Which study tips and tricks actually work scientifically, and can help you get those perfect grades?
First step, research shows that study sessions are most effective in small short chunks, instead of cramming in a ten hour study session, it’s much more effective to spread it out into twenty thirty-minutes sessions over a few weeks.
This is because your brain is better at encoding information into synapses in short repeated sessions as opposed to one large one.
Cramming and pilling allnighters may be a ritual, it turns out that this is linked to the lowest grades. After pro-longed study sessions, reasoning and memoring may be negatively effected for after 4 whole days.
Instead, setting up specific times a day, or during the week, just to study primes your brain by creating a routine and overtime studying actually becomes easier, as your brain is trained to learn in those moments.
Many of us spend hours passively rereading our notes or highlighting a textbook, studies have shown this to be inaffective, it doesn’t prove your understanding of topics, nor does it link key concepts together. It can be detrimental, as it draws your attention to less important information.
Flashcards, on the other hand, are proven to be excellent memory reinforcement tools, whether during your schedule study times, or during off times like a bus ride home.
8888.pngIt also helps to have a specific goal for each study session, pick one aspect you’re focused on, whether it’s balancing chemical equations or learning how to conjugate French verbs. If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.
In studies where individuals were asked to learn a passage, and then half were told they would be tested on the material, while the other half were told they would have to teach it to other students. Participants expecting to teach it did much better at understanding the main points. When you’re expecting to teach, your brain organizes the information in a more logical, coherent structure.
Can’t focus? Get some exercise. A study found that those who worked out for 15 minutes on a stationery bike, and then complete a memory task, completed the task significantly faster than the group that didn’t exercise. Even a quick walk around the block can clear up your mind.
Here’s a no brainer: make sure you’re hydrated.
In a study where participants fasted and abstained from fluids since the previous evening, they were asked to perform on a reaction test. One group was given 500ml of water right before the test while the other group wasn’t. The group that was able to hydrate before the test obviously performed significantly better. This is because water helps improve overall mental processing and learning.
Having awesome playlist? Not so fast. Some studies have shown that certain types of classical music can help improve concentration. Our recent studies have shown that learning with rhythmic background noise can be detrimental to focus, and those not using music, very much better.
And if you haven’t already, PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE! This is a no-brainer, but your texts and social media notifications severely decrease concentration.