- Rest, not by studying more hours you will be more productive
How many hours did you spend in front of the book as a teenager without really taking advantage of them and how many nights have you invested in trying to retain something before an exam? A groggy and tired mind yields much less than a fresh mind. Not getting enough sleep affects academic performance. Make sure you sleep the necessary hours to guarantee your rest.
- Stimulate your mind even when there are no exams in sight
If your mind has become unaccustomed to retaining information and learning new things, it is difficult for it to do so naturally when you demand results. Try to stay active every day, it can be listening to a podcast and writing down some key details about the topics that interest you, reading or watching a video or program. You don’t have to study to use, but you do have to stimulate your mind so that it is prepared.
- Write by hand what you need
Yes, the computer and mobile are your new allies, but they do not have the capacity to make you understand and rest the information as is possible with handwriting, according to the most recent research. By putting ideas on paper in your own words, synthesizing the information you make what you are learning more understandable to you and therefore much easier to retain.
- Talk to yourself out loud
In the same way that you are used to retaining information when a person talks to you, tells you about their day or teaches you a class, if you verbalize the concepts that you want to retain out loud, you will be able to retain them better. The first, because you listen to them and the second, because by explaining them out loud you make that effort to assimilate a new concept.
- If you reread a thousand times without desire, it’s like reading 0 times
It is better that you rarely read a concept or new information but 100% focused on what you are doing, that you read it and read without stopping without success. In fact, what is really going to help you retain information is understanding it. It is difficult to capture in a test or an exam something that you have never come to understand.
- Studying one thing all the time can get tiring
Normally, even if you are studying high school, a FP, at the university or an opposition, the most normal thing is that you have different subjects. Try to alternate them every day so as not to saturate yourself on a topic, especially if it makes you heavy. Start with a subject that is easier for you and continue with one that is a little heavier, to be motivated and with an alert mind.
If you get stuck with that new stuff (doing the steps above like writing the hard stuff down or explaining it out loud) after a while, move on to the next one. Do not force yourself or despair, if you need help to understand it, ask for it.
- Prepare your brain with other types of stimuli
Learning something new is proposing a challenge to your brain, well, you can prepare it with simple tricks. For example, throughout the day, use your non-dominant hand to do a few things. That is, if you are right-handed, use your left hand to hold the fork or spoon or brush your teeth. Give yourself small challenges that keep you active and receptive by adjusting to things that on a normal day you are not used to doing.
According to experts, it can help the mind make different neural connections and speed up brain function, as explained in the blog The Mind Is Wonderful.
- Associate what you have learned with things you already know
This is undoubtedly the most practical advice, but the one that will help you retain the information you need the most. The brain is constantly associating memories, smells, flavors, visual elements.
In short, it costs you much less to learn something new if it reminds you of something you already know. When you study, try to associate the new concept with something that seems simpler to you or that you have already understood, simplify.
That ability to integrate something new to something that is familiar will make the path much easier for you.