Whether you like it or not, studying goes hand-in-hand with going to college. You can’t expect to ace your exams without first having some serious study sessions under your belt. Finding out which study methods work for you takes a lot of experimentation. Some people may find that studying in groups helps them remember material. Others may find that they need to completely shut out the outside world and spend the majority of their study time alone. No matter what type of student you are, making use of the below tips will help you maximize your study sessions (and ace your courses).
Focus on Being Relaxed
While some people may find comfort in the hustle and bustle of a busy cafe, the large majority of students will opt for the library instead. Why? It’s quiet, people are there to work, and there are far less distractions. This plays into the scientific theory that stress makes learning much more difficult. If you’re stressed out, you probably won’t have an effective study session.
We recommend taking some breaks during your sessions to walk around (maybe even exercise a little), or at the very least do some relaxed breathing techniques. If you want to maximize your studying efforts, you need to minimize your stress level as much as possible.
Practice Tests: Worth Their Weight in Gold
Just like you used to do with the SAT (or ACT), you should really be taking advantage of practice tests (if they’re available). Even if your courses don’t offer them, you can probably find relevant practice tests online. You could also use an online homework help platform (or online tutor service) to find a tutor that could create a practice test for you.
Use an Online Tutoring Service
If you’ve ever need homework help, or an online tutor, you’ll know that there are countless platforms that connect students to tutors/mentors. One of the biggest challenges is finding the platform that works best for your needs. With so many different websites out there, we recommend testing a few out and going with the one that you’re most comfortable using.
An example of a popular homework help website is HomeworkMarket. If you needed the assistance of an experienced tutor (either with studying or homework), you could use HomeworkMarket to get help. Websites like these are great because they allow you to receive tutoring/homework help on your schedule (as opposed to the tutor’s schedule). When you find a tutor that you’re interested in working with, it’s recommended to take a look at their rating/reviews to see what past students think of their service.
Use Music to Focus
Although the debate is still open as to whether or not music actually helps you study (most researchers agree it comes down to personal preference), there is some solid science that suggests playing certain types of music helps activate regions of the brain associated with learning. Listening to certain styles of music can also help lift your mood and give you some motivation as well (and let’s face it, we could all use a little extra motivation during those long study sessions).
Incorporate Movement and Exercise
Believe it or not, but studies have shown that exercising before a study session can actually help your brain function better. After a workout your brain is more alert and ready to digest new information. Take advantage of this post-workout mental boost by taking a trip to the library after the gym.
Consider Changing the Setting
If you’re feeling burned out with your current study location, consider changing it up to somewhere new. Some studies point to your brain even benefiting from simply changing the room where you’re studying. So, if you feel like your current setting just isn’t cutting it anymore, move to the room over (or go to the library, or a coffee shop, etc.). Changing up your study spot will refresh your brain and have you ready to start learning in no time.
The Leitner System for Flashcard Studying
If you’re keen on using flashcards when studying, you should look into utilizing what’s known as the Leitner system. Although it was created back in the 19th century, it’s still an excellent strategy for studying subjects you find especially difficult.
Without getting too technical, the Leitner system essentially prioritizes certain flashcards over others. This helps you retain material that you may not easily learn using other methods. Contrary to popular belief, the Leitner system actually isn’t a spaced repetition system. If you’re looking for a change of pace, consider using the Leitner method.