As a student, there are several things that you can live without. You can survive without your Superman pajamas, you can live without binge-watching Breaking Bad. You could even live without ramen….ok, maybe not that. But the one thing you definitively cannot live without is the 15 study hacks that every student should know.
If you don´t know them (meaning that you have virtually being a zombie until this day) you are in luck because we are about to spell them out for you! So brace yourself and get ready.
Life at campus is not only parties and frats, in case you haven´t noticed. There is this thing that you need to be doing, and doing a lot, and that is studying (plus going to class, of course). The future is trusting that you will be handling it professionally after all. So, live up to it, Johnny!
Being practical and effective is pretty much the best way to go when it comes to studying. Some hacks to make your life easier are more than welcome. Nope, it is not cheating, amigo; it is shortcuts. This is about studying effectively and getting those high grades that will earn you grandma´s meatballs.
- Split lesson in small bits
You need to split the content into bits. Ideally, split into parts that you know you will be able to go through without getting up for that cup of milk. Don’t overload yourself with chunks that will stress you even more.
- Manage your time effectively
All students need to become time management pros. Divide up the content into incrementing parts. This will allow your brain to focus more effectively. For example, make a schedule where you go through the content in sections of 30 to 40 minutes, or so. Or, you could use the Pomodoro method. This is to split your study time in chunks of 25 minutes with 5-minute breaks between them. You will need a nice and fancy tomato timer. If you are broke, try an online one.
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- Reward yourself
Place treats for yourself at the end of every bit you have split your content into. Seriously. Everybody will suggest gummy bears. Why not! This will keep you motivated into achieving every small goal. Rewarding yourself will keep up this motivation.
- Get some beauty…err, study sleep
No matter how tempted you are to pull an all-nighter for studying, trust us, it does not work. You are better off if you have a relaxing routine for going to bed. Before going to bed, turn off the computer. Take a little walk to stretch your legs a bit and help bring some extra oxygen to your brain. Before going to sleep, do something relaxing like reading a book or listen to soft music.
During the day, it is recommended that, before getting down to studying, you take a power nap. This is, a 30-minute sleep away from noise. If you cannot cancel out the noise, use sound-proof headphones.
- Feed properly
It is all from the inside out. Feed yourself with healthy food to boost your brain. Eggs are a great diet if you want some extra vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Try healthy balanced breakfasts with a nice combination of fruits, healthy fats (nuts), and proteins. Some excellent brain food includes all the stuff you might not love: spinach, lentils, beets, and similar. Yep, your mom was right.
- Learn when your peak hours are
Some scientist say that your peak performance time is approximately two hours after you wake up. So, if you wake up at six in the morning, you will be on fire by 8 am. Use this time to perform those tasks that you know require lots of concentration. Check your Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and the ‘gram at later times in the evening. This is the time of the day where your performance begins to drop.
- Organize a morning routine
If you organize a good morning routine, you will feel more pumped the rest of the day. Really! Get up early and start getting organized. You will feel like an awesome conqueror!
- Use music to relax
You can listen to music to help you relax. Try classical or instrumental music. You favorite music might not be a good choice as you will wind up singing it and grooving.
- Go for a walk
Scientific studies have suggested that physical activity can boost your cognitive skills. Remember those five minutes for the Pomodoro technique? Use that break to take a short walk while listening to music if you prefer. It is all connected!
- Get rid of distractions
You need to stay focused while you are studying. Oh, but the internet is so full of stuff waiting for you to check out. From the new joke online to the video on how to put makeup on a bear, your phone is full of distractors. Run away from them! Do not have the will power to do so? Try these online tools to help. Do not know how to unglue from the phone? This app actually gets you discounts at some stores for not using it. Cool, huh?
- Post it
Use post-its to jot down those concepts that are difficult for you to understand. You will not need to get back and look on the book when you need to see them again.
- Write down instead of typing
We love to take our fancy laptop to class to take notes. But studies have concluded that writing down stuff will help you better retain information than if you type it. Now, if you are still down to typing on your new powerful notebook, use Times New Roman. If necessary, get some help about the best writing techniques to keep crispy, awesome notes.
- Chew gum
Chewing gum actually boosts your performance. According to studies, the continuous physical activity involved in constant chewing helps you concentrate longer.
- Spray some unfamiliar scent
You need to stay alert to keep you from getting drowsy. Spraying a weird (not smelly) scent on the room will help you stay up.
- Say things out loud
It is amazing how saying things out loud helps you better remember them. Just make sure you are not in the library while you do so.
The hardest part of getting things done is to get started. So, what are you waiting for? Close social media sites now and get down to studying. Now!
Emma Perry is a tutor and freelance writer, who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She also loves inspiring and motivating people and has spent the last 5 years improving and helping the others to improve.