When you study, how many of you find yourself staring blankly at your textbook, re-reading the same sentence over and over again, and absorbing none of it? There’s got to be a better way to study! This year I decided to try something different…
My whole university career I’ve studied the exact same way: by re-reading my notes and textbooks, occasionally jotting down important names and terms. This year I decided to try another idea in addition to that – audio study notes. I picked out portions of my notes and textbooks that I thought were important, and used my computer to record myself reading them. Then I saved the audio files to my mp3 player, and now I can listen to them as I walk to school, in between classes, and while doing housework. The downside, of course, is that it’s super weird to hear your own voice! But it’s very convenient, and it allows you to review the course content over and over again without having to stare at a book for hours at a time.
I didn’t have to get any fancy computer programs or anything either – you might have something you can use already built into your computer! The program I used was “Windows Movie Maker,” and I just used the “Narrate timeline” option to record my voice, and then saved the audio file afterward. Windows also sometimes comes with OneNote, which allows you to do the same thing. (If anyone knows the Mac equivalent, feel free to leave a comment below). From there you can use iTunes to put the files on your iPod, or just play it back from your computer. Alternatively, some mp3 players come with the ability to record hours of audio right onto the machine.
So that’s my new study technique! It seems to be working well for me so far – but of course, it won’t replace my other study methods of actually sitting down and studying the notes. After all, I don’t have time to record EVERY word from my notes. Just some selected highlights. If you try it out, let me know if it works for you!
Also, if you have any other great ideas of how to study without just staring at a textbook for hours, I want to hear about it! Leave me your comments below.
PS: Even though finals may seem like they’re still forever away, many of them start in only a couple of weeks. If you’re in a position to start studying now, do so! You’ll be glad you did.