If you often catch yourself studying overnight and spending the following day on the rack, most likely your study process lacks efficiency. Have you ever wondered how some of your group-mates manage to prepare impeccably to most of the classes when you struggle to get only mediocre grades?
The reason for the success of these students lies in the ways they approach their study process. Here we will share some of these strategies to help you boost your productivity.
Try to make sure that the information you need is stored in your long-term memory
Every time any information reaches your brain, it resides in your sensory memory which gets erased instantaneously if not prioritized. Your brain is not a hoarder, and it does not need all those phone numbers of pizza delivery that you call.
If the new information is properly prioritized by your brain, it gets a place in short-term memory that can hold data for no longer than a minute. And unless you make a conscious effort to continue storing new info, your brain will get rid of it. The trick here is to store information you need in your long-term memory. To do so, you need to make connections with the information you already know, repeat what you have learned and give new information a meaning.
When studying, avoid both cramming and reading mindlessly, instead try to comprehend what you are reading and make connections with the knowledge you already have.
The first third of a class is optimal for memorizing new material
Any learning activity, be it a lecture or studying at home, is divided into prime and down times. During the prime time new information is memorized best, so it is advised to spend this time as effectively as possible.
Try getting as much information as you can during your prime times of learning and avoid distractions, unrelated readings and discovering new areas of interest by all means. As soon as you start feeling less concentrated, make a pause and try to recap what you have read. Using your down times efficiently will help your brain store new information for a longer time.
Make short breaks while learning
It has been proved by scientists that non-stop learning is not productive at all. If you think that you are so swamped with your studies that you don't have any time for even a short break, get ready for your mind turning blank the following day.
Instead of putting every second to studying, learn new material in 30-minutes intervals. Use some of the breaks productively, as described in the second tip, but don't forget to take short breaks for a treat or some physical exercise. It goes without saying that these study breaks must not be wasted on social networks or web surfing.
Try to change learning environment from time to time
It is a fact that new information is learned better in new environments. Students tend to memorize new material better on study trips than in classrooms. But don't take this advice literally and don't look every time for a new place to get ready for the next class.
You can also manage your study environment on a micro level. For instance, when you study at home and you reach that part of the course material that you have to memorize, help yourself with some chocolate, call your friend, open a window or make a dozen push-ups. This unexpected activity will change the routine for your brain and will help it work better.
Prioritize some classes over the other
When you study at college, you need to learn not only course material but also acquire some practical skills, such as time management. It is almost impossible to fulfill all class requirements perfectly over the years in college and still have a life. Study hard the information that you are likely to need in the future and delegate other assignments to professionals.
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