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10 Tricky Study Tips From a Psychology Major

1. Chewing gum

The first and easiest way to improve your information recall is to start chewing a new flavor of gum while you study.  Chewing the same flavor of gum during your test can spark associations with the information you learned while studying. I’ve also heard you can do the same thing with wearing a new perfume!

2. Sit in a similar spot

If possible, do a round or two of studying in the room where you’ll be taking the test. If the test is in the same room you took the class in it can also be helpful to sit in your usual seat! Your brain associates information with locations as well as tastes and smells. You’ll do better if you can recall moments from lectures and from studying with ease.

3. But, study in many spots

^In the same vein, a great way to study is to study in many different places. Your room, Goldfarb, Shapiro, your classroom…every time you switch places you have to reconsolidate the material, and the more times you have to do that the better you’ll learn it!

4. Get caffeinated…but only if you know the material. 

The Yerkes-Dobson Law is a principle in psychology that says optimal performance occurs at an intermediate level of arousal. The Zajonc Solution adds to that if you know a task well arousal increases your performance, but if you don’t know the task well arousal can  decrease your performance.  

5. Treat yo self

Sleeping is when memories get hardwired into your brain. Without sleep, what you’re studying isn’t sticking the way you want it to. Water and food are your brain’s fuel, so it is more important than ever to treat yourself with proper care during exam week.

6. Self control

It’s a scientific fact that we all have limited reservoirs of self-control. Try using an app like “self-control,” which blocks Facebook, Pintrest, and other distracting website for you so don’t have rely on your own limited and fallible self-control while you study!

7. Teaching is learning 

Study in groups and try to explain material to each other as though you’re teaching it for the first time. First of all, it’s been shown that you’re more likely to remember something if you say it out loud than if you just read it over and over again. Secondly, it forces you to confront what parts of the material you really know and what parts you don’t. 

8. Get your Mozart on 

Listening to Mozart while you study can help you learn by elevating your mood while you study but not being overly distracting. 

9. Take notes the old fashion way  

Research has shown that write down information Try taking notes with different color pens. This can help jog your memory! It’s also very helpful to draw diagrams while studying complicated concepts.

10. Story-telling

It’s been proven that people remember stories better than they remember facts. Depending on what you’re studying try watching a documentary, relating material to instances in your own life, or using mnemonic devices to create stories!


Good luck everyone!

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