Collecting and organizing information for study helps you in forming an effective study schedule. It ensures you use your precious time wisely. Students spend a lot of time finding quality information but, normally it is difficult for them to organize information for study.
With so much information available, it’s not easy to keep up without the skill for organizing information for study. This is a common problem for many students studying at both college and university level.
Organizing information for study is not easy without having a suitable plan. Some people avoid investing time in organizing information for study because they consider just having information is enough for the preparation of exams.
It’s extremely important to know what to do with your ideas or information and how to organise them for their effective use. A lot of people do it in different ways.
Here are some top methods for effectively organizing information for study both at college and university level.
Memorization in organizing information for study
Research shows that most people do not remember 80 per cent of what they learn, the next day. It is important to memorize the information by reviewing it. Success is near to impossible without memorization because exams are usually designed to test your knowledge about the topics.
You, as a learner, will cover a lot of topics during the semester but without memorization, you can’t cover all topics in few hours. Memorization is extremely important to organise the information.
To remember all the information, you need to practice the memorization strategies. Memorization prevents your time from wasting as you do not have to revise the same basic concepts, every single day if you have learnt them once by following the memorization strategies. It allows the students to move on to the vast and better concepts by learning the fundamental information.
Before going into the depth of memorization strategies, let us learn about the benefits of memorization.
Benefits of Memorization
- Studies show that the students who learn by practising the memorization strategies can easily remember the information for a long time as compared to those who do not.
- Memorization exercises your brain, allowing the brain to retain more information.
- It enables you to think critically.
- It enables the students in developing their working memory and becoming more creative.
- Memorization helps students in getting enough information and making the sense of what is next to learn.
- It increases your concentration skills as it requires focus and attention.
- Memorization helps students in remembering the concepts and passing the exams.
Above are given some of the benefits of memorization but many students find it difficult to practice memorization and thus they consider themselves unable to get its benefits.
During the college semesters, students require remembering vast amount of information but many of them fail in this task because they simply believe that they do not have the memorization skills. Such students need to know that it is not something inborn; these skills can be developed over time.
By practising memory skills, students can easily remember large chunks of information.
Tips for memorization
Visualtechniques are usually considered very beneficial in quickly getting the information. In addition to this, there are many other techniques to memorize things effectively.
Following tips are very much effective to sharpen your memorization.
Merely cramming things may prove fruitful temporarily but it will not be helpful in memorizing information for a long time. Chances are that you will forget the information just after few hours. It is better to understand things if you want to memorise them for a long time.
The information that is organised and makes sense to you is quite easier to remember. Read the text carefully and instead of wasting your time in cramming, spend it in understanding and getting things in a better and efficient way.
Connect with what you know
Connecting the new information with already known is an effective memorization trick. Your previous knowledge or experience influences your learning process; therefore, getting the new information separately is difficult to remember as compared to learning by connecting it with prior concepts or ideas.
Connecting your ideas with previous knowledge assists students in getting information effectively and using their experience. The new information is constructed on previous knowledge about the topic. Using the previous knowledge helps in making better sense of the reading.
Studies show that sleep has a great effect on our learning process and memory. Recall the information before you are going to sleep. It is important because the brain processes and stores new information when we are sleeping. It plays a role in the consolidation of remembrance which helps us in learning new information.
Sleep helps us in focusing and giving attention making it easier to receive information. Sleep deprivation affects learning badly. A person deprived of proper sleep can not learn efficiently as sleep deprivation reduces the ability of a person to learn new information.
Therefore, it is important to take adequate sleep each day so that it may not harm your memory learning.
Assessing and testing yourself after learning new information is one the most powerful tools to help you memorize information. Simply reading textbooks will not benefit you; make sure to answer the questions after you learn something new by using SQ3R method of reading.
The self-test is an essential trick so that you may come to know about your strong and weak points. You can again test yourself after two or three days to make sure to see if the content has become the active part of your mind or not.
Information Maps or concept maps
Information maps are important in organizing information for study because they help in locating the knowledge. They are beneficial in improving knowledge flow. Concept maps are ideal for managing knowledge. By forming the information maps, you can easily find out your weak areas and improve them.
Here are some of the advantages you can expect from information maps:
- Creating the information maps helps you in getting the deep understanding of the subject. They help you in connecting the previous and new information or ideas. You get the information in a better way when you connect the new concepts with the previous knowledge. By drawing the information maps, you look for the relationship between different concepts and also add new ideas to the previous knowledge.
- Information maps help you in analysing your understanding about this subject. Sometimes, by reading a topic, you may think that you have got enough information but actually it is not. Information maps help you in analysing about how well you understand the topic.
Creating the maps means you form a visual image of your understanding about the subject. Therefore, it helps you confirm your knowledge.
- Forming the concept maps helps you in recalling the information speedily. In this way, they are especially helpful in organizing information for study during exams when you have to revise the whole syllabus in very less time. It is easier to revise an image than the whole topic. Information maps are also helpful because they not only help in processing the information but also give a deep understanding of the topic.
Information maps can be drawn by simply using the pen and pencil; however, it is more productive to create them by using the mobile. Many apps are there to provide you with the facility of drawing the maps.
By forming the informational map on mobile, you can easily share it with others in case if you want to help your fellows in getting the understanding of the subject. You are not required to give them your paper. Moreover, you can also get feedback from your fellows or instructors about your understanding of the topic if you share the page.
You will always like to prefer the information in the form of charts rather than reading the bunch of pages having minimum information. It is far easier to process the information in the form of charts than observing the full paragraphs to get the same single point.
Forming the comparison charts is a powerful tool for organizing information for study.
Here are some benefits for you of using the comparison charts.
- The comparison charts are usually used to compare the information. They are very helpful in order to understanding the data very easily.
- By using the various comparison charts, the features of different things can be compared. They are beneficial when we compare two things.
- You can quickly calculate things and they are also easy to understand.
- Comparison charts are an easy and fruitful way to paraphrase a large amount of data.
If you are looking for improvement of your learning and organizing information for study then forming timelines is a useful strategy to follow.
You might be thinking about what is the timeline? It is “a linear representation of important events in the order in which they occur or occurred” (Dictionary.com).
Using a timeline is a tool to evaluate your learning and also to analyse your course contents. They are used to describe the order of different events that are going to happen or happened in the past.
There are so many strategies that we can use to form a timeline for organizing information for study. For instance, you might use minutes in an hour or chapters in a book.
Below are some reasons why you should use timelines to organize your information.
- A timeline is an effective tool to organise your data or information.
- If you are asked to complete a process which involves the series of steps then forming timeline is the best option to manage your task.
- They offer a general overview of the history.
- They highlight the important happenings of a person’s life.
- Timelines aid students in processing the information.
- Students can draw their timelines in any way which seems better or interesting. They can use white-boards, sticky notes, or index cards. They can also use online tools such as a spread sheet.
- Timelines are a good strategy for self-assessment. You can recall the information and test your learning while making timelines.
- Students can also create timelines about future plans which may help them in attaining goals. They can also make plans and predict what is next to come.
The process of forming timelines for completing a task makes it memorisable that helps in motivating yourself in future. So you should give a try to this powerful tool for managing and organizing information for study.
Process diagrams describe the whole process of making anything in the form of diagrams. For learning material effectively and for a long time, it is important to learn how to make, read and understand diagrams.
For the sake of organizing information for study and building your knowledge, process diagram is a useful tool. Forming and understanding of diagrams are essential because they present the information visually and easily.
- Process diagrams are important because they easily illustrate the complex process.
- They provide a summary of the whole topic.
- Process diagrams make you understand the lessons that may seem complicated otherwise.
Series of notes in the form of words or phrases which cover the whole topic are called informal outlines. Outlines break the main concept into different sub topics. They are usually written as fragments and sometimes, can also be written as a complete sentence.
Outlines are very significant when it comes to organize the details. They are important because they give a summary about the main idea of the topic and put it in logical order. Using an informal outline is useful in organizing the details of the whole subject and gives us a summary of the main idea. They also help us in focusing.
Also keep in mind that to form a better outline, you need to know about the title of your outline.
Branching diagram or cladogram, also called treelike diagram is used to present information in the form of branches of a tree.
Use the branching diagrams to describe the branches, types, or characteristics of things. These are used to tell how different organisms or topics are related to each other. They are also used to show the structure of different sub-headings.
You can draw the branching diagrams, by first, writing the main title at the top and draw a circle or rectangle around it. Then describe all the ideas, headings or sub-headings of the topic. Put all your ideas in branches.
Putting your ideas in these branches to divide your topic into different parts is the key to organizing information for study. This is helpful in easily getting your point and organising your information.
Sub Editor: Areeba Bashir
Chief Editor: Prof Ajmal Dass Jaipal