We’ve all been told the usual study tips exams like using highlighters or listening to music.Question is, do they actually work? With all the advice that is all over the place, it can be hard to know the difference between good study skills and bad ones.
But never fear! Science (follow this link for research) has the answer. For decades, scientists having been researching what is best for our brains. Through experiments with real-life students, they can find out what really works when it comes to acing those exams.
So, in honor of their great work, we’ve come up with a list of the best study techniques as proven by science itself.
Tip 1: Get chewing
Can’t sit still while revising? A study done at Cardiff Uni has found that chewing gum can improve your ability to concentrate for long periods. People who chewed gum performed better and more accurately on longer tasks than those who didn’t. So why not give it a try next time you revise? Just maybe don’t try it in an exam.
Tip 2: Stop highlighting and underlining too much!
So, this is a hard one since highlighting things can help you pick out important info. But scientists have found that it might not actually help you remember things. Instead of a memorization technique, use highlighting as a way to find the info you need remember in the first place.
Tip 3: Go Old School
These days a lot of our note taking is done on our tablets or laptops. But we don’t want to throw handwriting out the window just yet. Writing down your notes by hand can help your brain understand heavy concepts. While your computer is fine for simple facts, handwriting can help you remember the bigger questions like “What are the themes of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?” Just make sure you don’t run out of pen and paper.
Tip 4: Test Yourself
Ok, you probably already know this study tip. But it actually works! Setting yourself small self-tests throughout the semester can mean you will perform better on the big exams. And don’t just do it once! Research shows that if you repeat the same test over a few weeks the easier it will be to remember the information.
Tip 5: Stay Hydrated
Even being a tiny bit dehydrated can decrease your ability to perform simple tasks and form memories. And don’t think you can’t get away with just drinking tea! Water is the best way to keep up your fluid levels. Keep a bottle next to your desk, fill it with water and drink up!
We hope these tips will help you hack your study sessions. You don’t always have to work hard. You can work smart!