At some point during your academic career, you may sit back and think – I’m not exactly sure how I should be studying? This is a thought that plagues many students at various times throughout their academic careers. Thus, it has become the focus of many research articles. Researchers have set out to understand the different studying techniques and how they work for different types of students.
Here at Cognition & Co, we would like to provide you, the astute learner, with our four simple rules that will illuminate your journey of self-reflection and shed light on your path to great results.
Rule 1: You have got to find what works for you!
The most important aspect to understand is that not everyone studies the same way. There are three kinds of students according to the VAK (Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic) theory. Visual learners tend to do best from studying materials such as videos, study notes, and movies. Auditory learners study best from engaging in discussions, debates, and group work regarding the particular study topic. Finally, Kinesthetic learners tend to learn best from tasks such as field trips or simply chewing bubblegum while studying their work. In order to find out which learning style best suits you, click the following link from businessballs.com and take the VAK test.
Rule 2: Don’t let anxiety get the best of you!
We all struggle with some pre-test nerves at some point; an important part of making sure you ace your test is to calm your nerves down, both before the test and during the studying process. Ever had that feeling where you feel you know the content of your work so well, but you open the exam and your mind goes blank? That is the consequence of stress. Stress can temporarily sever essential connections in the human brain necessary for memory function. One way to assist in calming those nerves down is to do some mindfulness activities. Click this link for 17 Science-Backed ways to relieve stress right now!
Rule 3: Find the environment that’s right for you!
Do you study best with music on? With absolute silence? What about in the library or in a coffee shop with free unlimited WiFi? It is essential to find your studying preference, so as to have the optimal study environment to optimize your results. Your study environment should include the development of a routine; this is important to kick-start you into study mode and fully immerse yourself in your notes. We like to study in a quiet room with headphones on. If you like to listen to music too; try this link. The music is designed to stimulate your concentration and focus without being too obtrusive or distracting.
Rule 4: Put your phone in another room!
An interesting study found that merely having your phone with you while writing a test can reduce your cognitive ability and therefore negatively impact your examination performance. Those who studied for, and wrote tests with their phones in another room, showed significantly higher test scores when compared with those that had their phones on the table, in their pocket, or in their bag. This decline in cognitive functioning was not due to notifications popping up on the screens during the test, but merely because of the presence of the phone in the test room. Try it next time you’re studying; put your phone in another room and see how much better you’re able to concentrate.
We hope these simple rules have opened your mind to unlimited academic success. If you have any other studying tricks and tips that you would like to share, leave us a comment below.
This article was written for Cognition & Co by our friend Chelsea West. Chelsea is a Registered Counsellor that completed her BPsych degree at Pearson Institute of Higher Education (now Eduvos).