This is one of our articles for helping you prepare better for your exams, and to help you score more. Today, we will be sharing some scientifically proven tips which help in increasing concentration, and thus can help you score more.
- HIGHLIGHT or make Flash cards – Many students devote a lot of time to reading and revising their text again and again. While this is a good habit, studies have shown that using flash cards are an even better and excellent memory tool. Just reading again and again doesn’t improve your understanding of topics nor does it link key concepts together. By reading your book again you may be spending a lot of time in going through less important information. Flash cards, on the other hand, are proven to be excellent memory reinforcement tools. You can use them during your scheduled study times, or during off times, like a bus ride home.
- Teach it to someone else – If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough. A study was conducted where students were asked to learn a passage, and then half were tested on it, while the other half were told to teach it to other students, and then they were tested. Students who had taught others before testing did much better at understanding the main points. When you’re expecting to teach, your brain organizes the information in a more logical, coherent structure.
- Practice, practice, practice – Practising tests put your brain in actual exam-like environment. Not only this, even if you make mistakes at this stage, it helps you identify gaps in your knowledge. Practice tests have also been shown to increase confidence, thereby leading to better performance.
- PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE! – This is a no-brainer, having a cell phone by your side when you study is seriously bad for your concentration. When you sit for studying, only study. If you are using your cell phone for studying like watching a video or researching a topic, switch off your social media notifications and do not open any other apps.
- Space it out – A learning technique called “spaced repetition” involves breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time. For example if you are learning periodic table, you don’t need to memorize the entire periodic table in one sitting— it will just burden your brain and not give you any results. Rather, learn a few rows every day and review each lesson before starting anything new. Try to do this for as many things as you can – like remembering dimensions of physical quantities, symbols of chemical elements, their valencies, etc.
- Write it out – Research suggests that our brain stores information more securely when we write it out by hand than when we read or even type it. Start by recopying the most important notes from your book onto a paper, and keep these notes handy for quick revision before the exam. You can use flash cards at this stage to maintain short notes as well.
- Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects –
Study suggests that it’s more effective to study multiple subjects each day, than to deep-dive into one subject. For example, if you’re supposed to be studying for math, history, physics, and chemistry, it’s better to study a bit of each subject every day than by focusing on just math on Monday, history on Tuesday, physics on Wednesday, chemistry on Thursday, and so on. This is because you’re likely to confuse if you study a lot of the same subject or same information in one day. So to study smart, you need to spread out your study time for each subject.
- Review the information periodically – There is no magic chant with which you read a text once and remember it. Periodic review is essential if you want to move information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This will help you get better exam grades. The optimal review interval varies, depending on how long you want to retain the information. So after you study something, review it alternate days.
- Read key information out loud – Studies have been conducted, which demonstrate that reading information out loud helps students to learn faster than by reading silently. This is because when you read information out loud, you both see and hear it. On the other hand, when you read information silently, you only see it.
- Exercise at least three times a week – Exercise is good for your body. It’s also very good for your brain. Various studies have shown that exercise
- Improves your memory
- Improves your brain function
- Reduces the occurrence of depression
- Helps to prevent diseases like diabetes
- Enhances your sleep quality
- Reduces stress
- Improves your mood
So to study smarter, exercise once or twice a week for 30 to 45 minutes each time. You’ll be healthier and more energetic, and you’ll get better at retaining the information better too.
We hope that including these points in your study routine and daily life will help you. But remember that anything will be useful only if you study and prepare whole-heartedly.