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4 Unique Strategies For Remembering More Of What You Study

You want your study sessions to count when you are preparing for the SAT or ACT. The more you can remember from each study session, the better prepared you will be for the exam. You may already know some of the typical study tips and tricks, so here are three unique strategies to help your brain remember more from each study session.

1) Studying with Smells

Exam Time suggests associating a unique scent with your study materials. Each time you study for the SAT spray a scent that you don’t encounter any other time. Then, right before the test spray the same scent. Your brain will associate the scent with the material you’ve learned and will be better at recalling the information. If you use this trick, be sure to be respectful with your scents. Not everyone in the room will want to smell your unique scent. Spray it outside on your wrist or a piece of paper before you begin. Exam Time claims chewing a unique flavor of gum will have the same affect. This approach may be more considerate than using a strong scent.

2) Review Before Sleep

Sleep has some function in consolidating information in the brain. Don’t do all of your studying right before bed, but CollegeAtlas recommends taking a few minutes to review new information right before you go to sleep. The idea is that when that information is fresh in your head as you go to sleep, you will forge the new material in your brain as you sleep. Don’t take your studies with you into bed, as that could hinder your ability to fall asleep. You don’t want to trade precious sleep time for reviewing in bed.

3) Repeat Information Out Loud

Using as many senses as possible when you learn information will help cement the information in your mind. You may have to use this trick at home, or take a friend who is a good listener out to coffee. Work on memorizing a few facts or concepts. Then, close your book and recite the material you just learned out loud. Both hearing and speaking material will be useful tools for remembering new concepts.

Here is another way to practice material vocally. If you feel like you have some concepts mastered, try to explain them out loud to a friend or parent. If you have any difficulty recalling the information, or your listener did not understand what you were explaining, you will know that you need to return to the material for more study.

4) Move Around

Exercise has many excellent benefits for your brain. An article from Harvard Health cites a study that found exercise actually increases the size of the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain associated with learning and memory. In addition to improving memory, exercise can relieve stress, improve your sleep, and help you feel better in general. All of these benefits can help you excel on a major exam. You don’t have to do an intense workout, a simple mild aerobic workout like walking or jogging is all you need to experience the benefits of movement. You should aim to do these simple workouts for about 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week for maximum benefit.

Study is the Ultimate Tool

Use these fun and unique strategies to improve your brainpower. There is no magic pill or silver bullet for retaining information that can replace studying and hard work. However, every little extra bit that can help your brain recall information will help you feel more confident when taking a major exam.


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