Do you have a study strategy? Does it involve long hours reading endless passages, downing caffeinated drinks, and forcing yourself to do one more math problem? Are you constantly interrupted by your phone chirping at you with text messages, instagram updates and snapchats?
If any of the above sounds familiar, will you be surprised to know that there is a better way? Studies have shown that short, frequent study sessions are the most effective way to study. You heard correctly – short, frequent study sessions.
Your brain functions better when it has time to rest and recharge. Try setting a timer for 20-30 minutes, remove all distractions (turn off the phone!) and focus on the task at hand. When the timer goes off, take a break! It is important that your break is timed also. During your break, check your phone, do a couple of jumping jacks or grab a snack. Then turn off that phone, set the timer again and focus on the next task. Experiment with what amounts of time work best for you and try changing subjects after your breaks to stimulate your brain and also to give it a chance to process the material.
Another good strategy – take advantage of whatever time you have, whether it is in the car, between classes, while you are waiting for your ride. If you only have ten minutes, review your notes or go over your flashcards, but concentrate fully during those ten minutes. Then take a break. Your brain will thank you and you will be surprised to find how efficient your studying becomes when you give yourself a break!
If you would like to learn more study strategies to set yourself up for success, contact the professionals at Savannah Educational Consultants.
Colleen M. Gecawich, Academic Life Coach
February 1, 2017