In today’s modern world, many students spend hours and hours studying for exams only to find out in the end, they remember very little material. The basic reason for this is that many students simply do not know how to study properly. Studying methods play a huge role in how successful test material can be stored and recalled. Using the right study methods can change your test scores drastically and improve your grades. Fortunately, making only a handful of simple changes to your studying routines can set you on the right path to academic success.
1. Choose a fresh starting point
One of the most important parts of studying is choosing a new place to start each study session. The reasoning behind this is called the Primacy effect. The Primacy effect is a cognitive bias that results in better memorization of the material at the beginning of the session, while material in the middle is more easily forgotten. Therefore, choosing a new starting point each time will allow you to use the Primacy effect to your advantage.
2. Test yourself
Testing yourself is an extremely effective technique to utilize during a study session. Self-tests activate the memory recall process in your brain, which is the exact same process that is used during most academic tests. Just reading material may not be enough to retain the information in your brain, but self-testing forces you to recall the information, creating a stronger retention of the material. If you can recall the material while studying, you can recall it during the test.
3. Take breaks
Taking breaks is imperative for long study sessions. Study breaks help overcome mental fatigue and allow your brain some time to rest. When your brain is fatigued, you are most likely just wasting your time. A ten to fifteen minute break every hour while studying is a good idea to implement in your study routines.
4. Study before bed
Studying before bed is a useful technique that has been researched and suggested to improve memory recall. This technique allows your brain to process the information while you are sleeping, creating a stronger retention of the material. Even ten to twenty minutes of studying before bed can greatly improve your ability to recall the information.
5. Start early
For any test or exam, it is important to plan ahead and start studying early. This is something easier said than done. A good strategy is to write all your test dates down in a planner at the beginning of the semester. This allows you to plan ahead and start studying at least a week in advance. Starting early will give you more time to use these techniques and make the most of your studying skills.
Many students make studying a more complicated process than it really is. By changing the way that you study, you can improve and train your brain to be more efficient. Knowing how to study properly can do wonders for your grades and improve your test scores in nearly all areas.