Note : Ensure you are well relaxed before attempting to study .If you are at home ,you should probably get something to eat and have a bath before settling in to study .You are likely to assimilate more if you are
Study in an ample illumination
This relaxed positions should include being in a well lighted area which does not cast shadows on the page you are reading. The area however should not be too bright as this will result in an inability to focused and undue strain on the eyes as would result if the are is not lighted (I have glass to prove that lamplight is not the best solution either!!!) .To solve the problem of lighting, I would recommend using a desk lamp with an energy saver bulb of less than 60 W as anything more might generate too much heat and make the study area too uncomfortable
Use a comfortable desk and chair
Another component of the study space that needs to be regulated is the chair and position in which you study. I would recommend study sitting up in an ergonomic chair ,once again must not be too hard or too soft -too soft will make you sluggish and too hard will give you back pains .WARNING : Never study lying down as this will put you to sleep especially if you are tired .
Eat before studying but give sufficient time for digestion
Make sure you eat before attempting to study as the brain like any other organ of your body needs sustenance to function .However you should avoid heavy meals as this will divert blood form the brain to the digestive tract and result in reduced ability to assimilate what you are studying .In addition avoid fast food and snacks as this will make you too energetic and detract form your focus .I would suggest a twenty to thirty minute break after eating
Study in a quiet area or low intensity music
It is only logical that you need quiet in order to focus. Consequently find a quiet area or close the door of your room before studying .Some persons may need music in order to study .I would suggest low tempo music like Jazz and R and B. Avoid hard rock and loud alternative tracks however the music shouldn't be too soothing it makes you want to sleep
Study for short sessions
The adult concentration span is about 45 minutes and this means that the rate of absorption of any information beyond that period is greatly reduced.
Set up a timetable
A timetable helps you organize your study session and ensures that you don't spend too much time on any one subject. When I was in school I used the time table for my classes for a particular day .That ensured that I studied all my subjects as soon as I got them and while they were still fresh in my mind
Personal tips to maximize assimilation of study material
1. Try to get as much from the classes as is possible .This means participating in class by asking questions and NEVER LEAVE class without ensuring that you understand all that was taught in class because any concept you don't understand in class will be made worse when you get home and then you will not be able to get help
2. Use flash cards .Flash card are small cards are versatile copies of your notes that you enable you to study just about anywhere. You could be studying while you are on the bus or standing in a line to pay your utility bills. Flash cards are useful in that they force you to assimilate the information and be able to summarize
3. Use memory gems or songs to help you remember what you have studied in a manner that is more fun than just reading and recalling your notes. In order for this technique to work you will have to put your notes to a popular song .Memory gems are cool ways of remembering information especially those contained in lists for example if you were studying the following list :
A nice memory gem would have been Good Girls Enter Freely but Mean Girls Have to Pay
4. Use association ,that is try relating what you are studying with something that you are familiar with .For example if you asked a question in class and at that point your best friend hit you in the back try to use that incident to remember the answer that the teacher gave .
5. Try to use the knowledge you have learned in practical ways around your house For example if you learned about germination in class then a nice way to ensure that you really understood it would be to actually try growing some seeds in your back yard garden.
6. Try teaching other what you have learned .Teaching others help you to get a firm grasp of the concepts involved and talk about it with your friends and families .Families are an important way to test your knowledge because if you can teach persons who are unfamiliar with a subject content what you have learned it is likely that you have firmly grasped the knowledge
7. Periodically check yourself for information that you have studied and by that I mean trying to recall information you studied two days before .Many persons make the fundamental mistake of studying a topic and forgetting to check to see how much was actually recalled opting instead to wait until test time and only to find that very little was recalled
8. Never study a night before an exam,take that time to relax ,internalize and calm yourself .
Disclaimer: I do not claim to know everything about the processes needed to get good grades and as such I am open to suggestion and I will attempt to update this page as I get more information