Hello dear readers! Hope this week finds you well! So, with finals week finally upon us, I decided to compile a list of study tips that have helped me through the years and why they do so. Enjoy!
1) Switch out what subjects you're studying
This technique helps prepare you to use the right strategy for finding the solution to a problem. For example, doing a bunch of division problems in a row means every time you approach a problem, you know it’ll require some division. But doing a series of problems that require multiplication, division, or addition means you have to stop and think about which strategy is best, cementing concepts in your head.
2) Study while a little bit sleepy
During sleep, the brain strengthens new memories, so there’s a good chance you'll remember whatever you review right before dozing off.
3) Use positive reinforcement
Studies have shown that associating things you enjoy with things you don't particularly enjoy is a good way of making studying a bit less painful. So eat a snack or watch a video for every chapter you read or every practice test you take!
4) Test yourself
Don't just read the same information until your eyes glaze over, make sure you actually know that information by testing yourself away from the book. Studies have shown that simply entering an exam environment is enough to make you forget some of the things you’ve learned. The solution is to mentally prepare for the pressure of having to remember everything. Testing yourself with regular quizzes is a great way of doing this. Practice makes perfect!
5) Take a dance break
Research has found that aerobic exercise can improve the speed at which the brain processes information and help with other important cognitive abilities. Also, music can help beat stress. And while everyone’s got a different tune preference, classical music in particular has been shown to reduce anxiety and tension.
6) Take a power nap
Scientists have proven that while a 10-20 minute nap is good for feeling refreshed, a 60 minute nap is ideal for cognitive memory processing, which is for remembering facts and processing information.
7) Make up stories
Everybody likes a good story! Stories help you to understand and memorize key details. You can apply this to your studies by weaving important details or facts into a story – the more outlandish and ridiculous you can make it, the better. I first learned the biological classification (kingdom, phylum, class...) in third grade and still remember it because of how our teacher taught it to us: Kids Playing Cards On Freeways Get Smashed!
8) Don't eat junk food
I know it's so easy to grab the nearest bag of chips or reach for that chocolate bar to give you an energy boost but I promise that boost will not last long. Fruits and vegetables can give you a longer energy boost with no crash afterwards when you are studying, and are healthier overall and in the long term.
9) Scream into a pillow
Personal experience. Plus, several science studies back me up; they've found that up to a quarter of stress can be cut by letting out a loud scream. But, quiet hours are probably already in place, so scream quietly!
10) Believe in yourself
Your attitude has a big impact on how you study and the effectiveness of your studying. If you keep saying that you can’t do it and won’t commit to the idea of learning, attempting to study is only likely to become more difficult. Instead, focus your mind on positive outcomes and on how you can use your own individual strengths to achieve them.
Good luck to all of you!