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8 Useful Tips that will Improve your Study Sessions.

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YMCA Global Study_8 tips to help you study

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

Uni is well and truly back in swing, which means upcoming assignments, reports and quizzes. Yay. But not really.

If you avoid study sessions like the plague and are a pro procrastinator, never fear! Here are some tips that will make your study sesh a walk in the park, and dare I say it, enjoyable?

Ok fine, maybe not enjoyable, but you will remember stuff, so keep reading.

1. Read out loud

A study at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada found that the dual effect of reading and speaking text out loud helps encode memory more strongly, making it an effective way to remember information. The research is published in the journal, “Memory” under “This time it’s personal: the memory benefit of hearing oneself ” by Noah D. Forrin & Colin M. MacLeod.

2. Teach others what you have learned

I’ve tried this, and it actually works. Try teaching someone what you’ve learned; it could be your essay argument or a subject that you’re going to be quizzed on. Explaining a subject or teaching someone is the best way to test how well you know your notes and the depth of how much you understand  them. Corner a friend or family member and practice on them. If you just so happen to be home alone, teach your pet (they can’t run away).

3. Get Visual

Typing up notes or saving things on your laptops can be pretty handy sometimes but try taking physical notes. Draw a mind map or diagram of your work, use post-it notes or tabs as memory joggers, print out your readings and underline things or write notes in the margin. Physically doing something stimulates your brain and helps you store information. (Plus, it makes you feel like you’re doing some intense studying)

4. Watch a documentary or film on the topic

Watching a documentary, film or even some short clips on YouTube can help you compact a large amount of information in a small amount of time.  You’ll remember key details and your readings will make a lot more sense, plus, it makes studying way more entertaining!

5. Take Regular Study Breaks

Research tells us that the brain needs regular study breaks to absorb more information, so try to take a short break every 90 minutes or so. Take a walk, make a snack, whatever it is, just step away from your desk or study space for a while.  Not only does it improve focus, study breaks keep you refreshed and motivated.

6. Test yourself

The best way to know if your study sesh has paid off is to quiz yourself on the subject.  If you don’t have anyone to quiz you, why not make your own? Quizlet is an awesome app that lets you search a number of academic subjects/topics to quiz yourself on or lets you create quizzes tailored to your subjects.

Check it out here: https://quizlet.com/en-gb

7. Set the scene

Considering the fact that you’ll be spending a fair bit of time studying, the place you choose should be somewhat comfortable. Declutter your desk, get a comfy chair and make yourself a cup of tea. If you’re the type of person that listens to music to relax, maybe play music in the background while you study. Everyone has their own way to relax so figure out what yours is and channel that into your study space.

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8. Get rid of distractions

The hardest thing about studying is the struggle of not getting distracted and drifting off on your Insta or Facebook feed or worse, falling into a YouTube hole. We’ve all been there and we’ve all watched an unnecessary number of videos on the giant squid and other weird sea creatures (plztellmeimnottheonlyperson).

To avoid this shame and erase all distractions, try using an app to block your favourite sites while you study.

Use “SelfControl” for Mac users and “Freedom” for PCs. Both apps blacklist distracting sites for a certain amount of time and once set, cannot be undone until time’s up! Scary, but effective.

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