10 Random Study Hacks that Actually Work
Any student who has had to study for final exams knows just how important it is to find study hacks that work. Sadly, most students never find the right study routine and hacks and consequently end up not performing as they’d have expected in exams. The most popular study approach is reviewing course notes. However, despite the fact that over 80% of students use this approach, it does not necessarily work. It can only work if you do it the right way. This is why you need to find study hacks that will help you retain the information you acquire from studying.
Below is a list of several effective study tips:
- Switch up your study area
A 2008 study in Psychological Science in the Public Interest revealed that switching up where you study can help you remember information that you have studied. In fact, studying in a location that is similar to where you will take the final exam(e.g, a classroom) helps you recall information you have studied during the actual test.
- Reward yourself regularly with a treat
Integrate the reward system into your study routine. For instance, you could place gummy bears on target pages to help you achieve your reading goals. This will motivate you to study as you know there is a reward in store for you. It’s simple when you reach a page with a gummy bear on it, you get to eat it!
- Teach concepts you have learned to others
The best way to understand what you have learned and retain it is by teaching it to others. If you can’t find a study group that is willing to listen to you, teach stuffed animals! Or a bunch of chairs! This helps you gauge your understanding of concepts based on how well you can explain it to others.
- Exercise before you study
There is a scientific explanation behind why this particular hack helps you retain information better. The hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and reasoning is stimulated when you exercise. This means that if you exercise right before you study, you have higher chances of recalling the information. Additionally, the effects of exercise on memory are actually long lasting. Research has shown that exercise slows down the age-related shrinkage of the hippocampus.
- Take breaks
As much as it’s tempting to have a study-athon, it may not be the wisest study approach to take. I cannot emphasize this more, take breaks! Nothing gets more boring and straining than monotonous studying, you need to shake things up a little. You can do this by inserting breaks into your study schedule. During these breaks, you can do something to rejuvenate your body. For instance, you could have a power nap, do some stretches, watch an episode or two of your favorite show or simply take a walk. This will help you feel fresh as you resume your studying and help you stay alert as you study. You can take 20-minute breaks after every one and a half hours of studying.
- Stay hydrated
While coffee and energy drinks have often been praised for helping you stay awake when studying, people often forget the most rudimentary beverage: water. A 2013 study conducted in London revealed that drinking water helps improve brain function tenfold, because dehydration shrinks the brain, literally. That being said, ensure you take numerous glasses of water when studying to remain alert!
- Find an application to block distracting sites from your computer
If you’re studying on your computer, it is very easy to get distracted and start going through your social media accounts or play an online game. You can use Cold Turkey for Windows computers and Self Control for Mac. These applications will help you keep off distracting sites and stick to the goal of studying.
- Use different colored points to take notes
This serves to greatly enhance your visual memory, as well as make your notes pretty and enjoyable to read. You can also draw diagrams and charts for concepts that are hard to understand. These will help you visualize them as well as enhance your visual memory.
- Create flashcards
Flashcards help create a memory buzz. Choose several topics and write down the key points, formulas, definitions, and quotes on the same on flash cards.
- Work smart, not hard
Chances are, people have been studying what you are studying for several years. This could be the reason why your dad can’t figure out why you can’t get a grasp on Physics yet he aced it back in the day. This means that you have to be smart about your studying methods. Find what works for you and stick to it. The good thing is that in this digital age, you have numerous study material and resources at your disposal. Whether its tests, diagrams, past exam papers, or documentaries, you can find it all online. Take advantage of this to find the study method that works for you and capitalize on it.
In conclusion, remember to ask for help should you need it. If there is a concept that you are struggling to understand, it does not hurt to ask a friend to explain it to you. Additionally, you may want to explore the idea of studying in a study group. Study groups may be essential in helping you stay focused as you will be able to hold each other accountable. You also get to hear different perspectives on a particular concept from different people, which will help you build on your arguments in the exam room.