As a student, your day would probably be spent juggling lectures, tutorials and extra-curricular activities, not forgetting the many assignments that you would have to complete before the week is over. With a schedule that’s packed to the rafters, how do you ensure that you excel in your studies without compromising your social life? These 5 research-backed tips will help you get your studying down pat!
1. Take notes by hand
No, really. It may be old fashioned, but it works! Research has shown note-taking to be a good practice that aids recollection of facts. Apparently, students were seven times more likely to recall information from a week ago if they had recorded it in their notes. In fact, researchers at Princeton University and UCLA Los Angeles have found that students who write their notes outdo those who type their notes on a computer when it came to comprehending and recalling the subject.
2. Harness the power of music
A flustered person is rarely in the right state of mind to study. That’s where music comes in – to calm you down! Using MRI imaging, Stanford University researchers found that the area of our brain connected to paying attention is engaged when certain types of music are played. So, to increase your attention span and remember better, put on some relaxing music and bring out those lecture notes!
3. Join a study group
Being social creatures, we are naturally drawn to people. And when it comes to studying, research has shown that people play a big part as well. Apparently, study groups can be beneficial when it comes to improving students’ grades – a particular study of 110 students found that those belonging to a study group scored, on average, 5.5 points higher in their final exams. Time to assemble your study companions, people!
4. Get plenty of sleep
It’s common to hear of students burning the midnight oil when preparing for their exams, but studies have shown that this practice may not be a good idea after all. Psychologists from the University of Notre Dame have found that getting enough sleep is good for one’s memory, and if you want to easily recall what you’ve studied earlier, going to bed right after revision just might do the trick!
5. Review what you’ve learnt early on
Does cramming your revisions into the few days before that dreaded exam sound familiar? If so, you might want to rethink your strategy. Research by psychologists at UC San Diego shows that last minute cramming impedes your understanding of a subject, and may even lessen your chances of acing the test! In short, get cracking early – study your lecture notes shortly after taking them down and review them often to avoid frenzied, last-minute cramming!