18 Actually Useful Study Tips Guaranteed To Help You Ace The Next Test.
This article is based on "22 Science-Backed Study Tips to Ace a Test". If you're interested in reading more, check out the link at the bottom of the article.
Finding the perfect study methods to prepare you for upcoming tests and exams can seem like an impossible task. If you're someone who's easily distracted, likes procrastinating, or think that not a single study tip has ever worked for them, then maybe this list is for you. What's important to remember is that you must experiment to find what works best for you: there's no right way to study for everyone.
1. Use websites or apps like Cold Turkey or set your phone to airplane mode to disable the internet and block certain websites. Sometimes our self control can wane and the temptation to check Twitter for just one minute can turn into 30 minutes scrolling through cat hashtags.
2 If you are a tactile learner, you learn best when you have an opportunity to engage with your learning environment in a physical manner or when you can physicalize the material you're studying. Take advantage of this by multi-tasking: record your notes as audio files and take them with you on a run. Making flash cards, using sticky notes, or squeezing a stress ball are other excellent ways to keep you grounded during a session.
3. Long lists of information can be hard to remember if the list doesn't lend itself to anagrams or other pneumonic devices. Instead create a ridiculous story out of the information to make it more meaningful by using dates/concepts/etc. as character's names or locations.
4. Invest in a study group. No, not a group of friends all taking the same course sitting around a table together chatting about their weekends. A proper study group where members are delegated tasks like creating review sheets or practice quizzes. If you're someone who's easily distracted the structure of a study group can keep you focused as you're held accountable to your fellow study group members to make the most of your time together.
5. Take regular breaks. Even the most focused people can only work for so long without naturally become distracted, bored, or even burned out. Either move on to another productive but unrelated task like laundry or take a proper relaxing break like napping or watching YouTube videos.
6. Stock up on brain-boosting foods like blueberries or foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids proven to reduce test anxiety like fish oil.
7. You're more likely to succeed at something that you've practiced or done before so try quizzing yourself on material in the days or weeks leading up to your test. It's a great opportunity to test whether or not your study habits are effective or your pneumonic/story deices are actually working.
8. Some of us enjoy tuning out the rest of the world by listening to music but our favourite tunes can be emotionally distracting or we end up just writing out the lyrics instead of our essay. Classical music has been shown to reduce anxiety and tension, and as a bonus, it's lyric-free!
9. Don't pull an all-nighter. In the subsequent 24 hours you'll have impaired performance and judgement, you may not eat properly since your usual schedule is thrown off, and you may be more stressed than you think you will be. Doing all-nighters repeatedly means your studies overall will suffer because you'll probably end up crashing before making it to the rest of your classes. Get a good nights rest for a few days leading up to a big test and you should be well rested in time.
10. Reading information aloud means that you're remembering it from both seeing it and hearing it. A great variation on this tip is to try talking out complex problems or scenarios with your study group to turn it into a conversation rather than just reading your textbook aloud to yourself.
11. Break large chapters of your textbook or lecture material into chunks and review them over a longer period of time. Alternate learning, reviewing, learning, reviewing, etc. before your test and exam dates are even announced. The information will be easier to recall because you've been reviewing it so frequently for weeks and the transition into studying may be less of a shock if you've already adopted regular reviewing habits.
12. You're more likely to remember something when you've written it out by hand rather than typing. You may still prefer to type your notes in class or when initially making notes from a textbook but try rewriting them by hand when making your study notes or cue cards.
13. Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils for massage or relaxation, can be applied to studying to create a more relaxed and nurturing study environment. Rosemary, sage, and peppermint scents have all been shown to reduce short term memory loss and improve concentration, especially for people with ADHD.
14. Reward yourself! Decide before you begin a study session how you will be rewarding yourself once you're finished so that you don't spend the entire session daydreaming of what you could be doing after. Even though you are acting as both the reinforcer and subject in this scenario, this method does encourage structured study time.
15. Review your notes one last time before going to bed. Your brain strengthens new memories while you sleep so you are more likely to remember what you most recently studied. Make sure there's a separation between your study session and your daily nighttime routine though. Switch to light, pleasure reading before bed to distance yourself from technology and have a better night's sleep.
16. Going for a run or hitting up the gym may be the last thing on your mind the day before a big test but studies show that aerobic exercise can improve brain-processing speed. It's good to take a break and focus on your body rather than just the mind, especially if you go outside and breathe in some fresh air.
17. Try meditating before you study. Take 3-5 minutes to breathe deeply and focus on clearing your brain of distraction, tension, and anxiety. If you practice this behaviour regularly before you study it won't be too weird to try right in the minutes leading up to the test. It'll put you int he right mental place to boost your attention and reduce anxiety.
18. Practicing yoga can improve cognitive abilities like attention span. The combination of deep breathing and physical activity can focus the mind for hours afterwards. If you're prone to leg and neck cramps after long periods of sitting use yoga as a chance to stretch and re-evaluate halfway through a study session.
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