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Let’s face it, at some point in our education, we’ve all wished that our brains were thumb drives that have unlimited storage space so that we don’t have to put ourselves through so much pain trying to cram all our examinable topics, while doubting our own capacity to do so. However, studying doesn’t have to be hard. Made up of a team of students, we have scoured our brains and the internet for the best study hacks to help you help your brain remember information more easily. Before we begin, note that everyone is different and not all methods work for everyone. With a little bit of trial-and-error and understanding yourselves, you can find the methods that work for you.
Nothing replaces good old fashioned hard work, we understand that every little but helps when it comes to increasing ones efficiency… especially when it comes to university work.
1. Use mnemonic devices
Mnemonic (pronounced ni-mon-ik) devices are techniques that a person can use to help improve their ability to remember something. It’s basically a memory technique to help your brain encode and recall important information. For example, using PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunty Sally), to remember the order of operations in mathematics class. Or just revamp them into any story that you can relate to! Above shows how you can differentiate the spelling of ‘grey’ by country.
2. Get loud
Read your notes out loud to yourself, or pair up with a friend and read sections to each other. Speaking them aloud and hearing the words will help to reinforce the material in a whole new way.
3. Study before you sleep
A collaborative study published by researchers from Notre Dame and Harvard found that research subjects tended to remember unrelated word pairs better if they had learned them shortly before a good night’s sleep. It’s been theorised that sleep helps to stabilise the memories we form throughout the day.
Which brings us to our next point…
4. Ditch the all-nighters
The brain needs sleep to consolidate new memories. So while it seems like cramming until dawn is going to save yourself from a fail, remember that without the ZZZs, you won’t be able to retain information well.
This also means that you should try not to procrastinate. But…. How?
5. Tackle small sections one at a time
Most of the time, studying for exams means having to memorise large chunks of information. Don’t try and do it all at once. Instead, learn a new chunk every day – don’t start the next portion until you’ve got the last one down. Making a schedule and stick to it. Try using the Pomodoro technique (break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks) to structure your time.
6. Choose the right soundtrack
Studying alone in the room can be boring and listening to music can be what keeps us going. But listening to your favourite music might not be the best option. In fact, try our ambient noise or unfamiliar music to help boost your productivity.
7. Lastly, treat yo’ self.
Trekking through ten chapters of a module kinda means you get that ice-cream you’re craving for and perhaps a nap after that.
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