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7 Learning Techniques Proven Effective for College Students

College Students

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by

Contrary to what most students think, reading and highlighting are rather useless approaches to learning. That is why most College Students that use the conventional textbook-reading method find it hard to retain information.

As a college student, it is crucial to develop effective learning techniques that will help you absorb and retain vast quantities of information. Unfortunately, research shows that most of the learning techniques used by college students are ineffective. But there are many proven approaches you can use for the best learning outcomes.

This article will guide you on the best learning techniques.

Distributed Practice

Burning the midnight oil when you have a big test does not cut it. Usually, you will not remember most of what you studied the previous night the following day.

When studying, the goal should be to pass every exam and get lifelong skills. It takes time to learn, and that is why distributed practice matters. Create a distributed learning schedule that allows you more time to study before a big exam.

For instance, pick a subject and give it a day or two before the next study session. If you are swamped with assignments and other responsibilities, reach out to professional paper writers from writing services with best prices to help you with your homework. This way, you can stick to your distributed learning schedule.

Whether you are learning an instrument or mathematics, schedule sessions on alternate days It will allow active learning when studying and time to think about what you have learned.

Multiple Learning Techniques

Listening and reading are typical learning techniques, but other approaches help you retain information better, such as taking notes and practicing with friends. In addition, when tackling assignments and term papers, you can learn by collaborating with field experts, such as professional academic writers. To find them, you can check the writing services reviews first.

As you work on your essays and assignments with the help of academic writing professionals, you get an opportunity to rehearse what you learned in class. Using more than one technique to learn helps you retain information.

Retrieval Practice

Compared to rereading information, retrieval practice improves learning through flashcards, practice tests, and creating questions.

Retrieval practice involves examining what you know by pulling it out of your mind. It is the process of remembering what you studied at a later time. Finding answers in a textbook is less effective than recalling answers to questions.

Students who practice retrieval are more likely to recall what they learned later. Therefore, adding it to your study routine will make learning more effective.

Utilize quizzes and practice questions without looking for answers in your notebooks. You can also create your questions and quiz yourself by predicting what would be in a test. Use flashcards to practice retrieval by pondering the answers before flipping the cards over.

Retrieval practice stands out because it is centered when the student is not learning. It challenges a learner’s mind to retrieve the information they have absorbed over time without an exam.

Mind Mapping

When used effectively, mind mapping improves critical thinking, soft skills, and learning outcomes.

Mind mapping aligns with how the human brain stores and retrieves information. You organize information on a diagram by identifying the keyword on a page and then derive other related ideas from the central concept.

Mind mapping enhances comprehension by allowing students to see the bigger picture and guiding them to branch out more related ideas.

The tool uses multiple techniques to enhance learning, such as note-taking, brainstorming, and consolidating information from various sources. 

The Feynman Technique

The Feynman technique makes studying simple. It focuses on the logic that explaining complex things in simple terms helps you understand them. You explain things in your own words through this technique, making concepts plain, simple, and easy to remember.

How do you do it? Highlight the topic or subject of study, then try to explain it to yourself as if you were teaching someone. 

Review the textbook or notes content and identify the areas you got wrong. Then, with the insights, do more reading and research to understand the concept. 


Practice allows learners to access information faster and creates more space for the brain to process more information. Most students rely only on attending lectures and reading textbooks for learning. While writing notes and listening to professors is an effective way to acquire information, putting the knowledge into practice is the best way to learn. 

If you are learning an athletic skill, practice regularly to build and improve your skills. If it is a new language, speak with another person for an immersive experience and to challenge yourself to build the skills. If it is accounting, get exercise questions online and try to balance books.

Gaining practical experience is an effective way to test your comprehension, identify gaps, improve skills and retain information.

Focus on a Single Task

Multitasking weighs down the learning experience. It makes you less productive and affects your attention and level of comprehension. When you cannot focus on specific information, knowledge retention is impaired, which will negatively impact your academic performance. 

To avoid this, focus on a specific task at a time, and plan your calendar effectively. 


Being an effective learner does not happen overnight, but with commitment and practice, you can develop habits that foster effective learning.

Through distributed practice, retrieval practice, and gaining practical experience, you will notice an improvement in how you comprehend new knowledge.

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