With back-to-school commercials showing at full speed ahead, it's time to say sayonara to those summer days and once more remember how to study. [A moment of silence for happiness, freedom, and spare time, here].
But while barricading yourself in the library might be tried and true (or at least tried), there is a better way—in fact, there's at least 22 of them. So go forth—fearlessly take on the tests for anything from AP Misery to Orgo 3000, with these science-backed tips.
Remember Your Stuff
Bedtime stories are for kids. Instead of reading the Berenstain Bears, try studying for a few minutes right before hitting the hay. During sleep, the brain strengthens new memories, so there’s a good chance we’ll remember whatever we review right before dozing off. (Just try not to bring work into the actual bed, since it can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.)
Research suggests studying the same stuff in a different place every day makes us less likely to forget that information. Every time we move around (from the library to the coffee shop or the coffee shop to the toilet seat), we force the brain to form new associations with the same material so it becomes a stronger memory.
Don’t stick to one topic; instead, study a bunch of different material in one sitting. This technique helps prepare us to use the right strategy for finding the solution to a problem. For example, doing a bunch of division problems in a row means every time we approach a problem, we know it’ll require some division. But doing a series of problems that require multiplication, division, or addition means we have to stop and think about which strategy is best.
Sorry, not that kind of drink. Instead, hit the local coffee shop for something caffeine-filled; there’s lots of research suggesting coffee (and tea) keeps us alert, especially when nothing seems more exciting than the shiny gum wrapper on the library floor.
As anyone who’s ever relied on Rihanna to make it through an all-night study session knows, music can help beat stress. And while everyone’s got a different tune preference, classical music in particular has been shown to reduce anxiety and tension. So give those biology notes a soundtrack and feel at least some of the stress slide away.
When there’s a textbook full of equations to memorize, it can be tempting to stay up all night committing them to memory (or trying to). But all-nighters rarely lead to an automatic A—in fact, they’ve been linked to impaired cognitive performance and greater sensitivity to stress. In the days leading up to a big exam, aim to get those seven to nine hours a night so sleep deprivation doesn’t undo all the hard work you’ve put in.
Originally posted December 2012. Updated September 2015.
Original article and pictures take http://greatist.com/happiness/better-study-tips-test/ site