4 Innovative Study Methods to Try

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 11, 2020

College students can think of plenty more ways to spend a great time than study. Sadly for us, that’s not always the case. Even when it’s not midterm or finals season, studying can be at the fronts of our mind throughout any given school term. Spending hours over textbooks and hastily written notes in a campus library may be your typical method of studying, but it could potentially be the least effective and productive method of studying for you.

You may be asking yourself, “But what else is out there?” Lucky for you, we here at Uloop have you covered. Try out any of these innovative study methods next time you start studying.

innovative study methods

Photo: Pexels

1. Go digital

Yes, there’s something about spending hours writing flashcards to help you study, but the hard-copies are not going to be the most effective for everyone. Long gone are the days of carrying around stacks and stacks of flashcards, getting them mixed up with other classes’, and losing specific words you really wanted.

This isn’t the most innovative study method, but it is a game-changer for those that hold old-fashioned cards near and dear to their heart. There are many websites and apps you can use to make digital versions of your beloved flashcards. Quizlet, Encore, Headmagnet, and Study Blue are just some of the many tools you can use to study. Take Quizlet, for example, you can create your own flashcards and make quizzes out of them, highlight ones you really want to work on, and auto-shuffle.

2. Make a song and get ready to sing-a-long

Do you ever have that song that you just can’t get out of your head even though all you want to do is hit the pause button? Well, it’s time to use that to your advantage when it comes to studying. Schoolhouse Rock! was known for using songs to teach about important topics — even Hannah Montana used a song to have students learn about bones and human anatomy.

If you are lost on how to go about making the perfect study jingle — think of songs you already know by heart or songs that you already recognize as being ear-worms or catchy. These are the songs that are going to be easiest to make a study song out of. Whether it’s remembering important quotes, to memorizing essential equations, plug them into catchy melodies to build the perfect study song. When you begin to blank out during a test, simply begin to hum or tap along (quietly) to your made-up song to recall the information you need to succeed.

3. Make a game out of studying

Yes, studying can be something as fun as a game. You won’t have the complete carefree attitude behind a traditional game night with friends. This study method can go two different ways.

One way is to make up your own game and will take up a lot more creativity. You can model your study game off of a card game or board game that you already know pretty well for a starting point.

If you can’t find it in you to make a study game from scratch, take a board game you already have and tie it into the studying you are already doing. For example, if a game’s action card requires someone to go backward, have them recite a certain fact or answer a question correctly in order to save themselves from the negative effects that the card would bring.

4. Don’t study 

Ever heard of information overload? It’s a real thing. As much as you want to read every set of lecture notes and reread chapters, it’s probably not going to be the best for you. After a while, words will start to blur together and burn out can come quite easy.

Don’t chug down energy drink after energy drink and study for hours on end. Sometimes the solution to your study problems is honestly just stepping away from all study materials and giving yourself a much-needed break. The key to making the most of your breaks is to keep them creative, yet productive. You don’t want to shut off your mind completely so that it makes it really hard to come back to study mode, but you want to definitely keep those creative or productive juices flowing. Do some yoga, clean out some drawers, meal prep for the busy week ahead.

Studying doesn’t have to be boring with these innovative study methods in mind. If you still are looking for study tips, check out these helpful articles down below:

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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