate
Everyone studies differently, but I will say this: reading a document alone is probably not going to lodge that information in your brain.
It does break my heart to annotate on books but I have never found a way that works as well as this does for me. I try to annotate using just pencil if possible, but if the book was a bargain buy or passed on to me, I use highlighters as usual. After all, I plan on keeping these textbooks for reference.
- Write out and synthesise
The second thing that I do is I write out all the highlighted sentences from my book by hand. This takes a long time, but writing it out manually gives your brain time to process the information. I then conclude my notes on a certain chapter with a section written in my own words where I summarise the information copied from the book in as little words as possible. I also like to make as much information as possible into bulleted lists.
- Type out on the computer
I then make a Google Drive document and type out both of my written sections in full. I do this listening to instrumental music so again my brain has time to digest what I am writing instead of just robotically typing it up.
- Read and record
The last thing I do with my notes is that I turn on my webcam and read the notes aloud (a bit embarrassing I know, but trust me on this one). I then end up with a video clip that I can play on my tablet when I have a spare few minutes or as I go to sleep. Even if you skip this step, make it a habit to read over your notes before you go to (or even, to MAKE you go to) sleep. This means it's the last thing that you think about before your brain winds down.