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Study Habits and Tips to Help you Study Smart

Smart Studying Tips
Written by Em-em Avila

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Are you feeling that your studying habits are not helping your exams? It may come as a surprise that the study strategies that worked at your high school are not cutting your college studies. Well, it is perfectly understandable because college is very much different from school.

Classes in college are more rigorous. The instructors are distant and less involved with college students, exams are more challenging, and the studies are intensive. All these factors point towards reconsidering your study strategy. You must develop practical study skills and habits to maintain pace with your academics to crack the exams successfully.

But before developing new study habits, it is necessary to see where you are going wrong. Plus, identify which study habits are hindering your progress.

It is very much possible that most of the poor studying habits go unnoticed. They are so absorbed that it is considered normal; however, that is not the case. And it is better to identify and correct them at the earliest.

Let us look at some of the bad study habits so that you can avoid them:

  • Cramming
  • Multitasking
  • Using social media while studying
  • Being disorganized
  • Procrastination

These are some of the poor habits that can affect your learning process.

Once you have recognized where you are going wrong, you can aim towards correcting them. For example, if you are a disorganized person, then you can try to be organized.

Developing effective study strategies is possible when you adopt good study habits. Whether you are studying for an undergraduate, postgraduate, or master’s degree, the study hacks and tips that we have listed will prove immensely helpful.

These study tips and tricks will assist you greatly in performing better in your examinations.

Smart Study Hacks to Improve your Memory

Memory plays a vital role in examinations because you must recall every critical information perfectly to write the accurate answer. Thus, it is necessary to help your brain and work towards improving your memory.

You have to remember that studying hard may not always help you. With hard work, you also need to study smart to increase your brainpower and accomplish your study goals.

  • 1. Start exercising regularly

Start exercising at least three times a week for 20 to 45 minutes each. Plus, have a healthy diet to improve your energy level. Exercise helps to remember the information better.

The University of Illinois provides proof that about 20 minutes of exercise before attempting an exam can improve performance. However, exercise does not have to be too rigorous. A simple walk can also do the trick.

  • 2. Read out loud

Reading aloud increases your chances to remember information by 50% more. Instead of silently going through it over and over.

When you read something silently, you see it. Yet, you both see and hear it when you read it aloud, which helps you learn faster.

  • 3. Try explaining

The best way to check if you have understood what you studied is to explain the same to someone else. This activity helps you to have a better grasp of the subject or topic.

  • 4. Connect the dots

Learn to make connections when you are studying something. The information that you are studying now may have a link to something you studied before.

Recall that information and group them on a flashcard or create a mind map. We term this learning as contextual learning.

  • 5. Use visual illustrations

The visual representation of information creates a significant impact on your brain rather than the plaintext.

You can include diagrams and mind maps while studying. These are some excellent visual illustrations that help to make connections between topics easily. Also, it makes learning fun and creative.

  • 6. Use flashcards

It is essential to test yourself now and then to check how well you can recall information.

So, make use of flashcards to recall information and test yourself. Flashcards are part of a spaced practice that involves repetition.

  • 7. Take adequate study breaks

It is crucial to take sufficient study breaks while studying. They can help your brain absorb more information and avoid exhaustion.

Also, you can stay focused only for a certain period. So, a study break after every 50 minutes of study can help you relax and stay focused.

  • 8. Sleep well for 8 hours

Night-outs are not cool. It is a common misconception that studying all night will help you do better in exams. However, it is not valid.

Getting adequate sleep at night helps your brain assimilate the information you have studied during the day.

  • 9. Include meditation to de-stress

Meditation is one of the de-stressing activities that can help you keep focus and concentrate better. Further, it also helps reduce exam stress.

You can spend at least 15 minutes meditating every day to improve your mental health.

  • 10. Short study sessions

Study in short chunks instead of opting for long sessions, as the brief sessions help your brain process information much better.

Set a study schedule for each day, and make sure you study at the same time.

  • 11. Create an ideal study space

It is imperative to set your mood before you study. And you can do that by creating an ideal study space, where you have gathered all your essentials, such as books and other related items. The study zone you have thus created can help you in productive learning.

  • 12. Write it out

Try taking notes while listening to lecture. Also, ensure you take notes during your study hours. Doing so is one effective way to process and reframe information. It is observed that writing things down on paper helps one remember things rather than typing on a keyboard.

  • 13. Include a variety of ways to learn

Try learning a subject or concept in different ways. You may refer to a textbook, watch a video, listen to podcasts, create a mind map, etc.

The usage of different media activates different parts of the brain. Thus, helping you to understand and retain the information.

  • 14. Compress the information

Make use of mnemonics devices like acronyms to simplify and summarize the information. Compressing a concept makes learning efficient.

  • 15. Practice and practice again

Cater time to practice previous year’s questions papers or sample papers. This exercise can train your brain to retrieve information.

Create an exam-like environment to prepare your brain for the inevitable exams. And be honest while answering the questions so that you can analyze how well you can fair.

  • 16. Counter distractions with technology

Control your urge to check notifications on your smartphone by blocking notifications with the help of apps.

Avoid any kind of distractions during your study sessions. Refrain from using social media when reading.

Bonus tips to help you have more productive learning sessions

  • 1. Use scents or gum for jogging your memory

Memory is closely linked to the sense of smell. Try spraying an unfamiliar scent while studying and using the same scent just before giving an exam. This method can help you remember things as olfactory function acts as a solid trigger to memory. The same can be applied to chewing gum.

  • 2. Write down your worries

It is no secret that exams can cause panic attacks. Most students fall sick, and few remain anxious until the exam completes. While worrying about exams is natural, overthinking can affect your grades badly.

To counter the exam stress, the researchers at the University of Chicago have given a simple solution for all habitual worriers – to write down all things related to the upcoming exam that is causing the worry for 10 minutes. The result of this exercise will help you get better grades.

  • 3. Start with the most difficult subject

Your most challenging subject will require more energy and effort, it is always better to start with it first. Once accomplished, it will be much easier to cover other less complicated subjects.

Starting with the most challenging subject will improve your academic performance and the effectiveness of your study sessions.

  • 4. Reward yourself

College studies can be demanding, which can make anyone lose focus. Hence, it is essential to find ways to motivate yourself and remain on track.

One way to motivate is to reward yourself once you accomplish a particular study goal, such as learning a topic/chapter. The reward can be simple. Munching a healthy snack bar, walking in the garden, or playing a musical instrument.

  • 5. Munch on blueberries

A healthy diet creates a positive effect on your brain and strengthens it. Blueberries are one such brain food rich in flavonoids, which stimulate the regeneration of brain cells.

The faculty at the University of Reading have found that blueberries improve both short-term and long-term memory.

  • 6. Explore new ways to learn

The advent of technology has made learning easy and innovative. Try and make use of it by exploring new study methods. Identify what works for you.

Use google search to find relevant information about a particular topic or subject. Watch educational videos, TED talks, documentaries, etc.

  • 7. Be cautious about screen time

While using technology to learn things is excellent, however, make sure not to overuse it. A lecturer from the University of Leicester says – it is hard to remember what you have read from a screen rather than a book or piece of paper.

Try printing out those online articles and study from the paper. So that you can provide some respite to your eyes.

These are some effective study habits that can help you study efficaciously and improve your chance of academic success. In addition to the above study tips. It is also good to follow a strict study routine. And stay positive through the entire learning process and examination.

The study tips and tricks mentioned in this article may overwhelm you. However, there is absolutely no reason to be so. First and foremost, get rid of your poor study habits. Next, start implementing our study tips one by one.

It is not possible to include all study habits at once. Thus, start with one step and once you are consistent with that habit, move on to the next one.

Let your goal of developing good study habits help you learn, grow and add value to your academics.

About the author

Em-em Avila

Em-em Avila is a creative content writer from a leading Online Freelancing Platform---24Task. She loves to share information about a variety of topics including Academic Writing Tips, Freelancing Jobs, Digital Marketing Strategies, Virtual Assistance, and many more. Her passion for writing and sharing valuable information and helpful tips with other people is her inspiration in her every piece.

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