Study Tips For College Success

on September 14, 2013

Been enjoying college life a little too much? This can happen to the best of us.

By now, however, you may have come to the conclusion that the top results for those inconvenient tests tend to come after an endless night of shoving as much as possible knoweldge into your short-term memory – to later be called upon following day.

If you shudder with the thought of drinking another 5-hour energy drink, to help you stay the course, then you know where I am going with this.

Yes, those all-nighters do have their place in college life, but by tweaking your strategies, you may be able to invoke the use of your long-term memory with less work – and less dark rings under your eyes.

How, you ask?

• Attend class regularly – By paying attention in class, and taking notes, the information gathered is moved into your short-term memory. From there, you can shift it over to long-term memory storage. By reviewing your notes after class and before your next lecture you activate your long-term memory, coaxing the information into permanent structures.

• Prepare for class – Perusing your notes prior to class, or reading the assigned material, your memory banks are able to interact effectively with the new knowledge acquired, enabling long-term storage. If you have an understanding of the subject matter prior to your lectures, you will be better able to assimilate and understand the new information.

• Practice makes perfect – As with all things, training gets you results. Feeding your memory a little at a time, on an ongoing basis, helps to strengthen the existing connections in your brain. By training your mind to process the information you need it to retain, and by allowing it to assimilate this with previously acquired long-term knowledge, you will absorb the material into your long-term memory for successful exam-time retrieval.

• Doing what’s necessary – Of course for “all-night” learners, the thought of preparing for class and planning in advance goes against the grain. Sometimes, due to extenuating circumstances or your personal style of learning, an all-nighter may be best.

Here is another thing to consider. By being a procrastinator, you have skillfully ensured that you don’t have the time to sit down and revise.

A possible solution here is to “trick” your brain into putting in the extra work – without it feeling as though you are actually working.

Leave note pages beside your bed at night. Before you pick up a book, you can glance through your notes. Take a few pages in your carrier bag and while waiting for friends at the local hangout, catch up on a point or two covered in the day’s lectures.

By taking advantage of a few spare moments, you can make significant positive changes. Don’t classify it as “studying” per se. Just let it be a bit of extra fuel for your long-term memory.

These small learning opportunities will add to your long-term memory and increase overall retention, thereby freeing you to get a good night’s rest before your exams.


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