There are many different ways to study, but science shows that some methods of study are more
productive than others. When you are dedicated to your studies and study using the most effective tools,
you are certain to see positive results.
Study in Short Segments
You should study for no longer than 90 minutes at a time. Medical Daily suggests that you cut back to just
30 minutes of study time. This is because the brain is wired to process smaller bits of information rather
than larger chunks. Study for 30 to 90 minutes and let the information sink in before you move on to new
material. Studying in small chunks also has the advantage of studying feeling less overwhelming. It is
much easier to fit 30 minutes of studying into your day than hours and hours of intensive study.
The Best Colleges points out that studies have found reviewing material within the same day of learning it
prevents you from forgetting 80% of what you learned. Going over your notes from the day every evening
is the most efficient way to remember what you have learned. If you use this trick, you won’t have to
spend so much time studying to relearn material when it is time to take exams.
Teach to Learn
Teaching the concepts that you are learning to someone else can help solidify ideas in your mind.
Teaching requires a mastery of the concept and and the ability to synthesize the material in a way that
makes sense to someone else. Offer to tutor or partner with a friend and work to teach the material you
are studying. Alternatively, you may benefit from someone else’s teaching. If there is a concept you are
struggling with, ask a friend or hire a tutor to help you learn it in a new way.
There are new scientific discoveries every day about memory, learning and how the brain works. Make
sure you are using the best methods to learn and retain material so that your study time is efficient and
productive. When you study well, you will be successful without needing to study as much.
Mr. Test Prep has been a part of the San Mateo SAT Prep community for nearly 20 years. His experience working with students—from math wizzes to numberphobes, from novelists-in-training to kids who hate to read—has shown him that improving test results first requires improving a student’s confidence. To directly address this important facet of SAT prep, his tutoring program exposes students to the conditions of the test, while training them in subject-specific skills and teaching them testing strategies that can make the test much easier.