school · White Girl Guides

Study Less, Study Smart

Break your study time in chunks with breaks

most students lose focus at 25 minutes
it’s a mistake to keep going once you do, since you won’t actually learn anything and you’ll hate every minute of it
so when you start losing focus take a 5 minute break
do something nice like talking to someone or listening to music
it’s something you practice so with time you’ll be able to work for more time without losing focus
in the end of the study session have a big reward you look forward to

Create a study area

environment highly affects the way you act. Bedrooms are for sleeping, kitchens for eating: you’ll feel sleepy in your bedroom and hungry in the kitchen. So if you have a study area, it’ll be easier to start studying and staying focused.
study in a specific room like an office or school library if you can
if you have to study in your bedroom use a specific object you only use for studying: a lamp/desk. Make it a no-distraction, away from your bed, blank walls area.

The more active the learning, the better

80% active learning 20% passive
ask yourself: is it a concept or a fact?
learning a concept: understand/grasp/know it
put it into your own words
really think about the meaning of it
relate it with something you already know
teach somebody else. Recapitulate what you’ve learned. Talk out loud even if you don’t have anyone to teach – talk alone. Or at anyone that listens.
learning a fact: memorize it
use mnemonics
Acronyms (e.g. colours of the rainbow RoyGBiv – red orange yellow green blue indigo violet)
Coined sayings – anything popular or sayings you’ve heard since you were a child.
Interacting images – work even better if they’re weird. Creative associations make you never forget specific details. (e.g. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories: picture a fat cat – each cat has 9 lives)
any time 2 things are highly similar but not the same you will get maximal interference!! USE mnemonics!! (e.g. afferent vs efferent neurons: SAME – Sensory Afferent Motor Efferent)

Be a part of study groups

others can help you in ways you never thought before

Recognizing VS remembering

never confuse the two
while reviewing a chapter you may recognize concepts but not actually know them
and when you get to the test you won’t be able to remember any of it
so quiz yourself without looking at it
or stop in a page of your notes/textbook and ask yourself what is the concept immediately after and before it

Get your REM Sleep

get ~8 hours so you don’t undo your studying
this is how your brain stores permanent memories
without it you’re ability to remember seriously decreases
most people don’t even begin to take the advice but it’s simple: sleep better. Do better.
There’s 162 hours in a week. There is time.
reflect on what you are doing with your time and what activities you have to prioritize to succed as a student

Taking notes is vital.

right after the class take 5 minutes to expand everything you’ve jotted down, give it depth.
NOT hours later. You won’t remember half the things you wrote down.
Ask your questions to class mates and teachers.
teachers want you to succeed and it’s more than ok to ask your question in the teacher’s office or in the next class

How to use a textbook: SQ3R technique
Survey Question Read Recite Review
Survey: skim through the entire chapter in a couple of minutes.
Raise questions: e.g. what is osmosis? What is this graphic about? What is a prototype?
it causes you to look for answers and you’ll find the information better once you actually study it after. If you intend to find something you learn it better.

Start studying for tests early.

don’t undo yourself. You should only be reviewing the days before the test. don’t leave it till the last minute!


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