Whether it is to learn a language, pass a subject, pass a course or finish your degree, studying is an activity that we all have to face at some point, the problem is that it is usually accompanied by stress, procrastination, boredom, and anxiety.
If all of the above sounds very familiar to you, I have good news! From now on you will stop suffering on the eve of an exam because making the most of your study sessions and making it more fun is not as difficult as it seems.
In this article, you will find 6 scientific strategies that will help you study smarter, faster, and better. Your grades deserve an upgrade and your mind a break, read on to find out what they are all about.
This is an amazing discovery, but how can we study that information in the first place?
In this article I summarize 6 of the best scientific methods so that studying is very simple, reviewing with a small test is a piece of cake, and passing that exam is guaranteed.
Before you start studying, you must work with your mind.
Below you will find 3 important points that will help you improve your relationship with the study to soften that mental resistance and have the study habit.
Don't skip this part!
First, change your perspective on studying
When studying becomes torture, our brain creates a resistance, which makes you procrastinate when opening that book and also makes it harder for you to concentrate, which prevents you from making the most of your study time.
That is why you must improve your perspective on study habits.
These 3 points help you improve your thoughts about the study:
1. Trust yourself, you can!
Simply believing in your intelligence has been shown to instantly improve your ability to learn, think, and retain information. So start by trusting yourself.
2.- Discovering new things is natural for your brain and necessary!
When you give your brain a task to memorize, understand, or solve a problem, you are experimenting with millions of years of adaptation. If primitive men had not been curious, we would not have survived, much less evolved.
Therefore, there are two ways to adapt to the environment to survive, either you get stronger or you get smarter, and we chose the second option.
Think about this: a baby is born with a natural desire to understand the world around him and learn. We are born explorers and have an insatiable desire for knowledge.
When we keep this in mind, studying becomes simply a step towards obtaining this desired reward of knowing, which brings us to the next point.
3.- Learning is addictive
According to some neuroscientists, learning something new activates the same reward areas in the brain as drugs or gambling.
This happens because when you learn something new, your brain secretes dopamine (a powerful substance that makes you feel good).
Yes, dopamine is like the glue that helps you retain new information in your memory, that is, when dopamine is present in your brain you will remember that situation, experience, or relevant information.
And dopamine is the glue of your brain.
So once you have a better mental attitude towards studying, it's up to you to choose one of the following scientific strategies to learn better and study in record time.
Strategy 1: Make the information novel and fun
Your brain likes new things and only pays attention to things that are fun, which means the only way to release more dopamine and retain information is to turn to study into fun or novel tasks.
You will see that making the studio something new and fun is very easy, all you have to do is give it a different touch.
Here are some tips to put into practice:
● Buy colored markers and underline the most important information. The smell of new and the new visibility of the information will excite you to study.
● Create a story from the details you need to remember. A story makes the information more meaningful, which will help you give it a new twist that will captivate your brain. In my experience, drawing the story and creating characters worked for me when I had to learn the complex Krebs cycle (the cycle that creates energy in your body); telling a story made him learn it in record time.
● Read all the information and record it in audio, then listen to the audio and follow the reading, so you will mentally save the information in two ways: visual and auditory. This is proven to help you retain information because it is presented in an engaging and new way for your brain.
● Change the material to study in the same session. This technique helps to give the content a new touch and will help you find the solution to a problem or better understand the concepts when you go back to it.
● Draw the information in graphs or mental maps, this allows you to visualize the written concepts in a new way and, in addition, to understand the information (not just memorize it).
Strategy 2: Separate study times
We tend to procrastinate because we see that studying becomes a giant task to complete. Leaving it for later only causes us to end up studying under stress and in an unhealthy way.
Having a defined study time will help you divide all the information into small pieces, which avoids saturation and trains your discipline.
Studying and in general, any activity that requires your full attention is something similar to lifting weights in the gym, you do a few repetitions and then rest a bit, so that your muscles can continue. The same happens with your brain, little by little it exhausts itself and your anxiety levels increase. Therefore, it is important to space out study times to give your mind a well-deserved break.
Strategy 3: Study in different places
Constantly changing places will help you focus better and relate a new experience to the information, which improves learning and retention, in addition, it forces you to take much-needed little breaks. Personally, this technique is one of my favorites, I have seen that my productivity improves because I have to move more and avoid sitting for long periods, something that is related to the following strategy.
Strategy 4: Get some exercise before you start studying
If you have to choose a path to start improving your whole life, just exercise. It is a habit that I subscribe to because of its multiple benefits, including the benefits on your brain.
Exercise creates, improves, and strengthens neural connections, which means that in the short term, exercise can help you retain the information you need to pass that upcoming exam. According to various studies, after an exercise session, your brain has a better ability to retain new information. Doing a little exercise is a great solution because it will also help you reduce the stress and anxiety that studying can generate.
It has been proven that meditating lowers stress levels, which will help you better absorb the subjects to study. It also helps you control your thoughts, a very useful skill to concentrate better.
Strategy 5: Eat something healthy on your breaks!
It's a scientific fact: breaks are essential because they increase your productivity and improve your ability to focus better.
Also, just like in the car racing pits, you too can take advantage of that little break to fill up your tank with healthy energy.
Your brain consumes too much energy when studying, calories are burned by processing new information. Therefore, the flow of glucose (sugar) to your brain must be constant. This does not mean that we eat anything sugary, be it sweets, energy drinks, or cookies until we burst, it is about eating a portion of healthy food that contains fiber.
A piece of fruit will provide the necessary glucose but, thanks to the fiber present, it will be absorbed slowly, which maintains constant attention in your brain.
Another excellent pre-exam snack is dried fruit. According to a study, its content of healthy fats helps you to concentrate better during the test.
So a handful of nuts (preferably without salt and without frying) such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios will be an excellent option.
Strategy 6: Summarize the points in 140 characters
Neuroscientific research has shown that to retain information, our brains need to first see the most important features of a concept before moving on to the details.
This is a clear example that I read in a book: if our ancestors saw a tiger approaching, they did not remember what breed it is, or how many teeth it has, the only thing they remembered was running!
The same principle is an excellent strategy to have more clarity about what you will be studying, forcing you to organize.