Five Ways to Study Better

New research shows that the answer to studying better is not studying more, but instead studying differently.

Here are 5 research-based techniques for studying better.

Make a practice test. Try to predict what you may be asked on the exam. Look over your study guide or manual, find important parts of your notes, and ask others in your class what they think is important. Then, create a practice exam.

Exercise. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise a day, four to five days a week, improves focus and executive functioning skills.

Use Your Nose. When you study, diffuse an essential oil nearby; peppermint is a good choice because it relieves stress. Diffuse the same scent by your bed while you sleep. Studies suggest that your brain will associate the scent with the material you studied earlier thereby helping to retain more of the information you want to remember.

Review Your Notes Before Bed. Take 10 to 15 minutes just before you go to sleep to review what you are studying. This will allow you to process the information as you sleep.

Sip a Sugary Drink. If you are low on glucose, you won’t be able to focus or perform well. Skip soda, but a sugary drink like apple juice or Gatorade can help improve focus and mood while studying. Sugary drinks provide glucose, which is the primary source of fuel to the brain.

This list is not inclusive, but we hope that you find it useful in exploring study techniques that work best for you.