memory hacks

20 Study Hacks to Improve Your Memory…

(January 2020)

Andrea Leyden writes…We have scoured our brains and the internet for the best study hacks to help your brain remember information. Memory is a muscle. Get it in shape. This well help you to remember quicker and more easily. This will help you in your exams and in your life.

1. Walk Before An Exam

It’s been proven that exercise can boost your memory and brain power. Research conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois provides evidence that about 20 minutes exercise before an exam can improve performance.

2. 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.

3. Reward Yourself With A Treat

There are many ways to integrate a reward system into your habits so you learn how to study for exams more efficiently.

4. Teach What You Have Learned

The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Times New Roman is the Fastest Font to Read

Simply put – there’s a reason why Times New Roman is the default font on most applications!

8. Use Apps to Block Distracting Sites

The Self Control apps helps you to avoid distractions by blocking websites for a certain amount of time. Discover more student apps to make student life easier.

9. 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!

10. Search Google Like a Pro

Save time when researching sources online by mastering the biggest search engine in the world; Google. Follow Google tips to find what you need at your fingertips.

11. Create Flashcards for Quick Memory Buzz

Quickly test your knowledge of key concepts, definitions, quotes and formulas with the use of flashcards.

12. 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.

13. Listen to the Correct Type of Music

We looked into the area of how the correct types of music can lead to more productive studying by elevating your mood. Have you made your Mozart Spotify playlist yet?

14. Make Your Study Space Portable

We may be creatures of habit with favourite seats in the library, but information retention actually improves when you vary the places where you study.

15. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information. Create realistic, exam-like conditions and test your understanding.

16. 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!

17. Discover News Ways to Learn

Trying new study methods 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.

18. Use Scents or Gum to Jog Your Memory

This may seem a bit random but spraying an unfamiliar scent while you’re studying is one of the study methods that can help jog your memory when you spray it again just before an exam. Chewing a strange kind of gum will work the same way.

19. Study in a Group

Studying in a group can help you collect new insights to enhance your learning experience.

20. Meditate

Meditation is one of the study methods that 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.

Source: goconqr.com

12 Study Tips that will Boost your Examination Results in 2019…

GoConqr write an interesting piece about study and study skills that I’d like to share with you. Source @ end of blog. They talk about 12 areas that I hope will benefit you as you commence study proper, whether you are in Secondary or Third Level Education.

  1. Set Study Goals
  2. Make a Study Plan
  3. Take Regular Study Breaks
  4. Embrace New Technologies
  5. Test Yourself
  6. Find a Healthy Balance
  7. Be Positive
  8. Collaborate with Study Partners
  9. Turn lessons into stories
  10. Establish a Study Routine
  11. Mark Small Challenges
  12. Consult teachers

Set Study Goals

There is lots of credible research suggesting that goal setting can be used as part of a strategy to help people successfully effect positive changes in their lives, so never underestimate the power of identifying to yourself the things you want to achieve. Just make sure to ask yourself some key questions: Am I setting realistic goals? Will I need to work harder to achieve those goals? If you’re happy with the goals you’ve set then you should aim to develop your study plan for the year ahead with your goals in mind.

Make a Study Plan

Time is precious. Nobody is more aware of this than the poor student who hasn’t studied a thing until the night before an exam. By then, of course, it’s too late. The key to breaking the cycle of cramming for tests is to think ahead and make a study plan. Not only will this help you get organised and make the most of your time, it’ll also put your mind at ease and eliminate that nasty feeling you get when you walk into an exam knowing that you’re not at all prepared.

Take Regular Study Breaks

It’s important to realize that you can’t maintain an optimum level of concentration without giving yourself some time to recover from the work you’ve put in. This can take the form of a ten-minute walk, a trip to the gym, having a chat with a friend or simply fixing yourself a hot drink. If it feels like procrastination, then rest assured that it’s not: taking regular short breaks not only help improve your focus, they can boost your productivity too.

Embrace New Technologies

Studying no longer means jotting things down with a pen on a scrap of paper. The old handwritten method still has its place of course, it’s just that now there are more options for personalising study that ever before. Whether it’s through online tools, social media, blogs, videos or mobile apps, learning has become more fluid and user-centred.

Test Yourself

It’s a strange thing, but sometimes simply entering an exam environment is enough to make you forget some of the things you’ve learned. The solution is to mentally prepare for the pressure of having to remember key dates, facts, names, formulas and so on. Testing yourself with regular quizzes is a great way of doing this. And don’t worry of you don’t perform brilliantly at first – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.

Find a Healthy Balance

Take this opportunity to evaluate yourself both physically and mentally. Is your engine running on low? Instead of  complaining “I never get enough sleep” or “I’m eating too much convenience food” take control and do something about it! Make the change and see how it positively affects your attitude and study routine. This should motivate you to maintain a healthy balance in the future.

Be Positive

Your attitude has a big impact on the level of study that you get done and the effectiveness of your learning process. If you keep saying that you can’t do it and won’t commit to the idea of learning, attempting to study is only likely to become more difficult. Instead, focus your mind on positive outcomes and on how you can use your own individual strengths to achieve them. When you think positively, the reward centers in your brain show greater activity, thereby making you feel less anxious and more open to new study tips.

Collaborate with Study Partners

At this stage of the school year, you should know your classmates pretty well. This is a good point in time to select a couple of study partners who you know you work well with and are motivated to achieve good grades also. Don’t worry if you can’t meet up too often, you can use online tools to communicate and share study notes with one another.

Turn lessons into stories

Everybody likes to read or listen to a good story, and with good reason – not only do stories entertain us, but they also help us to understand and memorize key details too. You can apply this to your studies by weaving important details or facts into a story – the more outlandish and ridiculous you can make it, the better.

Establish a Study Routine

Your study routine is comprised of more than planning what to learn and when. One of the main concerns is your study environment. Find a place to study that is quiet and with few distractions. Alternatively, you could also try switching it up by sitting in a different place in your school library every day and seeing how this works for you.

Mark Small Challenges

When you have to face very long and dense subjects, you can set small challenges to keep your spirits high; a good way to focus on the day-to-day and find motivations while you study. According to scientific analysis, the more motivated and excited we are, the better our brain performs.

Consult teachers

Any questions you have about the exam, the best you can do is go to the Teacher / Lecturer of the subject and expose your doubts. Not only is the person best suited to solve your questions, but your initiative will be well received and you’ll show good attitude by demonstrating that you’re interested in his subject.

There really aren’t any hard and fast rules to play by when it comes to the best times for studying or how long you should work for.

Everybody is different, so the best way to establish a routine is to try different things and see what works best for you, then modify your routine for maximum learning effectiveness.

Source: goconqr.com

Summer Jobs…

Whether you have had to sit major state examinations or third level examinations, the 1st June or the 1st July mark the official start of the summer holiday period for most if not all students. Two – three months i.e. eight to twelve weeks are available to you to source employment, get ‘world of work experience’ and I guess more importantly, make some pocket money for those summer weekends or for school / college next term. With Ireland experiencing its lowest employment rate for many years, sourcing employment shouldn’t be overly difficult. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Consider the following ideas:

• Who do you, your family members, relations and / or friends know in business that have direct or indirect business contacts to decisionmakers
• Do an EYK List i.re. Everyone You Know List
• Take a walk / drive around your area of residence, your town and / or nearest city, who are the major (indeed minor employers), what do they do, where do the need help, could you help them, do they employ young people like you
• Read your local newspaper’s business pages to see who’s recruiting
• Develop a CV that sells you to prospective employers, tailoring it accordingly around their business and how you can help them, outlining your relevant talents, skills and abilities

Working during your summer holidays and between school / college breaks has so many benefits that you may not see or realize now, but in the medium to long term, you will.

Some of these benefits include:

• Enhancing your time management skills
• Reporting to a manager or supervisor on what you are doing / have done
• Developing people skills
• Developing customer care and customer service skills
• Handling cash and financial transactions
• Work experience for your CV’s of the future
• Experiencing making and saving your own money
• Making new friends

So, don’t waste this summer, get out there and get a job…

And now the end is near……

With only a matter of weeks to go to the Leaving Certificate examinations, it is now time to transition from doing homework to full-time study. Indeed your teachers should have by now ceased giving homework and be focused on study, passed papers and particular areas of examination questions that might come up in the examinations.

When it comes to study, you should have by now summarised each chapter in each subject book that can be summarised into manageable study notes like a mind-map, pointer cards and / or note-pad. Studying from the actual books themselves is difficult as you are looking at and reading all of this information, trying to decipher what is core and key, and what part of it could be asked in an examination. If you haven’t already done this, then do it, it is not too late. You still have lots of time left to transfer the main subject chapter information that could be asked about in an exanimation into manageable study notes. This will make your study periods easier, more productive and indeed more enjoyable.

Speaking of study periods, how long should you be studying for as you head into the final furlong of this long 5-6 year school race?

There are many different theories of this from many experts. Some suggest 45 minute periods with a 15 minutes break, some say 60 minutes and so on. I guess it is really what works best for you. You should have some form of study plan / agenda that gives you some structure to your day and ensures that you are giving adequate, ample and the necessary time to each subject that require it. Whatever you choose, include break times, put the study plan on paper and stick to it.

 

Fail to plan, plan to fail…