We've all been through it. We've asked our friends how they study, asked our teachers how we should study, and asked ourselves why we study when we still don't seem to get the grades that we desire. It can be difficult to find the right studying habits that work for you and this can undoubtedly be the source of a lot of frustration. Instead of relying on others' experiences and advice to guide the way you prepare for an exam, try these scientifically proven ways to get better grades instead.
1. Chew gum.
Baylor College did a study that indicated that chewing gum could actually have positive effects on academic performance. According to the research, students who chewed gum performed better on standardized math tests compared to those who didn't. Chewing gum also helps relieve stress and improve alertness. Chew away!
2. Reward yourself after an exam.
Research at University of Chicago indicated that students performed better when they are offered rewards and have incentives to study harder. Rewards generally made students take exams more seriously (especially when taking financial awards in consideration). This also depends on the students' ages. Elementary students prefer trophies while, of course, high school and college students prefer money.
3. Try using active recall.
Psychologists will tell you that using active recall will improve both your studying experience as well as your grades. Recalling is putting all your notes and books away and summarizing what you just read out loud in your own words. By doing this, students are able to inscribe information into long-term memory. Next time, instead of just reading your textbook, try reciting the important parts of it instead.
4. Be a nomad.
It's true when they say that your environment can affect the way you perform and study. The New York Times published an article stating that research supported the idea that simply alternating rooms can improve retention. Additionally, according to psychologists, studying in an environment that is most similar to the environment in which you plan on taking the exam can drastically help with retaining information.
5. Believe and you can!
Psychologists will tell you about the self-fulfilling prophecy and how it can actually affect how you perform on tests. The self-fulfilling prophecy is when a person makes a prediction about an outcome, leading it to potentially become true. Expectations can drastically change the way we react in certain situations. Set high expectations for yourself and believe that you'll do well — confidence is key!
Whether it may be a quiz or a final exam, try these tips next time you study and you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. I guess science is great after all.
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