It's that time again: time to reflect on our lives and create some resolutions. Whether or not you need to change much in your life, pretty much all of us could stand to form better study habits. If you're looking to change up the way you learn, check out our tips for study habits or the new year.
Humans thrive on routine, and if you don't have one, it's high time you developed one for yourself. You may have a morning routine where you eat breakfast, get dressed and brush your teeth. There's no reason not to have a similar schedule for studying. The best part? Once you do it a few times, it'll become routine. You'll be set with a study routine without even thinking about it!
Part of creating this schedule comes down to what time of day you learn best. Perhaps you feel groggy first thing in the morning and need to set aside a few hours for studying in the evening instead. Maybe you work in the afternoons and the morning is better for your lifestyle. Whatever your day looks like, there's always a free hour or two to set aside for studying.
There's nothing that pairs quite as nicely as a sweet, frothy coffee and homework. When the sugar buzz wears off, though, you're often left feeling tired and ready to quit. Rather than relying on calorie-laden snacks to keep you going, take time to prepare healthy foods to graze on throughout your day. Eggs for breakfast are a surefire way to keep you satiated through your morning classes, and leafy green salads are bound to keep your energy up in the afternoon.
When you can't resist the siren call of snacks, reach for nutritious options like nuts, dark chocolate, and fruit. All of these foods contain vitamins and antioxidants necessary to keep your brain sharp. They can also help improve recall, making studying easier than ever before.
Stretching out at the library for a late night of work can be exhausting. With books, pens, and paper scattered across your desk, it's easy to lose track of time. Before you know it, the library is closing for the evening and you've barely covered the first chapter you needed to read. This form of studying isn't just frustrating, it's inefficient.
This year, study in increments of 20 or 30 minutes. Set a timer and promise yourself you'll focus solely on the task at hand. That means no checking your phone, no responding to messages and no chatting with friends you spot in the library. Your reward for staying so focused? Take a break.
Take five or 10 minutes to walk around, get your blood flowing and breathe in some fresh air. All of these breaks can do wonders for your psyche. Not only will these breaks give you a few minutes to relax and refresh, but they will also help segment your study session, so you don't lose track of time.
There's no better way to study than to test what you already know. While reading and taking notes is the classic basis of studying, taking practice tests has been shown to be one of the most effective forms. That's not to say you should ditch your textbooks or flashcards, though. Instead, use all of the aforementioned tools in concert to get the best results possible on your exams.
For example, spend a week or so thoroughly understanding the concepts you need to know for your test. Then, give yourself a practice test to see how you'd fare on the real thing. The results may offer some surprises, directing you towards your weak points and highlighting the areas you don't need to focus on as much. The insight doesn't stop there, though.
Practice tests can also help you with pacing. All the traditional studying in the world can't prepare you for the time limitations that may be placed on you during your big test. With help from companies like Exam Edge, you can practice taking the test with the clock ticking. It'll give you a better idea of how much time to dedicate to each question. Don't need the pressure of the clock? You can also slow down and take your time on your practice exam. The options for studying for your exam are endless!
Study habits for the new year can start with ExamEdge. Our thousands of practice exams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The best part? We offer free sample practice tests! To get started studying for your big test, head to www.examedge.com today.