5 Tips For Effective Self Study

5 Tips For Effective Self Study

Self-Study VS Formal Study

I believe we are entering an era in which self study is more important than formal studies. With almost any subject available online for study in the form of eBooks, online courses, and videos, self study is easier than ever.

But self study is very different from formal classes. And for those of us who grew up accustomed to having a teacher tell us what to learn and when to learn it, self study can feel very daunting. So it is important for us to first learn how to self study effectively.

These five tips will help you effectively study almost any subject you choose.

1. Plan Your Studies

Don’t just grab the first book you see on the topic and start reading. Have a game plan instead. Organize your thoughts on a piece of paper and write the following:

  1. What subject do I want to study?
  2. Why do I want to study it?
  3. What do I hope to achieve from this study?
  4. What do I already know about the subject?
  5. What is the most effective method for me to study it?
  6. What is the best starting point for me?

By figuring out the above, you can choose your first book/online course more rationally and work accordingly.

2. Start at the beginning

It is never a good idea to jump into an advanced book or course if you are new to a field.

I see this all the time in Islamic Studies. New students who haven’t learn the basics of Islamic principles and Arabic grammar yet ask to be taught the highest level academic books.

If you do this, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Everything has a system and an order.

So the wise thing to do is to start at the beginning with the most basic course/book. Find out what is an introductory course or book in a field and study that first.

This is especially important for subjects that have their own language. It is essential to learn the lingo of the subject before studying the subject itself.

3. Make time to study and stick to it

Self Study requires self-discipline.

The reason many of us lack self-discipline is because we are accustomed to teachers and parents telling us when to learn. But you are your own teacher now. So it is your duty to tell yourself when to learn.

Set a standard study time and stick to it daily.

It could be an hour in the morning or evening, or any time you prefer. Simply choose a time that suits you and train yourself to stick to it. (Hint: Choose your peak concentration time or time with least distractions)

This level of self-discipline is crucial for ensuring that you complete your studies and don’t go off track.

4. Hand Written Notes are key

One problem with online education is that too many of us depend on others for notes.

We like to download notes and email them to each other. We assume that just reading someone else’s notes is enough. It may be enough for short-term study, but not long term learning.

The key is to hand write your notes (not type them). This helps your brain store information in your long term memory and understand it deeper.

Whether you are reading a book, reading an article, studying an online course or watching a YouTube video. Whatever it is, make sure you have a pen and paper nearby. then write down everything you learn in your own words.

That last part is crucial.

Writing it in your own words means you have understood it. It also means you are less likely to forget it.

To study even deeper, rewrite your notes into small summaries. And then write your own reflections on it as well. All of this will help you actually learn deeper.

5. Test Yourself

Testing has a place and purpose i.e. to help you realize how much you remember and understood.

So with self study, it is your responsibility to test yourself. The purpose of such a test is to check if you understood the work clearly. This helps you find the gaps. Then you can then go back and restudy the areas that remain unclear.

How do you test yourself?

There are many ways.

My favorite is to rewrite a summary of each lesson from memory, and then check if I did it correctly.

Other methods could be to make up a self-quiz, get a friend/family member to test you, or to take an online quiz on the topic.


Self study is highly effective if you do it right.

Plan your studies, start from the beginning, and make a time and stick to it. Then make sure you take down notes, rewrite them for understanding, and test yourself.

Doing all of this will ensure you gain maximum benefits from your self study.

Looking for exciting and life changing self study courses? Check out our online course section and get started with one of our free courses today.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, 2 comments

New Free Course: Ramadan Reminders

Ramadan Reminders

Ramadan Reminders

Islamic Self Help presents an exciting new free course: Ramadan Reminders.

In this free course, we will be publishing a new video every day in Ramadan 2017.

Each video will cover a summarized Tafseer of an important Surah of the Quran.

Join the course today to gain access to all the videos.

This course comes with the following bonuses:
#1: Free eBook – Verse of the Day Collection
#2: Links to our Ramadan Articles
#3: YouTube Ramadan Webinar Series

NOTE: This course is still in development and a new video will be released every day during the month of Ramadan!

Access the course for free here:

Other courses by Islamic Self Help

Islamic Self Help offers a variety of excellent courses to help you grow professionally. These include:

  1. 20 Personal Development Tips
  2. 5 Time Management Tips
  3. 8 Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  4. Self-Publishing Your Books
  5. Homeschooling For Success

What students are saying about our courses:

“I was usually late to most places I go. Everyone used to make fun of me and I couldn’t fix myself. Wherever I used to go late I used to think afterward what did I do wrong and what I should not do. I thought in this life I still have another chance to improve but if I end up loosing my time in this world then in next life there is no chance to fix the lose. I wanted to change myself but didn’t know how.

Once I have talked to my brother about my concern he gave me the link to this course. I liked it because it is by Muslim scholar and he made many points from Quran and Sunnah. This course not only gives tips about time management but also tells to prioritize things like reading and spending quality time with your family. I referred this to my brother and sister too.” – Saima Yusaf

Alhamdulillah, this is the third course I am taking at Islamic Self Help and really enjoying it. I never thought I would have the patience to write a complete book mainly because I didn’t know the sequence and details so it is a big help and encouragement for me. The steps are very detailed, clearly explained and easy to follow and provide valuable information on the whole process of writing and self-publishing. Insha Allah with the help of this course I will be able to publish my first eBook in 2017 and maybe even two or three.” – Muna Bushra

“Brother Ismail takes us through practical and step-by-step pathway backed by real life examples to have the courage to tread the path. While pointing out chronic loopholes in conventional education system, he strikes a great balance between excitement and challenges of homeschooling.” (Bela Khan – Life Coach/Homeschooler)

Join Islamic Self Help today and begin your journey of personal development.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace, 0 comments

Introducing the Islamic Self Help Learning Academy

Alhamdulillah, I am happy to announce the launch of the Islamic Self Help Learning Academy’s first course ‘5 Basics of Time Management‘. Learning Academy

The learning academy has been established as an expansion of Islamic Self as a platform to provide visual learning on Self Help topics.

Initially, Islamic Self Help was going to focus entirely on eBooks and articles, but many readers indicated that they prefer to learn through videos. Based on the high number of visual learners to follow our blogs, I decided to expand by launching the learning academy.

The courses on this website will be recorded in video format and in keeping with the latest research will feature video lectures under 6 minutes each. Research indicates that people are best able to focus on and remember what they learn from video lectures if they are under 6 minutes.

It also shows that longer videos are harder to maintain concentration on, and one doesn’t remember everything that is said. In keeping with this research, all video lectures at the learning academy will be under 6 minutes, but each video is packed with enough information to change your life!

The learning academy will focus on two types of courses: Personal Development and Life Skills. 5 Basics of Time Management is our first personal development course, and ‘8 Fundamentals of Public Speaking‘ is our first life skills course. 8 Fund Public Speaking Thumbnail

The videos are recorded by me and will be accompanied by notes, quizzes, and a lot of bonus material. These courses will serve as a great platform for visual learners to gain knowledge of important life skills and grow into professional, practicing Muslims.

I have very high goals for the learning academy, and plan to launch at least 5 courses a year in the fields mentioned. You can sign up for our first course here. Every lecture has a comment section which I will check daily, and I will be constantly updating the courses with new content whenever needed.

I look forward to seeing you all in the courses!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, Webinars, 0 comments