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Studying for exams can be exhausting and stressful. However, the way you study can improve your memory and reduce the time you spend learning. Once you make healthy studying practices a habit, you’ll be able to improve your grades with less work. If you’re worried about your next test and tired of your old study routine, it might be time for a refresh. Here are four articles that can help you get your study skills back on track so you can ace that next exam.
5 Research-Backed Studying Techniques
This article from Edutopia uses research to suggest several study methods that are highly effective. It also breaks down some common study habits that aren’t nearly as helpful as you might think. Some of these poor study habits are listed below:
- Studying for a really long time
- Reading and rereading material
- Reviewing old notes
The problem with these study methods is that they’re passive. As soon as you look away from the material, you’ll forget what it looked like – similar to walking away from a mirror. Effective study habits help you make the material your own so that it’s easy to recall. Here are five ways you can study more actively.
- Take a practice test
- Space out shorter study sessions
- Quiz yourself to practice answering questions
- Work on several kinds of problems during the same session
- Reflect on material and practice paraphrasing it
Which one of these tips sounds most useful to you? Start incorporating it into your study sessions to improve recall and reduce burnout. It can be really helpful to find a study partner who’s willing to practice these skills with you.
17 Scientifically Proven Ways to Study Better This Year
If you’re looking for practical ways to enhance your study sessions, this article from The Best Colleges can help you out. Including tips on lifestyle choices, study location, specific study methods and what not to do, this article will help you improve any study routine. Here are a few of the tips found in this article:
- Choose paper over digital
- Reduce stress to improve learning
- Change your study location
- Plan several short review sessions
- Use the Leitner System
- Think about how you think
The Leitner System is a study approach that uses flashcards to help you focus on the material you don’t know. By keeping the questions you don’t know in the front of the stack, you can shorten your study time and still learn everything.
The most unusual tip this article includes is to study when you’re tired. Although this might help you process material, you can’t learn subconsciously. Learning with intention and focus works much better, so you go ahead and take that extra hour of sleep!
14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory
Having a good memory can significantly improve your retention from study sessions. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to take care of your brain and improve your memory skills! This article from Healthline offers 14 easy ways you can strengthen your memory.
These tips are broken into several dos and don’ts for how you can improve your memory through lifestyle and diet changes. Although many of these tips are well-known, a few are surprising. Each idea is backed up with solid research and scientific studies. Here are six of the top dos and don’ts:
- Eat less processed sugar
- Prioritize healthy sleep
- Drink less alcohol
- Take fish oil supplements
- Exercise for 15 minutes
- Eat dark chocolate
While most of these choices are common sense, it can be challenging to stick to them when you’re stressed out from school. However, seeing them as an investment into your grades can help. Making healthy lifestyle choices will also continue to positively affect you well into the future.
11 Methods for Improving Your Memory
What about specific effective study techniques? This article from VeryWellMind lists eleven ways that you can improve your retention during study periods. Unlike lifestyle changes, these tips can kick in right away to improve any study sessions you’re doing today.
This article gives students strategies for how to plan out their study sessions and make the most of every minute. The quality of attention you give to each subject matters much more than how much time you spend at your desk. Here are five ways you can achieve better focus while studying.
- Get rid of distractions
- Use mnemonic devices
- Give new ideas context
- Read textbooks out loud
- Vary your study routine
You can incorporate the ideas from this article into your study routine right away. Some tips may work better for you than others and that’s okay. Everyone learns differently and the important thing is to keep experimenting until you find the study strategies that work best for you.
Studying Is a Skill
Like anything else, learning to study well takes time and practice. If you’ve realized that your study methods aren’t effective, you’re perfectly positioned to start learning new techniques and optimizing your study time. Use the ideas listed in these four articles to get started.
Improving your study skills doesn’t guarantee better test results, but it will help to sharpen your brain and improve your memory. What’s more, the way you train your brain now will continue to benefit you for many years. Learning to learn is another life skill you can take with you when you graduate.