Study tips

We all know the typical study tips: the Pomodoro method, getting eight hours of sleep or doing practice problems. However, these only scratch the surface of what students need for academic success.

Here are more study tips that can maximize your grades and leave you with more free time!

The ask and answer method: After reviewing the information, create self-test questions to promote active recall and answer them until you remember them by heart. This method is especially useful if there are no practice questions available.

Listen to ambient noise while studying: Most people don’t study well when listening to music with lyrics because it hampers your working memory. However, consider listening to ambient noise, white noise, classical music or lo-fi music. These forms of music are less distracting and can help improve concentration.

Complete practice tests in timed settings: Often, university exams are a time crunch and you might find yourself leaving exam questions incomplete. To avoid this situation, use the practice tests and time yourself to simulate a real exam setting. If you don’t want to sit for an extensive period, take quick breaks by pausing your timer and then coming back to your timed practice test when you feel refreshed.

Exercise during your study breaks: Instead of checking your phone every hour, why not exercise? A simple cobra stretch, push-ups or a five- to ten-minute workout can do the job. Exercising during your break can improve concentration and memory.

Look up: Looking down at our computer screen intensifies neck strain and fatigue. Try positioning your computer at eye level with a laptop stand or a stack of books.

Search up YouTube videos for course topics: Sometimes, textbook examples can be difficult to navigate and aren’t sufficient for completing practice questions. You should look for videos that explain the topic with more relevant practice problems and allow for a greater conceptual understanding.

Read aloud and explain concepts to others: Reading aloud is a better memory aid compared to rereading information silently in your head. Explaining concepts to yourself and your study buddies in a conversational manner can also help with retention.

Don’t get stuck on an assignment or problem for too long: If you are stuck on a question for more than 10 minutes, ask someone else for help on Piazza, during office hours or through online homework forums. Or, change to a different subject to restimulate your brain. Being stuck on a question can eat up your time without you realizing it and only increase stress, so switch gears if necessary.

Wishing you all the best with your studies!