We have all been there, the teacher reminds you your test is tomorrow and you freak out! You forgot about this test and you don’t know anything! So what do you do? Well, you do what any other student does in this situation, you go home, cry a little, and then get cramming to earn that grade!
For some tests, this may work for you, but in others, where you have Ms. Hardy McHardHard’s class a late night cram is not going to cut it. So what do you do? Let me tell you. Let me show you HOW TO HACK YOUR STUDYING.
Hack #1: Making Connections
Let’s start off with some base knowledge on how your brain works. Your brain is made up of connections; connections of cells called neurons. They communicate with one another using chemical and electrical signals. Why is this important, well if you think of your memory like your brain it will lead you to the pot of gold.
Your memory is used best when you use connections. For instance, take this word: neuron, and then look at the picture of a neuron.
Then connect the two together by telling a story, in other words, how the two are connected. If you do this, you are telling your brain, “this is important, remember this, connect these together”
So remember! When studying, think of your brain and that neuron. It’s all about connections. Make connections with what you are studying to the real world and that is hack #1.
Hack #2: Group Studying
Studying in groups. Plain and simple. Now some may not like to study in groups, (this is totally me), however, studying in groups helps you see things you may not see before. You know how wolves live in packs? Same thing. Study in a small pack of about 2-4 people and you will help each other with making connections or parts of the test you forgot to study for.
Hack #3: Repetition
Your brain not only remembers things by making connections, but through repetition. So here’s the deal. Instead of studying for several hours the night before the test, study for 15-20 minutes every day or every 3 days. Just review the material you have already learned. This will give you a significant boost in your memory of the information. Your brain will then put the information in long term memory instead of your short term memory. And when the night before the test rolls around, you will only have to do 15-20 minutes of studying. Sounds awesome right?!
Hack #5: SRWL!!!
I like to say it as swirl… Stands for speaking, reading, writing, and listening. When trying to memorize something, such as, a new language along with using the other hacks, make sure you speak the information, read the information, write the information, and listen to the information. Doing this will help improve your ability to recognize it during the test. Say for instance you have to write the information, you have done it. Same with reading and speaking. Using all those sections of your brain together will tell your brain to not forget it.
Hack #6: Math
Yes, math gets its own section because it’s special. So many people have problems with math. Want to know why? Well, math is unique. With math, you are not memorizing words like in Spanish, or the definition of photosynthesis like in biology, or the correct way to write an essay like in language arts! (Tip: there is no correct way in writing an essay). Math is all about memorizing concepts. To do this, PRACTICE. Each math lesson is based off a concept and in each concept there are many different types of problems that apply previous concepts to make that problem look so much harder than it really is. To this hack is to do every problem you can and master the concept. That’ll make it so you ace your next math test.
Overall, do what’s best for you, everyone is different, but use these hacks as a guide. And also make friends with your teachers. It will make it easier for when you have a question or have absolutely no idea what is happening in the class.