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How to study SMART, not hard?

A photo of BrunoMars BrunoMars
So ive been hearing this from multiple people at universities. They keep saying, the workload is so much that you cant exactly study like you've been taught to in elementary and high school (memorizing every little detail).... You have to study smart... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Please help me with tips, thanks guys.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
I definitely still memorize every little detail but that's just my study style. They probably mean to study the topics that have the most likelihood of being on the test and not concentrating on the ones that probably won't be on it. That's leaving too much to chance for me though (unless I was really pressed for time).

Best way to study imo is to study to your strengths. I'm a crammer by nature (I need the pressure of an upcoming test to kick in before I can concentrate), and I have an excellent short term memory (can literally memorize essays word for word), but if I study too far in advance (1 week+), I can't retain any info. So I typically start studying 2-3 days prior to a test, for 8-10 h each day. That's what works best for me; I study best in large blocks within a short time period.

If you're a daily reviewer type, who remembers info best by reviewing lecture notes daily and studying in small increments spread over weeks; then do that.
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A photo of LegendaryCyclone LegendaryCyclone
Study smart, huh? That usually refers to studying the main points as well as points that are likely to be questioned on a test. Also, studying a bit everyday is also good, and reviewing what you already learned is also good. Though, it all boils down to what works for you.
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A photo of ktel ktel
And I'm the opposite of inthemaking. I study well in advance for 1-3 hours at a time. It's a very individual thing.
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A photo of threepointonefour threepointonefour
I think another aspect of studying smart is not wasting time. Biggest example? Asking for help. If you can't figure out a question, there's probably something you don't know. Don't spend two hours looking at it- ask a friend, or a prof, or a TA. I had a friend email me with some computer programming code that didn't work telling me he had tried 9 hours to debug it. It was a < sign rather than a <= sign. It took five minutes. Also, the first thing after I've gone through my notes before a midterm or final is to take a practice exam and mark it. Then find what you're strong and weak in. You can focue on what you don't know rather than trying to study everything.
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A photo of Ba Ba Blue Ba Ba Blue
I disagree with threepointonefour. I'm a math major and my best studying is struggling over the hardest practice problems for half an hour or longer each. By getting the answer myself rather than having it given to me by a TA or whatever it's a much more rewarding experience, both mentally and in terms of learning outcomes. The idea of studying smart is that you want to work on understanding rather than memorizing. For example, biology terms are not so hard to learn if you understand what each segment of the word means (especially if you took Latin classes) - you can pretty much guess then! The only thing you'd have to worry about is understanding the system in this anecdote.
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A photo of Raeesa Raeesa
Wow I'm exactly the same as inthemaking! I work best under pressure. Of course, that means I barely get any sleep...
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