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Study Strategies for Success

By Andre Santos; For the Clock
On November 17, 2016

Study Strategies for Success 

Andre Santos

For The Clock

aasantos@plymouth.edu

As the semester inches towards its end, students are most certainly swamped with preparations concerning final exams, presentations, and projects. If you find yourself getting stressed out about the work that needs to be done, relax, take some deep breaths, and remember you have the tools to succeed.

Study skills can make a huge impact in your test scores, and overall your grade. Not everyone adheres to one method of study, but there are many proven methods to help you remember all of the information from class. First, it is important to address the fact that in order to study efficiently it is essential that you have the right material. This means that you should have done your part by attending class, paying attention, engaging yourself in the homework, and putting in the effort.

Second, you want to have some structure of organization, this is not completely necessary but it will help you review in a timely manner. Simply dating your notes can help.

Third, is a proven method that will help you to remember information. Elaborative rehearsal is essentially you putting the information you have read and heard into your own words so you can explain it to someone else in simple terms, and therefore develop your own examples and practical connections.

This is effective because instead of trying to remember something trivial, you are adding context and your personal interpretation of the information to what you’ve learned, providing you with more cues for retrieval when taking that exam.

Another proven method for studying is spaced repetition including study and test practice, meaning if you have a test on Friday you should start studying a week ahead of time. Study a little on Friday, study some more on Monday, give yourself a practice test Wednesday, and review one more time on Friday morning.

Research shows that this method is the best for learning information and remembering information over longer periods of time. Lastly is something termed context-dependent learning, meaning, if you take your exam in a quiet room at a desk the best way to study is in a quiet place with a desk. Research shows that people perform better on tests when they learn the information in the same place.

To recap; show up, take notes, space out your studying, test yourself, and mimic your test-taking environment with your study environment; these strategies, if made habits, will improve your grades overall, thus reducing academic stress. 

 

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