We’ve scoured our brains, research papers and the internet for the best study hacks to help your brain remember information quicker, longer and easier.
1. Speak Out Loud Instead of Simply Reading
Although this may make you look a little crazy, give it a go! You will be surprised how much more you can remember when you’ve said it out loud. Warning: Don’t try this in a crowded library!
2. Teach What You Have Learned
The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else. If you can’t get anyone to listen to you explain the Pythagorean Theorem, why not teach a class of stuffed animals!
3. Create Mental Associations
The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence. Steve Jobs famously said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”.
Mind Maps are an easy way to connect ideas by creating a visual overview of different connections.
4. Draw Diagrams
Drawing diagrams will help you to visualise information which would be hard to describe. This creates a visual memory in your mind which can be recalled in an exam. You may even be asked to draw or label diagrams such as the human heart in your exam so get practicing!
5. Watch a Documentary on the Topic
Documentaries are an entertaining way of compacting an entire story into a short timeframe. This will help you remember key details from a story plus you may even get extra credit for mentioning that you took the initiative and watched a film about the topic!
6. Create Flashcards for Quick Memory Buzz
Quickly test your knowledge of key concepts, definitions, quotes and formulas with flashcards.
7. Take Regular Study Breaks
When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working. Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period, anything new after 1 hour 30 minutes does not get assimilated.
8. Listen to the Correct Type of Music
The correct types of music can lead to more productive studying by elevating your mood. Have you made your playlist yet?
9. Practice, Practice, Practice…
Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information. Create realistic, exam-like condition and test your understanding.
10. Don’t Stay Up All Night Before an Exam
Make sure to get adequate rest the nights leading up to your exams. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned when studying so getting a good night’s sleep will help you remember those pesky maths formulas you need for your exam!
11. Discover News Ways to Learn
Trying new methods of studying can help you find what really works for you. Use technology to your advantage by watching educational TED Talks or downloading useful dictionary apps for example.
12. Study in a Group
Studying in a group can help you collect new insights to enhance your learning experience. It helps you share resources, discuss ideas and interact with members of your team or group project.
Studies say that meditation can help students stay focused when studying. Not only will meditation help you concentrate when studying but it will help reduce pre-exam stress as it improves both mental and physical health.
14. Eat berries for better long-term memory
15. Exercise to improve your memory recall
Of course, the benefits of exercise are numerous, but for the brain in particular, regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities beyond memory. So if you’re looking for a way to stay sharp mentally, taking a walk could be the answer.