Learn to study with these science-backed tips
We do not always study in the best way. When we think of "studying", thoughts of tedious and endless hours sitting in the same place almost desperately trying to memorize the material in front of us probably come to mind. And even though it has been exceptionally useful to you, the technique of bingeing at night with several cups of coffee in between does not work either. But what study methods are truly effective? We turn to a selection of science-backed study tips.
Learn by imparting the lesson to someone
Learn by teaching. Instead of studying just trying to retain information, try studying to share that learning with someone else. By teaching another person what you have learned, you are also entrenching that information in your memory. Ask a relative or a friend to help you with this task and prepare some brief and practical explanations to give a mini-lesson.
Your brain will also appreciate some exercise
Studies have shown that physical exercise, in addition to helping you stay fit, also helps improve memory. Some cardio like taking a half-hour walk 3-4 times a week; bicycling instead of driving or taking short breaks while studying to walk or doing some jumping jacks will help keep your mind sharp and your blood pumping. Even just taking quick breaks during the study is also important, no matter what you do on that break.
Alternate topics and subjects
Studying the same topic or the same subject for a long period, apart from being boring, is not practical. Experts recommend alternating the study of different topics and subjects during your study time. For example, every 30 minutes take a break and change the subject, which will force your brain to stay alert, instead of losing its attention span.
Get organized and take your time
Avoid late binges. And instead of cramming all of your study time into one long session, break it up into several shorter sessions over a longer time. In short, dedicate yourself to studying little by little in the weeks before an exam instead of leaving everything for the night before. It is difficult to plan to study well in advance of an exam, but it is very helpful to do so.
Do not always study in the same place
While you probably have a favorite spot to sit in the library or even a study spot at home, science suggests that changing your study location is a great way to improve retention. By providing the brain with more locations to associate the material with, it is more likely to retain that information when it comes time to test.
Study sessions that last all night can seem productive, when in fact they are limiting your ability to perform well on the exam you are preparing for. In addition to sleep deprivation having detrimental effects on information retention, processing, and memory, it can also take days to fully recover from a sleepless night.
Give screens a break
Technology is there to make our lives easier and taking notes on our computer and any other device can indeed help us keep everything organized. But the exercise of turning off our laptops, tablets, and smartphones and sometimes reviewing our handwritten notes can save us from the tension and eyestrain caused by being in front of a screen.
Try yourself before the exam
In addition to spending time studying and reviewing your notes and textbooks, it is very effective to test yourself before the exam. When facing a test before the real test, you can check in which areas you have more problems to reinforce your work in them.