Study hacks to help you concentrate

Learning the ins and outs of your field requires a lot of studying. When exam time rolls around, you may feel like you’ve reached your limit for studying. It could be time to try some new tricks. These study hacks can simplify your habits by eliminating distractions and increasing your productivity, focus and concentration levels.

Create “chunks” of information

If you’re faced with memorizing a lot of course material, it can be almost impossible to recall pages and pages of information. One of the best ways to absorb data is by breaking it down into bite-size “chunks.”

So, if you find yourself in the (non-ideal) situation where you need to remember a large amount of information in a small amount of time, try to group facts together based on their characteristics. Or, find a pattern in the information that is meaningful to you to connect seemingly unrelated ideas.

Say it out loud

Researchers claim that you’re 50 percent more likely to remember concepts if you say them out loud. If you’re struggling to remember concepts or course material, give this tactic a try. It may not work in every scenario (beware of quiet study spaces like the library), but could go a long way in helping to enhance your study style.

Keep content top of mind

You will likely spend an entire semester taking in new information. Then, when exam time rolls around, it can be difficult to remember those concepts learned early on, right? The common saying, “Use it or lose it,” holds true. If you’re not exposing yourself to these concepts on a regular basis, it will be difficult to commit them to memory. Many students find it beneficial to review their class notes from the day again each evening, or more frequently if they can. The more times you expose yourself to the content, the easier it will be to naturally commit everything to memory.

Write it down

Reading the same content over and over may work for some students, but others will need a more visual way to remember information. If you’re studying from printed notes or a textbook, you may prefer to highlight key points to remember. This won’t actually have you interacting with the material, though. Instead, take what you’ve highlighted and write it out, while trying to shorten the concepts. See if you can focus on keywords, and write those out again. By writing the concepts, instead of just reading them over and over, you’ll commit the information to memory more thoroughly and quickly.

Avoid long study sessions

Before exam time, it’s easy to commit entire days or weekends to studying. But sitting in front of your notes for hours on end may not actually help you to remember them. Focusing on the same task for that long will often lead your mind to wander. That means you’re wasting your time instead of spending all those hours trying to remember information. Taking short breaks can help you to regain focus and come back to your next bout of studying feeling refreshed.

Not all of these study hacks will work for every student. But if you’re struggling with your current style, it’s well worth it to try out a new method and see if it works any better. As a busy student, your time is precious. So instead of wasting time on tired methods, it’s worth the effort to try out a new way that might help you achieve better results.