For many students, being able to study well in college means that they have a better shot at a bright future. If they are able to get good grades, there is a chance that they will get good jobs with substantial paychecks. Indeed, in these economically-depressed times, it only through a good education that they can be able to find better employment.
Being able to study well in college would require you, the student, to develop the skills that will greatly enhance both your memory and your capacity for learning. These skills fall under five specific factors related to memory and learning enhancement.
1. Study Time = This pertains to the number of hours that you spend for studying and just how appropriately you are using them. This does not include the time you spend listening to lectures in class and doing your homework in the evening. Research studies have clearly documented that students do better in their exams if they squeeze in 30 minute to 1 hour study periods in their daily college schedule. While such a short duration may seem counterproductive, in reality, a shorter time period means that you can concentrate better on what you are studying. With study periods of 3 hours or longer, concentration dwindles to the point that you can no longer understand what you are reading.
2. Study Location = This pertains to the places where you choose to hit the books. Although the library remains the best place to study, research has shown that it is more effective if you alternate study places, particularly if you choose locations that are somehow related to the topics that you are reading on. Do you want to be able to understand those complex theories in Biochemistry? Ask your professor if you can study in the chemistry lab. The sight of the many charts and formulas on the walls, as well as the labeled bottles of chemicals can help you to remember what you are studying more. If you want to do even better in your tests, psychologists highly recommend that you study in the exam room or the lecture room that is very similar to where you will be given the test. Study location helps to "color" the knowledge that you are reading.
3. Putting Information in Short-Term Memory (STM) = Not too many students know that cramming and doing all-nighters primarily uses your short-term memory. Unfortunately, STM is not very effective since there are only 5 to 9 bits of information that you can remember at a time. Worse, if you don't reinforce this with constant memorization and repetition, you can expect all the information you have crammed into your brain within 15 to 20 seconds flat. In order for STM to work for you during cram sessions, you can combine all related facts together in easy-to-memorize chunks (a technique known as "chunking").
4. Storing Information in Long-Term Memory (LTM) = Research studies have confirmed that whatever information that you have crammed into your mind during an all-nighter will only stay inside your brain for 2 weeks at the most. For the information to stick inside your head until Final exams, you need to encode this knowledge into your long-term memory. If the information is encoded properly, it will be very convenient for you to get them out of your head during exams. Check out tutorials on techniques such as Mnemonics, the Peg Word Method and the Loci Method.
5. Retrieving Knowledge from Memory = Believe it or not, knowledge retrieval from your memory is actually being facilitated by the exams you take. The easy sections, like Matching Type, Multiple Choice and True or False, help you to develop the skills of knowledge retrieval with the help of "cues". As you move on to the more difficult Essay section, you will find that the "cues" which you have noted in the early parts can actually help you to delve deeper into your memory for the answers to the essay questions (that don't have the "cues").
Discover the basic strategies that will help you to study well in college today!