There’s nothing more discouraging than sitting down and putting in a hard study session and finding that you can’t remember a thing the next day. If you’re going to put your head down and dive into new information, it’s best to do it right. We’re giving you seven scientifically-proven ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your studies.
Put Away the Extra Fries…
Everybody knows that eating and exercising go hand-in-hand with getting in shape. It turns out that snacking on power foods is good for both your body and your mind. Picking out healthier food items can boost your concentration, improving your focus while studying. Next time you hit the shops, pick up some blueberries, green tea, leafy greens, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, and avocados. These brain foods will help power your studies.
…and Pick up the Exercise
You have to get moving! Literally. Studies have shown that your focus is sharper after a workout, whether it be a major iron-pumping session or a short run. Get your heart pumping to get the oxygen moving to your brain, making you more alert, awake, alive, and enthusiastic.
Change up Your Environment
Have you ever had the problem of staring blankly at the same line without reading it? Yeah, it’s pretty common.
A way to combat this is to simply move to a different spot. Robert Bjork, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, recommends that moving location – whether to a different room, coffee shop, or even outdoors – will help increase your concentration and retention.
Take a Test
Taking a practice test is a clever way to discover what you’re confident about, and what still needs a little bit of work. It also makes the reality of a test period or exam less stressful, because you’ll be used to it.
As you are more exposed to the work and the concept of testing, you get used to both, making it doubly beneficial!
As they say, practice makes perfect.
Avoid Cram Sessions
When you see that Netflix has just released season two of a binge-worthy series, it can be exceptionally tempting to leave work for later.
“Later” often results in a stressful deadline period when you have assignments, exams, tests and projects due in the same week.
Cramming might be okay for getting you to scrape by, but it doesn’t give your brain time to let the information really sink in, so it won’t benefit you in the long-term.
Teach Someone What You Learn
Yeah, we know, it sounds a bit backwards – you should be taught, not teaching – right? Well, yes, learning the material is obviously important. It is crucial, though, that you learn the material well enough to teach someone else.
If you study your learning content with the intention of discussing it with and teaching someone else, you will actively engage with the material on an in-depth level, rather than simply scraping the surface. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of your studies, encouraging you to research more and promoting a community between you and your fellow students or other studying friends.
Catch Your Z’s
No doubt, you’ve heard it before. Getting in a solid eight hours of sleep is vital. This is because falling into deep sleep results in a physical change in your brain. As you study, your brain cells grow connections to connect to other brain cells. Sleeping helps encourage the memory of what you learn, helping it stick. Good sleep helps you recall information easier, as it is less likely to fade.