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Studying smarter instead of longer is what most students try to strive for. The following are some scientifically proven tips and tricks to study smarter instead of longer:
Study in Short Chunks
Science shows that by studying in shorter chunks. Instead of looking 10 hours straight, it’s best to break it up into 20 – 30-minute sessions over a few weeks.
This happens as your brain does a better job at encoding information into the synapses in short, repeated sessions instead of one extensive session.
Learning different skills like singing, tennis, or swimming lessons often follows this idea. It is a good study tip. Cramming and trying to pull all-nighters might be your ritual, but it turns out that doing it that way is linked to the lowest grades.
You are doing late-night study sessions affects your short and long-term memory negatively. Instead, setting up a healthy daily study routine primes the brain by creating a routine, and studying starts to become more accessible as your brain is trained to learn in those moments.
Most people spend a lot of time passively reading notes or highlighting a textbook. Studies have shown this method to be very ineffective. It does not approve your understanding of topics, or does it link key concepts together? It can even focus your attention on less relevant information.
Flashcards for Studying Tips
Flashcards are excellent memory reinforcement tools for your scheduled or non-scheduled study times.
Study Tip: Goals
It is good practice to set goals for each study session. Instead of blindly studying, set specific goals for one aspect, like learning a new chemistry formula.
If you cannot explain it, you don’t understand the material well enough.
Study Tip: Teach It
In studies where individuals were asked to study a passage, half were told they would be tested on the material; the other half were told they would have to teach it to other students.
The volunteers who were asked to teach it significantly better understood the main points.
When you are expected to teach, your brain organizes the information logically and in a structured way. So a good study tip is to teach your material to someone else.
Study Tip: Practice Makes Perfect
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Not only should you practice tests to put your brain in the same environment, but even if you make mistakes, you can identify gaps in your knowledge.
Practice tests have also increased confidence, leading to much better performances.
Study Tip: Study in the Same Place
Science shows that studying in the same spot every day helps prime the brain for studying.
Study Tip: Use Proper Music
Studies show that studying with rhythmic background noise can be detrimental to focus. Although, those who don’t use music score much higher.
Study Tip: Eliminate Distractions
Your biggest distraction is your phone, so leave it in another room well studying and shut it off if you must.