If you haven’t learned any studying techniques that work well for you, you’re probably just reading your textbook over-and-over hoping that the information will eventually stick. This method of studying will work, but it may take more time out of your day than necessary.
These 5 methods of studying have proven to be more effective in information retention, and will take a whole lot less time out of your day to practice.
Before you begin studying, make sure you have prepared yourself to study effectively:
- Sit down in a quiet environment where you won’t be interrupted.
- Turn your phone to Do Not Disturb (or off).
- Make sure you eat a nutritional meal at least 30 minutes prior to studying. 10 Superfoods That Will Boost Your Energy To Full Power.
- Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep beforehand.
1. Color Coded Notes
A recent study found that studying from color coded notes can improve a person’s memory, learning speed, and optimism toward learning.
You can do this with either highlighters or colored ink-pen. Simply write down all of the important information that you believe might be on the test in Red. Then write all of the semi-important information in Yellow. Be sure not to color code all of the information in the text, as this will defeat the purpose of this studying method.
2. Leitner System
The Leitner System is a studying method done with three boxes numbered 1 – 3, and a set of flashcards.
Before each test, you’ll write all of the potential test questions on the front of each flashcard, with the answers written on the backs. Then you’ll use the three boxes as a filing cabinet for which flashcards you’ve retained the most information from.
Start off with all of the flashcards in box number 1.
If you continue to answer a flashcard’s question correctly, move the flashcard to box number 2.
Continue moving the flashcard to the higher numbered box each time you answer correctly, then bring the flashcard to the lower box each time you answer incorrectly.
Study from box number 1 the most often, and then only review the higher numbered boxes as needed.
3. Distributed Practice
The distributed practice method refers to studying over a long period of time, rather than cramming all of the information on the night before your test.
If you know you have a test in two weeks, take just 10-15 minutes out of each day to review the testing material.
This method is proven to be more effective than someone who studies just hours before their test.
Using flashcards is the most popular studying method out there. When you use flashcards, you’re allowing your brain to pull information from it’s memory, rather than just reading it off of a piece of notebook paper.
Write the test question on the front of the flashcard, and the answer on the back. Try to answer the question of each flashcard before turning it around to the answer side.
5. Study Before Bed
When you sleep, your brain reviews the information it’s learned over-and-over to refine the newly built neural pathways. This is why you may have heard the saying, “Why don’t you just sleep on it”. This is because sleeping on it actually works.
Before you go to bed, take as much time as you can spare going over your notes or flashcards, then go to sleep right afterwards. You might just wake up with all of the answers