Study Skills for the Weary!
Brittany LaCouture, Peer Tutor
It’s happened to us all. We study all day and all night for an exam. We know the material; we’ve read it over and over. Yet, when the exam gets placed in front of us, all that information has gone MIA, and what’s left to replace it is frustration. Luckily, there are ways of preventing this.
Regardless of who you are or what subjects you are studying, there are several basic steps that you can take to make the most of your time spent studying. Our brains are very complex, and they are constantly at work. By using some principles of psychology, we can help our brains remember the important information we are studying. Next time you have a big exam, remember to get started early and Study Seven S’s.
Steps to improve retention while studying: Study Seven S’s.
1. STOP. Relax and focus. Keeping your brain focused on only one subject at a time may help increase the time your brain has to transfer learned information from the short term to long term memory.
2. SPLIT your work load. Split chapters into smaller, more manageable sections.
3. SEPARATE. Study sections separately, at different times, over and over again, adding a new group with each session.
4. SIMPLIFY. Use mnemonics to remember large lists of more than 5-7 words (such as Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally).
5. SKETCH a mental picture. Use imagery to help remember complex ideas. Mental pictures, real or made-up, can help give meaning and function to abstract ideas.
6. SAY IT. Repeat information over and over again until it has become second nature, then say it some more. Give your brain plenty of time and opportunity to move knowledge from short to long term memory.
7. SLEEP. Sleeping and caring for your mind and body makes neurological functioning easier. Sleeping gives your brain opportunity to encode all the information you have learned throughout the day. Studying for a few hours and getting a good night’s rest is far more productive than pulling an all-nighter.