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10 Best Scientific Study Tips

by Chetna Vasishth

 

Read on for the 10 Best Scientific Study Tips and how to Study Effectively for School or College for the best studying techniques and scientific study tips to students, researched ways to study effectively and scientific ways to study. Chetna Vasishth gives the 10 best scientific study tips and some of the best scientific study tips for students to crack their exams.

MS BENT FIST

1. Music without lyrics on the loop

This is a scientifically proven fact that music without vocals helps people focus while they study. Explore genres like flamenco music, Indian classical, minimalist music with a repetitive beat. It is said that Steve Jobs used to listen to Carnatic music on the loop while working.

2. Subject variety

rather than focusing on just one or two subjects. Studies show that it is more effective to study multiple subjects each day. The brain is more likely to get confused and face fatigue if you study too much of one subject in a day.

So,break up your day into three or four sessions e.g. morning, afternoon, evening and night and pick up a different subject for each session. Another benefit of this is that you can periodically revise what you learnt a few days back rather than having too long breaks between subjects.

3. Take Breaks

Now that we’re breaking up our day into four different sessions. Here is what each single session can look like – study for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break, study for another 60 minutes and then take a much longer break after that.

To get more blood to the brain, get up and stretch, reward yourself to a healthy snack and dance or go for a short walk with a friend – helps make learning more efficient by allowing for a memory refresh and refocus.

4. Exercise

Studying a lot makes us very tired and we just want to munch some fries in front of the TV after that or keep messaging on our phone. But active students usually perform better. Studies have shown an increased oxygen flow to the brain after a light workout stimulates learning. Some researchers believe that the dopamine that exercise stimulates within us help you stay focused, productive and motivated and helps keep away depression, stress, ADHD and anxiety, all of which hamper learning

5. Take Notes and Make Notes

Familiarity with the content is the key to being able to learn it well. I find it crucial to take good notes. Science has proven that handwritten notes are more effective than the ones you make on your laptop. Besides they also reduce chances of distractions.

In college I had a set of multi coloured pens and made these colourful notes for every subject, with my own diagrams and doodles. Once you decide to write notes when the teacher is speaking, you also end up listening more carefully and one level of understanding has already happened right there. Feel free to make diagrams, flash cards, flowcharts, mnemonics to give your memory visual support.

If writing is not your thing, record notes in your own voice – if you need to memorize something, a long speech or piece of text. Record it on your phone in your own voice and hear it repeatedly, when you’re in a bus, or before going to bed. That way your sub conscious mind will work on it.

6. Teach the concept to someone

science has shown that when we study something to learn it vs to teach it, the understanding and retention is much more enhanced when we are preparing to teach. “If you can’t find someone to teach, teach it to your favourite stuffed animal.

7. Solve a problem with a Friend

Science has shown that studying with someone or in a group helps most people. You can talk out the steps to solving a math problem, explain a scientific concept, or discuss the structure of your essay with a friend. Verbalizing concepts and ideas can help solidify them in your mind.

Use with discretion, it is important to choose equally focussed and likeminded friends, and also remember that a quick phone call could sometimes be more efficient than a plan to meet for the entire day.

8. Information Variety

Learn the same information in a variety of ways Research shows that different media stimulate different parts of the brain. The more areas of the brain that are activated, the more likely it is that you’ll understand and retain the information. So, to learn a specific topic, you could do the following:

  1. Read your notes and update them
  2. Read the textbook
  3. Watch a Khan Academyor YouTube video
  4. Look up other online resources
  5. Create a mind map, draw flashcards or flowcharts

Of course, you won’t be able to do all these things in one sitting. But each time you review the topic, use a different resource or method – you’ll learn better this way.

9. Sleep

the brain needs to rest, just like my bent fist does. And the brain as you know produces different types of brain waves. Studies show that it is the alpha waves which help in reduction of stress and anxiety as well as with memory and creativity.

So when do our brains produce alpha waves – first thing in the morning, just before you go to sleep, when you’re daydreaming, doing aerobic exercise or practicing meditation. So doing more of all these things is a great idea.

So, what are the best times to study – first thing in the morning, just before going to bed, soon after a mild exercise session, after a session of meditation and when you are calm and relaxed are the best times to study. Also, one way to bio-hack the brain is to take a mid-day nap at least once every day.

10. Test – do practice tests and mock tests often

Decades of research has shown that taking practice tests is crucial to improving your academic performance. So do a lot of mock tests and past exam papers. After each attempt analyse your performance, go back revise the concept once again wherever you have made mistakes and take up another practice test a week later. A word of caution, pick up the mock tests only after you have studied the concept thoroughly and ensure you give yourself time between tests to go back and re-look at the concepts.

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