10 Unconventional Study Methods that Actually Work

  • Put On Some Music

Psychologists and educators agree: no two people learn the same way. That means that there is no cookie-cutter approach to studying that will work with every student. Today’s message is for any student who has struggled with studying. If that describes you, keep reading. We have ten pieces of advice that we think you will find useful.


#1: Put On Some Music

 There are different schools of thought over whether it is beneficial or detrimental to listen to music while studying. Yes, it creates a distraction. No, it is typically not relevant to the topic f study. It can however help some students center in on the task at hand. Stick with commercial-free playlists and steer clear of off-air radio as the barrage of ads and DJ breaks can easily derail concentration.

#2: Eat Some Sushi

 It is not all cliché to say that fish is “brain food.” Omega 3 fatty acids have been scientifically proven to increase brain and memory functions. That means that if you eat sushi made with fish that is high in Omega 3 (like salmon), you could very well retain more information and spend less time studying.

#3: Utilize Online Helps

 We have two bits of advice in the “unconventional” Category. First, steer to YouTube and start watching videos. There is content there on nearly any subject, including most regular high school and college courses. Next, seek the help and expertise of one of many paper writing services. Yes, it is possible to utilize them ethically. Think of it as having a paid writing tutor to pore over your research and help make sense of what you already know. It’s an effective way to help make the knowledge you already possess make sense on paper.

#4: Read Your Notes Aloud

 We retain a much more significant percentage of what we hear than what we read, but sight is also a huge memory-retainer. When you combine spoken word with reading, the combination can help retain more of the information, negating the need to revise on the same topic over and over again.

#5: Take Frequent Breaks

 Whether you decide to deviate from the academic videos and find something funny to watch on YouTube or leave the house/dorm altogether to collect your thoughts, breaks are a necessary part of the learning process. It gives the brain the required downtime to solidify and catalog what it is learning.

#6: Sit Up Straight

 Lounging in bed or lying on the floor can be detrimental to the studying process. As the body gets more comfortable, the brain also relaxes and stops working optimally. We aren’t saying to sit on nails or purposely make yourself uncomfortable, don’t get so pleased that you end retaining what you’re studying.

#7: Exercise

 Exercise can augment study efforts in two ways. First, it can also help retain more of the information during revision making it easier to maintain more information in less time. It is also a great strategy to exercise right before a test. The increased blood flow to the brain helps keep it functioning optimally, recalling information faster and with greater accuracy.

#8: Take Charge of Your Study Group

 Take the opportunity to share your knowledge with other students. The more you “teach” what is being studied, the more confident you will be in how well you understand the information. That confidence is likely to translate into better grades on tests and less time studying independently.

#9: Rewrite Key Class Notes

 Determine which details are most important and copy – by hand – all relevant notes on the topic. Just like reading aloud, the involvement in the process of writing will help the brain make correlations between the physical act and the information itself.

#10: Aromatherapy

 Scented candles, oils, and incenses can have a calming and focusing effect that can help make those all-important retentive effects making it easier to both understand, process, and retain information. Be sure to choose something that is pleasant and not disruptive to everyone else in the dorm, though!

As you decide which bits of the above advice to take or dismiss, keep in mind that “unconventional” means just that. These methods have been proven effective with varying degrees of both scientific and anecdotal evidence. Not every method will work for every student, but it is our sincere hope that you find at least one or two that you haven’t tried that will ultimately help make the most of the time you spend studying.

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