Studying finance in college can be highly advantageous for students. Forbes Advisor’s guide to finance careers explains that these jobs can provide good pay, stability, opportunities for advancement, and consistent demand projections. With business and finance employment projected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031 (according to the BLS) it’s no wonder that many college students are hoping to study finance to better understand the subject matter and land a decent job within the industry.
To help, we’ve compiled four tips that can help college students retain and understand financial concepts more efficiently. These study tips are proven to help with memory and comprehension, and will be helpful for any college student studying finance.
Flashcards promote active recall in the brain, which can be key for students who have to memorize thousands of crucial facts and concepts. Students can master financial jargon even faster by color coding the flashcards to group related concepts together. For example, college students using flashcards for accountancy could use blue cards for assets, red cards for liabilities, and green cards for equity.
Online platforms simplify the process of creating your own flashcards. International Economics and Finance student at Ryerson University, Prasiddha Kc, swears by the online learning tool Quizlet for learning faster and studying more efficiently for exams. And with the introduction of artificial intelligence, making flashcards has become even easier. AI-powered flashcards on Study Fetch can be generated automatically using your uploaded course materials from PowerPoint to study guides. This creates tailored flashcards that can be conveniently reviewed at any time without the need for external assistance.
Note-taking for retention
Taking notes is a time-proven method for developing embodied cognition and supporting the brain’s capacity for information retrieval. Note-sharing and educational platform Studocu’s guide to note-taking explains how it helps us use our long-term memory capabilities in many ways. Listening to a discussion on our podcasts and organizing the information by mapping it out, for one, helps you understand the concepts based on their relevancy and how they relate to each other. This helps you remember more effectively than if you were to remember them based solely on their definition.
In fact, studies have shown that the simple concept-mapping method can help scaffold concept literacy in accountancy and economics. A 2021 study from the University of San Francisco found a significant increase in international students’ achievement in economics thanks to mapping — measured by performance on achievement tests, including quizzes and midterms, concept mapping, rubric scores, and classroom participation.
Thanks to advancements in the digital age, it is now possible to learn from and simultaneously enjoy educational video games. In a previous podcast, Dr. Paul Zak discussed how video games, and even games on our phones, can help build better habits by encouraging saving and investing. Under the same principle, educational video games train the mind to associate learning with pleasure, making it easier for students to enjoy financial education. See Robinhood, for example, which resembles a thrill-inducing video game rather than a sober investment tool. This “democratizes” investing by making it simpler to understand and easier for the average person to carry out.
Finding practical examples
Finance is an incredibly practical field. Hence, it is important that students always root their understanding of financial principles in reality by connecting the material back to real-world examples. For example, a student learning to consolidate the financial statements of two companies can pick actual annual reports of companies listed on the stock exchange and try consolidating them. The hands-on application is a guaranteed way for students to understand the essence of complicated financial concepts and additionally prepare them for the professional world.
With these tips, college students will be closer to understanding a wider range of finance topics.