Sticky studying

ASU students choosing good study habits to study for finals

It’d be nice if everything you studied, read or learned in a lecture stayed in your brain forever — or at least until the exam — but you know that’s not the case. Throw in a late night or a distraction-filled evening and you’ll forget names, dates and concepts faster than you can break a Snap streak. We have five tips that will help you focus on your studying and keep that info where it belongs.

1. Talk to yourself

By reading your notes out loud, you’re helping your brain retain what you're reading. Being the reader is more effective than reading silently or even hearing someone else speak the info (we’re looking at you, note-reading apps). The act of forming the words while reading them may take a little longer than speeding through the words in your head, but it also helps the info stick. So take the extra time and don’t forget to warn your roommate before you start.

2. Make connections

Take the information you’re trying to remember and turn it into a story. This may seem easier to do in a history class than a biology one, but any information can be turned into a memorable learning device. Your brain is better trained to remember a story than a collection of facts. Check out the video below for proof.

3. Mix up your materials

Studying in your room all day every day can be exhausting and probably won’t do much for your memory. Here’s the good news: it’s important to take study breaks. It’s also important to mix up the information you’re learning. So instead of going through your study guides over and over, take the info and reframe it. Try one of the tactics above you haven’t tried before. Seeing the info in a new way could be the reason you remember a fact at exam time.

4. Get the picture

Try the Method of Loci technique, where you visualize a place and fill it with the things you need to remember placed in a logical order. When you associate images with info you need to remember, you can help jog your memory at test time by putting yourself back into the location where you saved that info.

5. Give yourself time

The #1 thing you can do to make your studying stick is to study early and often. Create a plan for each exam and attend tutoring sessions to make sure your knowledge is up to snuff. Check out our guide to tutoring for more info.

We have even more study tips, including a complete guide to studying, on the blog. Check it out and prepare to rock your exams. 

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