One of the most stressful times in a college year or week for that matter is exam time. I hated taking exams because in short they suck. Especially if I knew I was not prepared. Now I was never a person with great study habits but one strategy really worked well for me and it is called spaced learning. You can learn how to study for a test more effectively by using just this strategy alone.
Here is what you do. You spend an hour studying, then take a ten or fifteen minute break. Then another hour studying followed by another break. Then same thing another hour of studying and then break. Pretty simple right? The fact is you will retain more material by using this strategy. as opposed to you spending three or even four straight hours at work studying.
Not sure why it was effective for me. Maybe this it was a result of me being able to focus for only 30 to 40 minuets at a time. It always seemed as though my thoughts would simply begin to wander the longer my study session. At any rate, spaced studying does work pretty well…. so give it a try to find out for yourself.
After completing your study session you can also mix in food as a reward. Studies have shown that eating small meals on a frequent basis is far more beneficial than eating only a few times but at much larger quantities. So during your break mix in some small meals and snacks.
Now after you’ve completed a study session by reviewing the material, sit back and examine how effective the session was. Try and recall a portion of the material you’ve just studied. See how much you can recall. After a couple of hours, or a day later do the same thing to gauge the effectiveness of your studying.
As an added bonus, when you’ve spent a lot of time with a certain topic you really start to understand the topic. So even if material has slipped your instant memory it will come back to your attention by way of association. You could be studying something that triggers your conscience to recall previous material.
This phenomenon is likely to be a delayed memory of sorts. It is similar to picking up a book in which you lost your page and as you begin to read you remember reading certain material. At that point your recollection comes back very quickly. This strategy may work for you and it may not but try it and see if it does. This strategy can also be used in accordance with others you have found successful.