We all know what’s right around the corner here at CCBC…. Finals!!!! Many students are probably about to study and try to cram all of this semesters lectures and notes into their brains as fast as they can. But are you really getting the most out of the time you spent studying? With these 7 simple steps you can finally get the best results with the least amount of time, just in time for finals.
Step 1: Recent studies from Sound Feelings Enhancement Learning show that it is best to study in short intervals over a period of several days, rather than long periods of constant cramming of information. This approach is called “disturbed learning” and is very effective compared to the “traditional” ways of studying. The reason this method works so much better than other methods is because it follows the specific ways the brain takes in information and enhances the ability to comprehend and maintain the information. This is so the brain can recharge and process the information it was just given before it takes on more. This is called “protein synthesis”. If you try to learn all the information at once then your brain will be in overload and fatigued.
Step 2: When you are studying for any test you are nervous and stressed, but when you are studying for a big test these feelings go in overload. This may cause you to freak out and start cramming your brain with as much information as it can handle. This is the exact opposite of what you want to do. What you should be doing is taking a day off and relaxing. Letting your brain take a break as well as your body will give you the strength and rejuvenation you need to persevere and study the next day. Taking a day off is great but don’t let that relaxing day go to waste by worrying about anything especially your test. The object of having a break day is to distress your mind and body but if you start stressing about the test then the purpose of a relaxing day is destroyed.
Step 3: When you’re studying do not try to force your brain to do something it is not willing to do. If your mind is tired or fatigued then studying is the last thing you should be doing. When your brain is relaxed then it absorbs information quickly and efficiently, and when it isn’t information literally bounces off it like a rubber ball. If your brain is not relaxed and willing to accept any new data it simply just won’t. This is why it is good to study days before the test, because you are able to retain information in a non-stressful environment to prepare.
Step 4: What is best for students to do when preparing for a test is to review the notes the same day you first learn them. This helps you retain information better because when you first learn something it is very hazy and vague in your brain. If you go back to the notes a second time to review it will re-enforce the information that was learned. This helps because on the next study session the information is already rooted in the brain and very easy to remember.
Step 5: Is to prepare your study environment. This is so you will feel comfortable, have everything you need and not feel a need to disrupt your study time to get something you need, or fix the lighting. This will give you no distractions so you can pay attention to what you intended in the first place, studying! Learn what environment works best for you and then repeat it whenever you study again for the optimal learning environment for every test.
Step 6: is to have a study routine. This will enable you to accomplish more when you study. When you study at random times in random places you feel rushed and insecure because you are worried about how long you have to study and hoping your boss won’t catch you. In conditions like these not only is it a bad learning environment chances are that you won’t even remember what you learned because you are so stressed. This is where a study routine will come in handy, set a time you have free that you can dedicate to studying; you don’t even need to spend more than an hour at a time as long as you have a stress free time to study.
Step 7: Do not frustrate yourself. People with a quick nervous system learn faster, but having a quick nervous system can also make a person self-critical which ironically stunts the ability to study. A less intense person who is a slower learner but less self-critical will not study as fast but in the long run will ultimately learn more in a shorter period of time. This is because the people who are less self-critical do not waste their time or energy worrying about or criticizing themselves, they use their time and brains for more important things like acing the oncoming test.
Very few people know how to study and follow their own sets of rules, these 7 steps that have been researched are everything you need to enhance your ability to study and ace your test. Though many of the blockades that prevent people from really being able to study the best they can are mental the people who read this can now identify the mental constraints that stress and self-doubt put on yourself and your ability to learn. Hopefully many people will ace their tests with these 7 simple steps.
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