Since we now know how inefficient it is, memorizing textbooks has been deemed an outdated study habit. It’s every student’s dream to study at lighting speed so they can have more leisure time, but speed is only one aspect. What matters most is that you’re able to recall and apply the information correctly.
We’re no longer learning just for the sake of getting good grades. In today’s job market, the highest paying positions are given to candidates who can remain competitive by constantly refining and acquiring new skills.
Most of us have experienced the frustration of overwhelming academic demands. As much as you try, you can’t get the information in your brain, and you start to feel weighed down by all the expectations placed on you. You get compared to peers that seem to do better, which makes you doubt yourself. Or maybe you’re doing the comparing and come to the conclusion that you’re simply less intelligent than them, and it’s all hopeless. It’s more likely that they’ve developed better study habits that give them those results.
This doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a process that requires experimentation. If you keep at it, you’ll eventually find methods that work for you. We hope that these tips will help you get one step closer to reaching your academic ambitions.
Cram sessions may be an integral part of college life, but they’re very ineffective. It’s likely that you’ve learned this through your own experience. You feel really nervous about the exam you have to take the next day, which makes you feel quite energized. Well, that and all the coffee and energizers you keep drinking. But since you’re so nervous, it’s also a lot harder to focus and understand what you’re trying to learn. Passages that you could have understood on the first read on other days now sound cryptic, and you have to go over them three or four times until you realize that it was actually something very simple.
What’s even harder is getting this information to stick. Eventually, you look at the time, panic, and decide that the best thing you can do is lower your standards so you can cover more material.
When you show up for the exam, you’re sweating, and you can feel that your blood pressure is up. You can’t think properly enough from sleep deprivation combined with caffeine and anxiety. But you do what you can and hope it all goes well. The rest of the day, you feel groggy and exhausted.
Several spaced-out study sessions would give you much better results and would also be better for your health. But maybe you already know that. Your problem is that you can’t help procrastinating. The reason you keep having to go through the torture of cram sessions is that you keep putting it off until the night before the exam. However, wouldn’t it be easier to convince yourself to study for one hour rather than six? The longer the study session, the more intimidating they will feel, and the more you’ll tend to postpone them.
Get Enough Rest
You know how hard it is to think straight if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for the health of your brain and your health in general. It’s also very important for memory consolidation.
Any information we try to learn first gets stored in short-term memory. For example, when you’re reading from a textbook, you can repeat a few sentences back to yourself, but you can’t repeat an entire page unless you memorize it paragraph by paragraph. That’s because short-term memory is limited and has a fast decay rate. You have to keep going over the same paragraph again and again, and one session isn’t enough.
This is yet another reason why you should avoid cramming. Research shows that you get the best results in terms of recall if you study in the evening, sleep, and then review in the morning. If you have trouble sleeping when you’re close to exams because of the stress, you can try CBD products from PureHemp Farms. CBD can help you cope better with stress, improve your sleep and your cognitive functions.
Give Your Brain the Nutrients It Needs
Bad diets are as much of an integral part of college life as cramming sessions. College students can survive on junk food and sugary treat for months. Unfortunately, although convenient, this will make studying a lot more difficult. You’ll experience a brief burst of energy, followed by a crash that makes you feel like you just lost 20 IQ points. Plus, this sort of diet affects your mood as well. You’ll be more irritable and vulnerable to stress.
Your brain works better when you give it the right fuel. Instead of junk food, you’ll want to eat more leafy greens, fruit, nuts, and fatty fish. And if you don’t know how to cook, that can be easily solved through the plethora of step-by-step video tutorials on platforms like YouTube.
When you feel like eating sugary snacks, try a healthy snack like dark chocolate. It’s a stimulant, so it might also help you cut back on coffee, and it will make it easier to focus.
Make a Study Plan and Stick to It
If studying doesn’t exactly fill you with joy, it’s not a good idea to leave for when “you feel like it.” You’ll most likely never feel like it. There are some subjects that you might feel more interested in, but even then, you’ll probably look them up online and watch videos about them, but you won’t suddenly be overcome with a desire to open your textbooks and start studying.
If you leave it up to chance, you’ll keep putting it off until you’re back to cramming the night before the exam. You need to create a manageable study schedule. Maybe you have enough time to study for about2 hours every day. Then you need to set a time and a place. You can either split the two hours into two sessions during the day or do it all in one sitting, but you have to incorporate breaks. Once you get used to a routine, it will be much easier to motivate yourself because you’ll mostly do it out of inertia.