Everybody has their own set of study tactics. What might work for one person may not necessarily work for another person. However, it's always good to try different ways of doing things because taking on a new approach could seriously change your life for the better. Here are 5 study tactics that you can use to help you get that A+.
#1 Learn things in "chunks"
In psychology, "chunking" is the theory that people will remember things a whole lot better if they learn things in smaller chunks rather than cramming everything all at once. The rationale behind this idea is based on the fact that our brains are able to turn short-term memories into long-term ones when it is slowly fed information. When you cram your brain with facts and data, they may only stick around for a short period of time and that could lead to forgetfulness, which is the one thing you don't want to happen during an exam.
#2 Use visual and auditory cues
Humans are visual and auditory beings, which means we process information based on what we see and what we hear. When it comes to our memory, we are able to remember things more clearly with images and sound because they serve as useful triggers for the recollection of information. That said, try to study using diagrams, charts, audio files, and even music. All of those things can help condition your brain to recall certain pieces of information.
#3 Study before you go to sleep
A collaborative study from Harvard and Notre Dame found that studying right before going to sleep could help students retain information better. Sleep helps to "stabilize the memories" we form during the day while staying awake can interfere with that process. With that in mind, you may want to skip the all-nighters and try to get your study and sleep schedules on track. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night will do wonders for your mental sharpness and alertness.
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#4 Take lots of breaks
Once you're on a roll, it can be tempting to just keep burning through your study material, but that may be counterproductive. Research has shown that we can only really stay focused and productive for around three hours, and any longer than that, our minds start to wander elsewhere. Make sure you schedule short, intermittent breaks during your study session to regain your focus. Getting through all of your lectures isn't necessarily the same as understanding all of your lectures.
#5 Review your lectures right after
You can train your brain to retain information better through repetition. The more your brain is fed the same information, the higher the chance it will hold onto that information. With that in mind, it is always a good idea to review your lectures right after you've sat through them. It may be a nuisance to do that, but the more information you are able to remember early on, the less your brain will have to work later when you have to study for your exams.