The Cognitive Science Of Highly Effective Study Habits

Here’s the science of highly effective study habits that students can use in school.

Effective Study Habits

One of the most challenging parts of being a student is the process of studying the lesson. Unfortunately, it’s not easy. That’s why studying is what students hate the most.

Study habits of students can be varied. However, not all study habits are effective. What you heard from other people might not always work. For example, you might hear people say that the library is the best place to study. Or, the worse practice is studying an hour before the actual exam.

Unfortunately, not all of these practices are effective. So how will you study your lessons fast and efficient? What are the effective study habits that can help you succeed in your academic endeavor?

The science of highly effective study habits

Researchers from the Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab (UCLA) have proposed few steps to effective study habits. In the short video, they proposed five most powerful strategies to understand and remember your lessons more efficiently. Here are the tips:

1. Retrieval

One of the most effective ways toward effective study habits is retrieval. This process involves taking notes after the class trying to remember what has been just discussed. You can do this at home or at night before going to sleep. Try to remember the important information from the class. This process can have a positive impact on your memory and your ability to retrieve information.

2. Test yourself

Most students would sit and study the lessons from a book. They try to memorize the concepts over and over again until they remember them clearly. However, cognitive researchers suggest that the best way to study your lesson is actually by testing yourself. This process requires you to take the courage to determine what you know and what you don’t.

For example, if you are browsing a chapter of your book, try not to look at it. Instead, try to answer the possible questions your teacher or the actual exam might ask from the topic. This process would help you to determine whether or not you have already grasped important information.

3. Space practice

One of the biggest mistakes of students is that they tend to study hard several hours before the exam. The problem with this is that the information will not last long in the memory. As a result, your performance may decline eventually.

So instead of cramming, try to schedule your study time every day. You can take 15 minutes every morning to read your notes, 15 minutes after lunch, and 15 minutes before going to bed. You can benefit more from this process than taking everything at one time.

4. Mix concepts

What students try to do while studying is that they tend to focus on one concept at a time. For instance, they want to stay in a certain chapter of a book and understand it thoroughly before moving to the next chapter. But studies had shown that mixing up concepts are actually helpful than the latter.

Mixing the concepts allows you to compare pieces of information. It will not only make you better understand the concepts but also gives you a better view of the concepts.

5. Mix locations

One of the basic advice on effective study habits is to find a perfect silent place. Going to the library seems to be the best choice. However, science found out that mixing study locations can have better benefits than staying in one place. This means that you can study wherever you are. It could be in your dining room, in a fast food store, or in your bed.

The reason why mixing location is helpful in studying is that the environmental cues can help associate the information with the concepts that you are trying to remember. Thus, every concept that you are learning is associated with at least one thing that you see around you while studying.

What are your effective study habits? Please share them below.

Watch the actual video at Pro Tips.


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