Let’s face it, we’ve all done some last-minute study cramming. Is intensive study over a short period of time, on the other hand, beneficial or harmful to our brains?
According to a Harvard Crimson research, students believe that studying is preferable to cramming.
When asked what the most effective strategies are for achieving good grades, “selective and efficient study techniques” came out on top. It’s time to quit cramming and start studying properly.
Then there are study hacks…
The art of studying efficiently is known as study hacking. While understanding how to learn may appear unusual at first, it can help you save time in the classroom, retain material, and fine-tune your brain.
The more connections you weave between information, facts, ideas, emotions, smells, sounds, and tastes (to mention a few), the more information, facts, concepts, emotions, odours, sounds, and tastes (to name a few) you remember. Your connections, like a web, might deteriorate over time. The good news is that through reinforcing and retrieving memories, the links between them get stronger, and memories last longer.
We’ll show you how to use important study tricks for learning, such as retrieval, association, and re-representation, instead of cramming.
Here are five study tips to help you grasp any subject…
1. Set a Target For Yourself
Tests are used to assess our understanding. I’ve learned to use the past tense. We pass tests to show that we remember what we learned in class and to declare ourselves ready for the next level.
Tests, on the other hand, are rarely utilised as a learning aid. Testing not only allows us to recognise where we have gaps in our knowledge but also aids in the retention of equations and statistics.
The strained search for memories was coined the name “desirable problems” by Robert Bjork, a psychologist at the forefront of learning research. When we have a word on the tip of our tongue, a response looming just over the edge of awareness, the laborious act of drawing it out rather than returning to our notes is one of the most effective methods to establish long-term memories.
Using flashcards is a study aid is as basic as it gets. Continuous retrieval and immediate feedback is a tried-and-true learning strategy. Using a methodology that will be detailed later, flashcards can be made even better.
Variations on study hacks are common. Rewriting is another option you could attempt. Try writing and describing what you want to remember using simply a blank piece of paper and a pen, then testing the lengths of what you can remember before returning to the responses.
2. Give It Some Breathing Room
We need some downtime to allow our new connections to forget about us before we reactivate them.
In their book, ‘Make It Stick,’ they say: Some forgetting is important and useful to the learning process, according to Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel. Allowing thoughts to get rusty increases the amount of effort required to resurrect them, which correlates to increased strength.
In 1885, German scholar Hermann Ebbinghaus devised the forgetting curve. The graph depicts the pace at which people forget things both before and after retrievals.
Implement Study Hacks: We can use the Leitner approach to improve on the already excellent flashcards.
This entails having a series of boxes in which to sort your cards, all of which start at the top. As you move through the cards, but the ones you get right in the text box, and the ones you can’t remember in the first.
The first box is tested daily, the second every two days, the third every four days, and so on. When you make a mistake, the game resets at the first box. This permits the easy cards to be studied less as time goes on, while the challenging ones pop up more frequently.
3. Change It Up
toss it around
The best way to learn or practise is to use a combination of methods. There are various topics inside most subjects; weaving these topics together rather than using the traditional one-after-the-other system is far more successful.
Switching between different but related topics can help you have a better knowledge of the whole issue.
A talented basketball player, for example, would perform better if their practice consisted of a random mix of three-pointers, layups, and mid-range jumpers rather than 20 of one and then another.
Most people who practise this approach believe it is less effective, which demonstrates its counter-intuitive character.
The advantages aren’t felt as quickly as with blocked practise, because switching before having a chance to attempt again can feel like a loss of progress. It’s easy to feel like giving up, but don’t!
They can see that their grasp of each aspect is deteriorating, and they are unaware of the offsetting long-term benefit. Interleaving, as a result, is unpopular and rarely used.
4. Communicate It
A memory’s best friend is associations, and the more you have, the longer they’ll stick around. Prior knowledge, an emotion, something on the senses, or a position in space are all examples of associations.
Your surroundings can have a significant impact on your memory. Consider some of your favourite recollections – you’re likely to recall the exact location and surroundings.
Our ability to explore difficult landscapes and go long distances on foot is accompanied by a remarkable ability to recall very vivid imagery of the process.
The value of this skill is obvious: better awareness of the land one lives in increases one’s chances of survival and prosperity.
The users can also be modified by tying our locational memory to our learning; this is one of my favourite study hacks. The more settings we practise or study in, the greater the number of links we build to memories.
Sticking at one point causes it to be drowned out by too many attachments, and there’s nothing exceptional about it compared to a significant notion.
Other memories can be triggered by playing a specific song, burning a specific sort of incense for different odours, or even something as easy as trying a different pen or writing in an uncommon style.
From there, you put your faith in the mind’s power.
When you need the knowledge you saved, you mentally transport yourself back to the area, imitate the fragrance, or sing the song in your head, and hope that the connection has become strong enough to be triggered by the notion. The method of loci is a study hack for generating an idea through imagery.
5. Rework It
Benjamin Bloom distinguished between various sorts of knowledge. There’s knowledge and comprehension on the low end, and synthesis, analysis, and evaluation on the high end.
From elementary facts and concepts to profound comprehension that leads to creativity and complicated problem solving, we start at the bottom and work our way up. True knowledge comes from the capacity to extract underlying concepts and patterns, allowing you to evaluate and forecast novel solutions to specific challenges.
We obtain better insight into our understanding of the material by altering it into different shapes. Re-representing takes more than just recalling what you read or saw; it necessitates a deeper knowledge that allows for change.
The metaphor is a potent tool that has been utilised in knowledge transfer for a long time. Vision is required to take the shape of one notion and relate some features of it to something completely different. If creating a whole metaphor is too tough, simply ask, “How is this [insert topic] similar to this [insert another topic]?”
Drawing is another method. Drawing the information without using words, like the metaphor, demands focus, imagination, elaboration, and the capacity to modify the concept.
In the end, don’t put your faith in what’s simple.
Rereading and underlining text, preparing for tests, and practising the same thing over and over ignore how memory works. They are, nonetheless, the most often used tactics.
The sense of fluency we get from being able to memorise something is deceiving; we only know the words and syntax, not the thoughts and principles involved. Fluency gives the impression of comprehension, but only because it does not test it.
When we cram, we store a lot of information into our memory at once, which can provide us with a short-term benefit but eliminates the need to retrieve it later.
We forget most of what we learn after a single day, as Ebbinghaus pointed out, but by spreading learning out and allowing some forgetting to occur, we can slow the rate of decay.
Long-lasting bonds necessitate time and retrieval; else, memories will fade fast. Making connections and developing broader webs of knowledge can help them have a better chance. Higher-order thinking, which is required for creativity and sophisticated problem solving, is built atop these huge webs.
So, use the study hacks we’ve supplied to make learning more difficult for yourself by forcing yourself to take tests and discovering new methods to alter and conceptualise the material.