Time to say goodbye to sleepless nights, quick meals and that horrible feeling of knowing nothing after a marathon of hardcore studying. The exams are around the corner and we have 17 tricks and tips for studying better, without having to do it twice as hard – at least that’s what scientists say.
1. TRY ANOTHER ANGLE
There are many ways to stimulate your brain. You’ll learn more if you study using various methods. The trick is to use different ways to study: today you read your personal notes, tomorrow you’ll dive into your manual, the day after you can check the same topic online, and the next you’ll sit down with friends to discuss it.
At least that’s what the guys at Loma Linda University found out!
2. ONE IS GOOD. TWO OR THREE IS EVEN BETTER
You’ll get better results if you study more than a subject a day. Stop diving deep into one subject a day, that’s the first step into a hurricane of madness!
“Why?” – you ask.
Well, Doug Rohrer says it is very likely you mix similar notions in a given subject if you study it too much in one day. Time to say: “Thank you Doug!”.
3. SO, LET’S MAKE A QUICK REVIEW
Quick reviews are one of the keys to success when it comes to studying. Without going too deep into scientific stuff, this is what happens when you learn something:
1. You read,
2. You learn,
3. That info goes into a short-term memory box,
4. You either take it to the long-term memory box or you lose it.
Yes, you might lose it!! We don’t want that to happen, right? Reviewing makes short-term learning jump into the long-term box.
Let’s make a quick review then.
1. TRY ANOTHER ANGLE.
2. ONE IS GOOD. TWO OR THREE IS EVEN BETTER.
3. SO, LET’S MAKE A QUICK REVIEW.
4. IT’S MORE EFFECTIVE THAN LAME
Do you know that nerdy guy sitting on the front row? What about that girl sitting next to him, the one always asking those silly questions? Yeah, those guys are probably getting better grades than you – not by studying harder, but by sitting at the front.
Studies say it’s not about being nerdy, but because you can see and listen to your teacher better. This will enhance your attention during class, making that short-term box kick the info into the long-term one. Cool, huh?
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Doing too many things at the same time makes us less productive and focused. Want to check your Facebook but have to study? Go on facebook for half an hour and then get back to your books and notes when you’re done. Anxiety about other stuff is forcing you into studying more, but getting no results out of it.
Keep It Simple And Summarise. It’s proven that summarising techniques give you Student Super Powers. There are many ways to make this work:
1. Use acronyms (Europe, Asia, America = EAA)
2. Make diagrams (link works and concepts)
3. Draw a process in keywords and draw them in a circle.
Try these tricks out!
7. WE ALL LOVE VINTAGE STUFF
Two Princeton teachers and a UCLA one realised that using your computer to study is not working. It gets you more distracted and it’s slowing down your ability to memorise and learn stuff.
Writing your notes down is making you study 2 or 3 times better. “Why?” – you ask again…
3.You write it down in your own way
4.Those concepts are now yours and not sitting on a PDF file.
And you say: “Who’s your daddy now?”.
8. DEAR DIARY…
No one writes diaries anymore, I know that but… scientists from Chicago Uni found out that students who write about their struggles before an exam get better results than those who don’t.
They found out that this process helps you find out what your focus should be on and your mind will help you solve those issues by facing them when studying. The exercise is super simple and even more powerful: 2/3 days before the exam, spend 10 minutes writing down your main stress points about the challenge ahead. Go back to study and you’ll see that you’ll be less anxious about it in the exam. Simple!
9. BECOME YOUR TEACHER
No sorcery involved. Just test yourself, become your teacher every now and again. They say it’s all about applying what you’re studying. This is the same reason why Maths teachers use actual problems for you to solve.
Try to do it in every subject. Test yourself – you’ve got nothing to lose here.
We tend to think this is a waste of time, but it’s actually the formula to achieve greatness in 70% of cases.
10. CONNECT THE DOTS
Do you remember those games printed on the back of your cereal box when you were a kid? Connect all the dots from 1 to 50 and draw a beautiful Panda in the snow? Yeah, that’s it. When you study, you are learning where hundreds of dots sit on the back of a cardboard box.
It’ll be easier for you to recall once you’ve drawn the goddamn panda. Want an example? Ok:
Question: Where is dot 42?
Option A: somewhere on the back of the box next to 41 and 43.
Option B: dot 42 is the nose. The nose is next to the eyes, the eyes, next to the ears and so on.
“Which one is the easiest?” – Asked the panda.
11. “I HAVE A DREAM”
Real dreamers had great challenges before them. Some made history because they fulfilled their dreams and defeated these challenges. The same logic applies when studying.
Studies say students who study reading out loud have better results than most. You don’t have to read it all out loud but use it with the other tricks. For example: Connect the dots, summarise the info and now read it out loud before you go to bed. Easy!
It’s no easy task, make it your own cause and fight it out loud (but leave the library before you get kicked out).
12. NOT NOW
Studying is very important and we all know that. But there’s something as important as studying: not studying. Take regular pauses in your study sessions. It helps you soak up the information and regain focus, 5/10 minutes every 40 minutes will do the trick.
Make sure you don’t pause to go on Facebook or WhatsApp. Make them good pauses, stretch your legs, get a snack, go outside for a while. Let your grey matter rest for a bit.
13. MAKE YOURSELF A DEAL
We never thought this really worked, but it actually does. According to a group of scientists, setting a reward for study milestones is a great practice.
For example: “I get to eat a gummy bear for every chapter I summarise” or “I get one long and relaxing bath after completing my daily study session”.
14. EAT CHICKEN AND ITS BABIES
Yikes… Whaat?! Not our fault, scientist from Boston Uni found out that students with high levels of Chloride VitaminB had a better performance in exams. These vitamins help build strong memory “slots” and eggs and chicken have those in big doses. If you’re a vegetarian you’re not doomed, though, you can eat lentils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, almonds, kale, cauliflower and broccoli to form those memory slots.
15. STUDY BY A WATER FOUNTAIN
Scientists from East London Uni found out that water is a precious ally to overcome your study sessions. Your brain needs water to keep healthy and fresh. You brain needs water to keep the rhythm up and to process all the information you’re taking in during a study session.
How much water? 8 glasses will do the trick. They suggest you drink a glass every 40 minutes. Of course, you can have your drink when you take your 5/10 minute pauses as suggested in tip 12. Synergies, synergies everywhere!
16. WORK IT OUT
Getting better grades AND working on that summer beach bod? That’s quite a match there. We’d slide that right every time!
They say working out enhances your memory and brain functions. The suggestion is 3 weekly sessions of 20/45 minutes. You’ll feel better, study better and look better. Win-win situation, right?
This post is getting long and we don’t want you to get tired of reading it.
The last trick is the best of all of them: Sleep.
The recipe is super easy: 8 hours of sleep. It will help you rest your brain, enhance your focus, you’ll learn faster and a BIG plus: if you study the most difficult topics right before you go to sleep they will sink in while you sleep and you’ll understand them better in the morning.
It’s like studying unconsciously. How cool is that? Join our movement against study marathons! Study hard, but not that hard and good luck.
Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.
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