Have you ever heard of the saying, “Don’t study hard, study smart”? This is very important theory when it comes to putting together study strategies. Having a clear idea on where, when, and how you will study, is a great tool to have. These ideas we will be presenting to you, will help you to manage your time more effectively while studying, help you to retain as much information as you can for tests or exams, and how to have a healthy lifestyle that will make you feel great as well!
Methods of Studying
There has been a lot of research about which methods of studying is the best for us. Of course everyone learns differently and these wont apply to every single person. Researchers from Kent State University found that in general, practice testing and distributed practice were the best forms of studying (Grohol, 2013). To help with practice testing, next time your teacher assigns readings don’t skip over the quiz’s at the end of the chapters. Instead do them, and write down what you remember, as well as key terms you think might help you. Chances are, some of the questions in the quiz sections will more than likely be on a test or exam, and this will help you be more prepared. This leads us to distributed practice (Grohol, 2013). Along with your notes from class, you will now have the notes from your quiz’s that you will be able to look over. The best thing to do is to not cram a study session in the night before your exam or test. Instead, take at least an hour every day to go over your notes, re-write important material, and re-read certain sections of your assigned readings for that week. This will also leave room to ask your teacher any questions you may have about any of the content. Studying requires time and effort which not everyone is willing to put in, but if you want to be successful I promise you it is definitely worth it.
Edgar Dale and the Learning Pyramid
The learning pyramid is a tool developed to break down the different ways of learning. These modes of learning are broken up into six categories, each represented by different percentages. There have been different variations of the categories over time but these are the main points. Starting at the top, we have reading 10%, audio visual 20%, demonstration 30%, discussion group 50%, practice by doing 75%, and teaching others at 90%. Edgar Dale, who was an expert in audio-visual education, created the original cone or “pyramid” in 1946 (Acrlguest,2014). Over the years his cone became a pyramid and took on percentages to describe learning retention. This example for learning has been taught over the years as being a definite method on how people receive the information placed before them (Acrlguest,2014). We believe the learning pyramid has some flaws that may have been over looked when it comes to learning strategies.
When it comes to learning everybody has different methods of retaining the content they are taking in. Edgar Dale did not originally intend for the pyramid to have the effect on people that it did. He had originally made it as a reference to the different styles that people learn, and he had stated that the percentages were not at all accurate (Acrlguest,2014). For example, to make a claim that an individual only remembers 30% of what they see, means that we wouldn’t remember this pyramid, and it wouldn’t have any affect on how people retain knowledge. Although the learning pyramid does display all the ways humans learn, the order and percentages will be different for each individual, based on the subject and learning requirements they have.
How do eating habits affect your study habits?
Your eating habits affect your ability to concentrate and absorb information. Your brain cannot function without proper nutrition. A lot of refined carbs result in feeling lethargic and sleepy (Lewin, 2016). Refined carbs are the “bad” carbs such as white bread, pasta, forms of sugar and starches that don’t exist in nature (Ede, 2016). Next time you make a sandwich try using whole wheat bread as an alternative to white bread. Grab some carrots verses a bag of chips. Eating habits effect your overall health and ability to participate in not just school tasks but day to day life as well. Having good eating habits will lead to overall good health and should result in helping you get better grades (Unknown, 2016).
Type of Food brain foods:
|Benefits of Listed Brain Foods:|
|-Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in most fish.
-Omega-3 Fatty Acids essential for proper neuron function.
-Fish is high in fatty acids aids in focusing better.
-Eating fish regularly can reduce risk of dementia as we age.
|-Almonds, Pistachios, and walnuts contain high levels of fatty acids.
-Aids brain in performing optimally.
-Nuts contain Iron, which provides oxygen to the brain. Increases mental alertness and ability to retain information.
-Minimum of one ounce of nuts a day recommended for optimal brain health.
-High in unsaturated fats and calories.
|3. Whole grains
|-Refined carbs (white bread and pasta) lead to sleepiness, lethargy and mental dullness.
-Have opposite effect of refined carbs
-Enhance memory function.
|4. Apples||-Peel of apple contains antioxidant called Quercetin
-Quercetin enhances memory function.
|5. Cruciferous Vegetables||-Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts and Bok Choy.
-Medical school reveled these types of vegetables had the most positive effect on memory retention
-Eating Vegetables raw is the best way to get nutritional benefits.
|6. Dark Chocolate||-Helps brain with memory.
-Increases blood flow to the brain. (Increasing alertness and clarity)
-The darker the chocolate the better.
|7. Spinach||-Proven to boost brain power
-Full of Folic Acid
-Shown to reverse memory loss.
|8. Berries||-Berries: Blueberries, Cherries, Black Currants, Raspberries, Cranberries, Blackberries, Gooseberries and sometimes grapes.
-Contain Phytonutrients: Antioxidant’s that improve blood flow to the brain.
-Enhance Neural activity.
|9. Legumes||-Beans: Chickpeas, Kidney beans and Lentils.
-Substantial amount of protein
-High concentration of folic acid (Improves Ability to recall information)
|10. Onions||-Eastern Cultures onions have been long revered for their ability to improve memory and focus
-Compounds in onions: Anthocyanin and Quercetin.(Help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.)
How to Get the Most Out of Studying
There are many different ways to effectively study, but what about the most efficient ways to study? Make the most out of your study sessions by following these simple tips & tricks that are sure to get you an A!
Timing: There are benefits to studying both during the day and at night, it’s all about finding the best method for you and sticking to a schedule. If you find you are more awake and focused during the day, then set out a specified “study time” each day that is devoted to reviewing and revising notes. Same goes for the evening studier, just make sure that your study space is fully equipped with proper lighting and try to eliminate distractions. Benefits of studying during the daytime include – having more energy, which is more likely to result in a higher ability to concentrate (Santos, 2016). Benefits to studying at night include- increased peace & quiet time as most people are more active during the day, less busy public study spots, and a possible increase in your creativity as you see things differently at night.
Solo vs. Group: Most students tend to work best alone, however there are significant benefits to studying with a partner or group as well. One of the benefits of studying with a group is that you have access to knowledge from other students. Study groups can also help you to stay motivated and commit more time to your studying (University of Guelph, 2016). They also allow you to have multiple people available to quiz you on the material. Solo studying can be beneficial because you’re able to create your own active study plan, and pace yourself according to your comfort level with the material. It is also more flexible, since you don’t need to coordinate with others, and you’re able to study whenever you have free time to do so.
Location: When it comes to your study spot, there are many options to choose from. Some students find too many distractions studying in their own space (i.e. Bed), while others thrive in this environment. Once you can establish what works for you, staying focused on your studies will become much easier. Public places devoted to being a learning environment for students (i.e. Library) are a good option, as well as a change of scenery for students looking for an alternative to their bedrooms or dorms. There are other tools available to minimize distractions no matter where you study. For example, StayFocusd, (Unknown, 2016) is an extension for your browser which restricts you from accessing social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter), for a certain amount of time which is set by you.
Length of Study: Studying for too long without a break can actually be counter-intuitive, by overloading your brain without allowing it proper time to process the information. The best method is to study for 45-50 mins, with a 10-15 min break in between sessions (Cernovich, 2016). It’s best to do something completely different such as talking a short walk, sending a few emails, or preparing a snack. It’s also essential to your comprehension of new material to allow your brain a good night’s sleep. This is when your brain subconsciously reviews all the information absorbed during the previous day. Without a proper 7-8 hours of sleep (as recommended for young adults still developing), it is less likely that the hours you spend studying will be properly committed to memory.
Grohol, J. M. (2013). 2 Important Strategies for Effective Studying | World of Psychology. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/08/2-important-strategies-for-effective-studying/
ACRLog. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://acrlog.org/tag/learning-theories/
By eating right, you’ll be more likely to remain alert, focused, and energized while you study. So, if you really want to know how to study properly and retain more information than ever before, start feeding your body and your brain the foods they crave. (n.d.). Top 10 Brain Foods that Help You Study and Get Better Grades. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.campustalkblog.com/top-10-brain-foods-that-help-you-study-and-get-better-grades/
By Jo Lewin – Associate nutritionist. (n.d.). 10 foods to boost your brainpower. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower
Ede, G. (n.d.). Refined carbohydrate list – Diagnosis:Diet. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/refined-carbohydrate-list/
Santos, B. D. (2016). What is the Best Time to Study? Day vs Night. Retrieved October 08, 2016, from https://www.goconqr.com/en/examtime/blog/best-time-to-study/
A Guide to University Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved October 08, 2016, from http://www.learningcommons.uoguelph.ca/guides/university_learning/accessibility/studying.html#_Toc229765226
Cernovich, M. (2015, July 13). How to Study and Learn New Information. Retrieved October 08, 2016, from http://www.dangerandplay.com/2015/07/13/how-to-study-and-improve-your-memory-and-sleep/
Top 3 extensions for blocking websites and disctractions (Chrome) | TopAlternatives. (2016, January 22). Retrieved October 08, 2016, from https://topalternatives.com/google-chrome-extensions-that-help-block-time-wasting-websites/