Time for school! And it's no surprise that many of us are determined to study smarter instead of longer, but which study tips and tricks actually work scientifically and can help you get those perfect grades?
First up, research shows that study sessions are most effective in small, short chunks. Instead of cramming in a 10-hour study session, it's much more effective to spread it out into 20-, 30-minute sessions over a few weeks. This is because your brain is better at encoding information into the synapses in short repeated sessions as opposed to one large one. And this is why even learning different skills, whether it's swimming, tennis, or a singing lesson, often follows this same format.
And while cramming and pulling all-nighters may be a ritual, it turns out that this is linked to the lowest grades. After prolonged nocturnal study sessions, reasoning and memory may be negatively affected for up to four whole days. Instead, setting up specific times in a day or during the week just to study primes your brain by creating a routine, and over time, studying actually becomes easier as your brain is trained to learn in those moments.
And while many of us spend hours passively rereading our notes or highlighting a textbook, studies have shown this to be ineffective. It doesn't improve your understanding of topics, nor does it link key concepts together. It can even be detrimental as it draws your attention to less important information. Flashcards, on the other hand, are proven to be excellent memory reinforcement tools, whether during your scheduled study times or during off times like a bus ride home.
It also helps to have a specific goal for each study session. Instead of aimlessly studying, pick one aspect you'll focus on, whether it's balancing chemical equations or learning how to conjugate French verbs. If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough. In studies where individuals were asked to learn a passage, and then half were told that they would be tested on the material, while the other half were told they would have to teach it to other students, participants expecting to teach it did much better at understanding the main points. When you're expecting to teach, your brain organizes the information in a more logical, coherent structure.
Of course, practice, practice, practice. Not only do practice tests put your brain in the environment, but even if you make mistakes, they help identify gaps in your knowledge. Practice tests have also been shown to increase confidence, thereby leading to better performance.
So, where should you be studying? Research shows that having a designated sacred spot for study that's well equipped with every tool you might need is best. Just like setting times, this primes your brain for studying.
Have an awesome study playlist? Not so fast. While some studies have shown that certain types of classical music can help improve concentration, a recent study has shown that learning with rhythmic background noise can be detrimental to focus, and those not using music fared much better. And if you haven't already, put away your phone! This is a no-brainer, but your text and social media notifications severely decrease concentration.
Of course, exams can be extremely stressful, so if you want some tips on how to deal with exam anxiety, check out our AsapTHOUGHT video which breaks down some tips for that. Link in the description. And a big thank you to TD Bank for sponsoring this video.
當然，考試可以帶來很大壓力，所以如果你想知道一些如何應付考試焦慮的技巧，去看看我們 AsapTHOUGHT 的影片，那會說明一些應付焦慮的妙招。連結網址在資訊欄中。另外非常感謝 TD 銀行贊助本影片。