Should you make notes or listen to music while studying? There are many ideas about how to retain information before an exam but these scientifically proven tips will help you get the best out of your study time.
In the video “The 9 best scientific study tips” we look at practical ways to make your study time more effective. Studying well is about more than the amount of time you spend memorizing academic material.
Here are some of the practices that could impact your exam results:
1. Study in small chunks
Do you have a habit of cramming for hours before a test? This pattern of studying is found in students who perform poorly. Research shows that the brain is better equipped to retain information over short periods. Do this by studying for 30 minute sessions in the weeks leading up to your exam.
2. Create a routine
Set specific times in the day or week for studying and stick to your schedule. By doing this your mind will absorb more information during these concentrated times. “ Over time studying actually becomes easier as your brain is trained to learn in those moments.”
3. Make flashcards
Its' simply not enough to read and highlight study material. Research shows that this method of studying is ineffective and even detrimental as it keeps your attention on unimportant information. “Flashcards are proven to be excellent memory reinforcement tools.”
4. Set a goal
What do you want to know by the end of your study session? This is a good question to ask before you begin as it helps you to focus on a particular section of work. This will also help you to feel like you are making progress in your study time.
5. Use a teaching approach
Studies reveal that students are better able to understand and remember material if they think they are going to teach it to others. “ When you're expecting to teach your brain organises the information in a more logical, coherent structure”. Approach your material with this thought in mind.
6. Practice, practice, practice
Practice tests have many advantages. Firstly they help to simulate an exam environment which prepares your brain for the real event. In addition practice tests reveal weak areas or gaps in your learning.
These small changes to your study regime can motivate you to spend more time with your books while helping you to feel confident about what you are learning.
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