August 18, 2016
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Unfortunately, many students get in the habit of staying up all night to complete their homework and “cramming” as much study time in as possible right before an exam. But actually, research and studies have shown that many of the study techniques students tend to rely on these days are not as healthy or effective as they might think. Effective studying is much more than just reading notes and highlighting important facts until you can’t hold your eyes open anymore. Take a look at these 5 student-tested study hacks that are sure to work every time, no matter how unconventional they may seem.
- Study in new and unfamiliar locations. Most times, people lock themselves in their dorm room or bedroom, put on the TV or radio, and open up their books and notebooks to study. The problem with this is while it is nice and easy and quiet, it’s just too comfortable and familiar. It’s time to get creative. Instead of doing what you’re used to, find a new and different environment to do your work or study in, as this is when your mind is more likely to work hard and take everything in. In other words, you are much more receptive in a new environment than one you’ve become used to or numb to. Don’t limit yourself to the confines of your own home either. Get creative with this. A little noise can actually help you to focus better. Choose a nice spot outdoors, perhaps, or even a table at a nearby diner.
- Exercise before you study. When you work out, you’re supposed to stretch first in order to loosen up all of your muscles and get your blood flowing. The same goes for your mind. You should prime it first, before trying to make it work at full speed. When you get your blood flowing with exercise, your body triggers reactionary responses that activate your nervous system. It increases blood flow, which pushes more blood and oxygen to your brain. This process has led researchers to believe that exercise can create new brain cells and help with studying and school work in general.
Source: Good Call
- Have shorter study sessions. How many times throughout your education have you, or did you, stay up into the wee hours of the night “studying” before a big test? This isn’t out of the ordinary. TONS of college students, and even high school students, tend to do this. Believe it or not, this cramming method doesn’t always work as much as people believe it to. Instead, students should engage in shorter study sessions, leading up to the exam. It’s not as effective to try and remember everything all at once, as it makes it more likely that you’ll confuse dates or mix up facts. Study for short chunks at a time, take breaks, and allow yourself time to retain the information in between.
- Ditch the textbooks and study actively. As strange as it sounds, don’t use your textbook when it comes time to study. When you read your textbook right before an exam, all you’re really doing is trying to memorize the information, rather than actually learning it and understanding it. Retention is very different than memorization. Instead of simply reading text, grab a chalkboard or a dry erase board and write down, in your own words, as many points you can. When you’re done, compare this to your notes or your text, have one of those short study sessions already mentioned, and then write down some more information. Doing this over and over again will help you to really retain the information, rather than just memorizing it.
- Study right before bed. Research proves that retention levels are highest just before bed. This is because when you sleep, your brain stabilizes your thoughts and your memory becomes stronger. During the day, there is so much going on around you, that it is often more difficult to process information. In fact, studying early in the day can actually cause you to forget some of what we’ve already learned. So as a rule of thumb, aim for about 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night, with a little bit of studying before bed, and you’ll be on the right path to increased educational success!
Source: Deseret News National