If you’re like me, studying is always a struggle: either you’re too distracted or you’re just too lazy. Some people appreciate a little help when studying. Maybe it’s a friend or a technique like just repeating your notes to the wall. Personally, I find music and isolation the best for studying; if you’re a social and easily-distracted person like me, studying with a friend doesn’t always work out. Paper ball fights start and pretty soon it’s just a normal hang out. No matter what kind of learner you are, here are some tips and tricks are for you.
Tip one: “switch it up.” if you have multiple exams don’t study a new subject every day, do a bit here and there each day. For example if you have a math exam, a science exam, and a socials exam devote half an hour to each subject, don’t devote the whole day.
If you are a visual learner, focus on visual study aids. For example, you could watch a documentary about the topic you are trying to grasp, or you could create your own flashcards. Even simply writing out your notes is helpful for visual learners.
Verbal learners can benefit from studying with friends. Have your friend read you the study notes over and over or quiz you on them. You can also turn your study notes into a story. Storytelling helps your brain become more active as a whole.
For kinetic learners the best scientifically proven way is to work out before studying–but not so much that you are exhausted. Exercise is proven to activate our minds and make us more aware. A study was done where three groups were given half an hour to study the same list of unfamiliar words and nouns. The first group sat in silence, the second group road a bike at a relaxed pace then sat down and listened to the words, and the third group road at a lower intensity with headphones playing back the newly introduced words. Group two (the relaxed bikers) did the best out of the three groups. So if you already work out, maybe go easy on your workouts if you know you have some serious studying to do right after.
Some people are stress studiers. But stress and anxiety can impair brain functions. The best way to handle those two is meditation, it helps with anxiety and also boosts attention spans. If meditating isn’t your thing, maybe dancing might be the route to go. Even if you’ve got “two left feet,” dancing is scientifically proven to be a good stress reliever. Any kind physical activity releases two things, neurotransmitters and endorphins, which both alleviate stress. Like one article says, “when the body feels good so does your mind.” And you’re not so much into excercise but like to curl up on the couch or your bed, another good stress reliever is drinking tea. Green tea is especially helpful with stress, green tea contains amino acids that contains a relaxing effect. Some people like to drink coffee, but it can sometimes create more anxiety than it relieves, so pay attention to your own physical and mental responses to different techniques.
In the end, with a little bit of experimentation and effort, we can all find ways to make our studying go a little smoother and more successfully. If one approach doesn’t work for you, try another! And if you’ve got your own tips to share, let us know in the comments.