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If you’re a student, you know how time consuming studying can be. Use these tips to maximize your studying effectiveness in half the time, and make this year your best year yet at school.
Quality over Quantity
We all have that friend who has bragged that they “studied for 24 hours straight!” Don’t be like that friend. When it comes to studying, quality beats quantity every time. Studying in long uninterrupted blocks is unhelpful. Even though you may be placed in front of your computer or textbook, if you sit and try to focus on the same thing for too long, your mind will wander, and your effectiveness and retention capabilities will decrease significantly. Instead, take breaks while studying – at least once every hour – to make sure that you are maximizing your effectiveness.
The act of studying is draining, so whether you’re practicing good, effective habits, or bad, ineffective habits, you’re going to get tired all the same. So make sure that you’re using the time you have as efficiently as possible.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
One popular technique for “time blocking” when it comes to productivity is the Pomodoro technique. With this technique, you work non-stop for 25 minutes at a time, usually with the help of a timer. During this 25 minutes, you are focused only on one singular task – you are not taking any breaks to check your phone, browse social media, or look at other materials – you are only working on the task at hand.
Once the 25 minutes is done, stop working. Get up and take a walk, get a coffee, take some deep breaths and re-center yourself. Limit these breaks to about 5-10 minutes.
Once you’ve completed four Pomodoro cycles, then you are permitted to take a longer break: 20-30 minutes. By using this technique, you can help to amp up your focus, eliminate distractions, and remain on task when studying.
Schedule Your Time
One of the easiest ways to maximize your study time is to actually the schedule the time into your planner or Google Calendar. Do this as soon as you find out your exam date. If you’re not sure how to find your exam schedule, a simple Google search will usually work, since schools update them each semester. For example, if you go to UCSB, then search for “ucsb final exam schedule” and you’ll probably find your answer.
When you lock the time into your schedule, you are more likely to be committed to it, and make it happen.
Use Memory Tricks
Another way to maximize your study time is by using memory tricks. Probably the most popular memory trick is the use of mnemonic devices. The mnemonic technique translates information you’re trying to memorize into a pattern your brain remembers better than the original form. Usually mnemonic applications involve remembering sets and sequences of numbers (numeric), letters, and words that will correlate to a core concept in the material.
Studying doesn’t have to be an all day activity. Use these tricks to cut your study time in half, and enjoy more success than ever! And if you ever need help with your studies or exams, don’t be afraid to apply for programmes like the uniform bar exam prep that will greatly help you