Ever since we were in elementary school, we were told that there was a “right” way to study; things like memorizing the material by heart, sitting in a quiet room, color coding the topics, were some of the tips given to students.
However, some of these techniques have been proven to be less effective or even unsound in the learning and understanding process. New studies have come up with other ways to improve your study methods and help you get the grades you want!
We have gathered several of these different tips for studying, and if you’re in college you will find them extra useful. Remember that a good GPA is a must if you want to get into competitive graduate programs.
The Study in Different Places
Some people love studying in the library, but there are scientists have been suggesting that studying in different places is a good way to retain information. Research has shown that memory is usually influenced by location, meaning that if you rotate the places where you study you’ll have a better chance of remembering what you have learned.
Study in Groups
This is a time-tested method for studying; it’s always much more effective and fun to work through a difficult problem or assignment. Dividing the work between your study group is a good way of reducing the workload and making sure that you understand the material. It’s also a good way of socializing and meeting new people.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A good old habit that has stood the test of time, is making flashcards. Writing notes and concepts more than once will always help your mind memorize the information, and the cards are a good way to develop and use associative phrases and mnemonic devices.
Tests, while nerve-wracking and somewhat annoying, are a good way to relearn and recall information as well as serving as good practice for final exams. According to reports, formal evaluations help us affirm and enhance our knowledge.
Sometimes we forget that sleeping is as important as everything else. If your mind isn’t well rested, information will have a hard time going in. Between classes, studying, social life and/or work, we seem to forget that our body has basic needs that have to be met or it will simply not function the way it should and that can hurt our chances of getting the grades we are working so hard to get. So, always remember to SLEEP!!!
Don’t Focus on Categorizing Yourself
Sometimes trying to tell yourself that you’re an auditory or visual learner or a right-brain or left-brain thinker can be a mistake. These types of distinctions can be wrong and can have a negative impact on the way you study because you can unconsciously box yourself in one method without even trying to explore other options, when what you really should do is figure out which strategies simply work best for you, no matter where you lie on the learning spectrum.
Don’t Skip Class
Sometimes the most obvious things for us seem to escape the logic of others, so that’s why we put this on the list. Students can make the mistake of thinking that large lectures and early classes aren’t really that important, when in fact it’s quite the opposite. Attendance to class helps you prepare for tests; it helps the reviewing process and it will also serve as a guide to know what might come up on the exams.
Avoid Immersing Yourself in One Subject
Scientific studies have shown that immersion in only one subject and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to master or memorize it isn’t as effective as switching between a few related topics. It’s much less boring and chances are you will learn more that way.
Staying organized and not missing deadlines is key. Procrastinating and letting the workload pile up will make things seem insurmountable when you realize how much you have to do in little time. If you prepare a schedule, and most importantly, stick to it, things will feel a lot more manageable and easy to keep up.
Fuel Your Brain
Your brain is actually the most energy-demanding organ and uses a lot of sugar, around half of all the sugar energy in your body. Healthy snacks are a great source of glucose, such as fruits and grains, and it allows your brain to produce the chemicals needed to thing properly and process all the information you’re trying to take in. It’s very important to eat properly and stay hydrated while you study.