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How to Study Properly: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | October 1st, 2013 | Teen Perspective, Teens

studyingLike many students, I am a poor studier.  I do not particularly enjoy studying, nor do I study frequently.  So far in my high school career, I have been able to pull off good grades without studying.  Now that I am entering my senior year, though, I am finding that I need to study.  Many of my courses are hard-knowledge-intensive enough that I can’t memorize everything in class.  Because I am studying , I though I would share some tips on how to study properly.

One of the biggest mistakes students seem to make is attempting to study too much for too long.  The secret to studying is handling it in little bites.  While it may seem necessary to cram the entire contents of your history book before a test, this will never work.  Attempting to study a lot in a short period of time will make you very bored, limit the amount of information you actually retain, and even tire you out.  It is more sensible to study for short periods of time (30 to 45 minutes) and then take a quick 15-minute break.  If you are following this technique, though, limit activities like texting to your break time.  If you are texting during your study time, you defeat the purpose of this.  Also, make sure your breaks are quick! Don’t make up excuses to extend your break.

If you are studying, it is also best to eat brain food.  I know this sounds dumb, but it’s true.  Certain foods really will help you focus and remain awake, while other foods will only hurt your abilities.  Take caffeine for an example.  Caffeine may seem like a logical choice for the evening studier, but it really isn’t.  Caffeine will actually make you easily distractible, because you are too energized to study well.  Fruit and nuts are your best choice for study sessions.  Both will provide energy, be light on your stomach, and supposedly help your memory.  At the same time, I can also make a good case for Doritos, so to each their own.

Finally, avoid lying down in bed when you study.  Everyone does this now and then, but it honestly is a bad idea.  Lying down in bed makes you too comfortable and falling asleep becomes too easy.  Falling asleep when you study is always a bad idea.  Sitting up is best, because it is harder to fall asleep and you are in the same pose that you will be in when you take the test.  That may seem dumb, but you will associate situational aspects when remembering things.  That’s why people will remember random facts when they hear certain songs or see certain images.  It’s just one of the weird aspects of the human brain.

Studying can be a major challenge for all students, but there are certain strategies that can help.  Above all else, though, find what is best for you.  If you find something that works better for you personally, do it.  Everyone is different and will have their own tricks.

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