Simple Secrets to Improve Studying Results - Part 1
1. Study in Short, Frequent Sessions.
It has been proven that short bursts of concentration repeated frequently are much more effective than one long session. So, even if you only have 10 minutes, DO IT. Take a break. Then study another 10 minutes. This “distributed learning” approach is highly efficient because it honors the way the brain likes to work. The brain needs recovery and recharging time for “protein synthesis.” The rest periods are when your brain assimilates your effort. They are a powerful tool which many teachers do not acknowledge.
To sit and study for hours and hours is not only boring; it creates fatigue, stress, and distraction. You cannot learn if you are fatigued, stressed, and distracted!
2. Take Guilt-Free Days of Rest.
This follows the same principle as above, but on a longer, daily time cycle. The reason for resting is to refresh oneself. However, if you feel guilty (“I really should be studying”) then your precious rest period has been used to create more stress. The brain will not absorb new data if it is stressed. On days off from studying, really enjoy yourself and do not feel bad about not studying.
3. Honor Your Emotional State.
Do not study if you are tired, angry, distracted, or in a hurry. When the brain is relaxed, it is like a sponge and it naturally absorbs data without effort. If you are emotionally stressed, your brain literally repels data. Forcing yourself to sit and study when your mind is on other things is a complete waste of time!
4. Review the Same Day.
When you learn something new, try to go over the points the same day. If you wait a few days and then make efforts to review the material, it will seem much less familiar. However, a quick review later in the day will tend to cement the information into your brain so that the next “official” studies session; you will recognize it and it will seem easy.
5. Observe the Natural Learning Sequence.
Think of the activities you did when you were in nursery school. Using your whole arm, you probably performed the song that goes: “Put your right hand in, Put your right hand out.” Then, in kindergarten, using your hand, you might have been asked to draw lines or circles with crayons. Later, in first grade, now holding the pencil with your fingers, you drew smaller lines and circles to create letters. Believe it or not, this natural learning sequence, moving from large to small, coarse to fine, still remains effective even though we are now older.
When you study, if you try first to grasp the big picture and then fill in the details, you often have a more likely chance of success.
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