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I am curious about which is the better approach to studying.

One approach is to allocate a set time for a subject and finish whatever i finish in that time

Another approach is to study a certain number of pages or a particular chapter perfectly in whatever time it takes.

Which is the better approach?

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You will have to be a bit more specific about what is your goal exactly, because as it is, it's not clear. – whatever Apr 9 '14 at 7:07
I edited for clarity, though I did want to preserve the nature of the question. – Manuel Hernandez Apr 9 '14 at 14:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think a combination of both works best. You need a deadline so you don't feel you have endless time to finish the session. And you need to decompose your study into "digestible" pieces (e.g. chapters, sections) so you get a sense of progress of your study.

Try to aim for a chapter to be read in x minutes, where x depends on the difficulty and length of the chapters.

Remember that certain subjects e.g. mathematics and science, requires long practice (solving exercises and problems) in order to understand them. It is hard to estimate the duration of such practice. But the more the better.

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Are you asking is it better to allocate blocks of time for studying, or should you focus more on the outcome and try to attempt to spent as much time as needed in one sitting to understand the material? If so,I would say both. You need to allocate time to study, and if you focus on perfect comprehension the initial barrier to study may be too high so you will put off starting.

If you have one hour to study some material you are still generally better off to having spent some time reviewing part of the material, then revisiting it and reviewing again. Even within longer sittings you will likely needs breaks. If you sit down thinking you will only spend a few minutes, but ultimately find yourself in a state of flow then continue. This of course will vary depending on the subject.

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