January… the time of the school year to get cracking on those academic courses! To help all the academically-stressed here are a few tips to improve your studying habits and efficiency. Happy studying everyone!
- Study in intervals. Professors and researchers from York University, UCSD, MIT, and University of South Florida wrote a psychological science thesis on spacing effects in learning, and the results were astonishing! The spacing effect (the practice of studying taking a break and studying again) says that studying in intervals can increase long term memory and retention.
- Stay awake. Splash cold water on your face, bite into a lemon, smack down some coffee… whatever keeps you awake! The feeling of wakefulness increases focus. Focusing defiantly makes it easier to retain learnt information.
- Exercise. Aerobic, blood-pumping activities release feel-good-hormones that make you feel refreshed and more relaxed. This makes your studying more efficient.
- Peer-teach. Various studies suggest that teaching a topic or learnt subject to another is one of the best ways of learning as it gives you a better grasp on the information. You can’t teach if you don’t know what you’re doing!
- Use mnemonics. A mnemonic is a learning device that helps students recall large amounts of information in the form of lists, phrases, stories, rhymes, and images. The next time you’re having a hard time remembering something, make it into a catchy tune or into a fun story. It’s worth a try!
- Get rid of all distractions. It sounds basic but turning your phone off and studying in a quiet room can boost your learning abilities and brain activity in brain systems critical to learning by up to 30%!
- Write! Putting a pen to paper can be one of the easiest and most effective ways of studying. Organized notes can help you make your learning more efficient and writing can engrave information into our memory.
- Sleep. Yes, catching those zzzzz’s does so much for you learning potential! A solid eight hours of sleep can increase attention and your working memory.