December 7th, 2010
With the winter break approaching it might be a good time to take a pause and reflect on your study habits thus far to make changes and corrections where needed so you can fly through the rest of the year as effortless as possible. Following are some tried-and-true tips that you may or may not be using. If not, you might want to practice them during the break so they become more ingrained as habit before heading back to school after the break. Turn Off the Television: You may think you’re able to study and not be distracted by ambient noise and movement, but studies have shown that voices and conversations can cut into the efficacy of your learning experience. And this includes turning the computer off as well (unless you are using it to research or write) since it, too, can be a major diversion from tasks at hand. Be Well Rested: Sure, you may think staying up all night to study is a good idea since you’ll be putting in the physical time, but if your body and mind aren’t physically rested, physical time matters little. If you plan to be out the night before you need to study, make sure you’ve allocated (budgeted) enough “make up” time to rest before hitting the books. Caffeine is Not Your Friend: It’s trendy and some think it’s cool, but too much caffeine can actually work against you in a study-scenario since it can evoke jitters and other stimuli that interfere with the ability to retain information and isn’t that the purpose of studying in the first place? Pace Yourself: If you know you have three tests coming up next week don’t focus on all three since doing so can lead to overwhelmed feelings that could block learning. Instead, focus on the subject you like the least to get it out of the way first, then move through them to the easier tasks. Some Music Might Help: We’ve mentioned not listening to conversations on the television or lyrics from music, but some students actually benefit from listening to quiet music (sans lyrics) such as classical or new age. If you haven’t tried it before, experiment with it but not when you’re cramming for something important. Instead, try listening while pleasure reading to see how your mind handles the ambient noise.