5 Ways to Improve Your Studying

1. Do not study more than one hour at a time without a break.

Psychologists say you learn best in short takes. Studies show that the same amount is learned in four one hour sessions distributed over four days over one marathon six-hour session during one day. This is due to that in between study sessions your brain is still absorbing what you have learned. Specialists say that you will get your most effective studying done, if you take a ten minute break every 45 minuets to an hour. The 10 minute break acts as a reward.

2. Separate the study of subjects that are similar

The more similar the kinds of learning that take place, the harder it becomes to separate the subject, so separate study periods for courses with similar subject matter. Follow your studying of math with an hour of Spanish or history, not chemistry or statistics. It is also noted that you study better if you start with your least favorite subject and work towards your favorite. Your brain sees it as a reward for getting the hard stuff out of the way.

3. Use the best note taking system for you

8 1/2-by-11-inch loose-leaf paper and write on just one side. This is regarded as the best note taking system. Then label your page as follows.

A. If the course is one in which lecture and text are closely related, three inches in the middle for lecture notes and three inches on the right side for text notes. Leave a two-inch space across the bottom of the page for your own observations and conclusions.

B. If the course is one where lectures and the reading are closely related, use separate pages for class notes and reading notes, following the 2-5-1 technique: two inches at left for recall cues, five in the middle for lecture notes, and an inch at the right for observations and conclusions.

4. Memorize actively not Passively

Researchers have found that the worst way to memorize is to simply read something over and over again. The best way is either through pictures, association(so a reference, acronym, or date,) and writing it down. The action of writing instills it into muscle memory, while a picture and acronym are a verbal and memory related way.

5. Test Yourself

All this information is useless if you still flop the test anyway, so test yourself the same way a teacher would, so you’re not unprepared. Make sure the material your studying when asked in a question format, that you can give the correct answer.

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