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15 Unconventional Study Tips

15 Unconventional Study Tips

If your norms aren’t working, why not give these tips a try?

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 27, 2013

Everyone knows the usual tips and tricks to studying, but you’re seemingly out of luck if they don’t work for you.

Not everyone is the same, which means that people learn differently as individuals. Sometimes you need that extra push or reward and, perhaps, to even trick yourself into studying.

Some you’ve heard, some you’ve heard the opposite. Maybe you think they’re conventional because they work for you. But, if your norms aren’t working, why not give these tips a try?

1. Treat yourself – Rewards are, well, rewarding. If you give yourself something to look forward to like, say, a 5 minute walk after each chapter, you’ll likely work harder towards your goal.

2. Study alone – Whether deciding to study alone or with a group is helpful is relative and depends on both the group and the individual. You need to determine whether or not the group is productive and how you study best to decide if this tip is for you.

3. Review the readings after class – They say to give your brain a break, but if you review right after class discussions, you might connect the dots more so than reading alone.

4. Study in bed – If it’s the last thing you see before you go to bed and the first thing you see as you get up, it’ll likely soak in. No guarantees here, but it’s definitely worth a try.

5. Munch during exams – Ever been in an exam and your stomach is growling? That’s the absolute worst. It can completely ruin all focus and distract you for the entire exam. Pack a snack, just in case.

6. Go somewhere new – A change of scenery can do wonders! Not to mention, sitting at the library without any distractions in front of you doesn’t hurt, either.

7. Take frequent breaks – Newsflash: you’re only human. You need to take breaks every so often to let your brain breathe, so to speak.

8. Teach others – They say you learn more by teaching others. This is likely because you’re actually explaining concepts versus memorizing them. If you can teach it, you likely know your stuff.

9. Turn off screens – It’s a crazy notion, we know. But containing your distractions – many of which are screen-based – will help you focus immensely.

10. Rewrite, again – You can certainly learn through writing, over and over again. Repetitive writing can help you soak up the concepts – think of those cartoon characters writing, “I will not talk out of turn” 500 times on the blackboard.

11. Understand versus memorize – When you truly understand a concept, memorization naturally follows. Try to understand the core of what you’re learning and build upon that, versus memorizing for each test and forgetting afterwards. This will also help you master your final exams!

12. Make acronyms and metaphors – Cheesy but catchy words and phrases are helpful tools for memorization. Don’t underestimate the power of a silly song, either!

13. Exercise – After studying for a while, take a break to exercise. It will rejuvenate you and, while you’re exercising, you can review concepts in your head.

14. Relax the night before an exam – If you study early, then you can relax and lightly review the night before an exam. You’ll definitely be in a better testing state if you have a full night’s sleep the night before.

15. Use technology to help visualize – It’s definitely the opposite of number nine, but this is more about using the distractions of technology to your advantage. Digital flashcards, study apps and making PowerPoint presentations instead of a study guide are just some of the ways to do this. (Bonus points that most of these digital methods are eco-friendly, too!)



Do you have any unconventional study tips?


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