The way your brain functions impacts how you learn and recall information. The better you are at learning and remembering, the better you will be at taking exams. Knowing how your brain actually works can help you build the right study environment and develop methods for studying so that you will succeed on an exam.
Match the Environments
One study cited by Open Colleges found that students had an easier time recalling information when their study environment matched their testing environment. This particular study used noise levels and found that students who studied in noisy environments did better on tests taken in noisy environments, while students who studied in quiet environments performed better on exams that were taken in quiet environments. It is likely that your test will be taken in a quiet environment, but not entirely without distraction. Try studying at the kitchen table or a desk in a room with the door open. This should provide a primarily quiet environment, with a few minor disruptions, similar to your testing environment.
Chop up Your Routine
Top Universities states that mixing up your routine, “can help energize your brain and improve your efficiency and productivity when you study.” Try a new food, take a different route to school, or go on an unplanned walk. Doing something just a little different everyday can keep your brain focused and involved in what you are doing. Keeping your brain engaged will help you learn and recall information when you are studying.
Train Your Brain
Your brain has been trained to concentrate for only short periods of time. The length of a tv show between commercials, the time it take to read a headline or a meme, and the length of YouTube videos have all taught our brains to focus for only a few minutes at a time. You can retrain your brain to focus for longer periods. An article from the BBC cites studies that found meditation actually reduces the amount of function in the part of your brain that causes you mind to wander. Reading for increasing amounts of time and focusing on a single topic for extended period of time will also train your brain to focus and concentrate longer. The ability to focus for long periods of time will help you during class, while you study, and while you take exams.
Knowing these tricks about how your brain works will allow you to incorporate them into your daily routine. Teaching your brain how to learn, focus, and concentrate will help you become a better studier and ultimately help you achieve your goals.
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