12 Study Hacks That Will Help You Retain Information

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These are the best study hacks that I recommend to all my students. They have especially been helpful to those with learning disabilities.

  1. Unplug…put away the technology for 1 hour at a time, especially your mobile phone.
  2. Some people like to have background music or some kind of white noise (a fan) to cancel out any other noises around them.
  3. Exercise or mediate right before you study, the flow of oxygen to your brain will help you de-stress and focus.
  4. Study for short periods of time, such as in 1 hour increments. This is called chunking. Studies show that your brain retains information easier if learning in short segments. If you try to cram or study for a really long period of time, your brain burns out and cannot retain pertinent information.
  5. Take short breaks to help you refocus or refuel. Choose to listen to music, check emails, stretch, get a snack, meditate, do a yoga pose etc…Study a concept, take a break, then go back and see if you remember that same concept before the break.
  6. Right after a lecture, go over your notes to imprint the content into your brain. Use a highlighter to highlight important facts or draw an icon or an object by the facts that you want to remember. This will trigger your mind to remember certain details due to the visual associated with the information.
  7. Research shows that if you study right before you go to sleep there is a higher chance you will retain and recall the information studied.
  8. Join a study group, helping one another solidifies what you need to know. This will also help you stay accountable.
  9. The best way to remember something is to teach it to someone else. If you know that you will have to teach the material to someone else, you will want to learn the information well.
  10. Use mnemonic devices. These are techniques a person can use to help improve their ability to remember information. It’s a simple shortcut that helps associate the material we want to remember with an image, a sentence, or a word. An examples of a mnemonic phrase is….The bones of the skull: Old People From Texas Eat Spiders=Occipital, Parietal, Frontal, Temporal, Ethmoid, Sphenoid
  11. Study while you move. Read your notes out loud as you walk or take the stairs. This is a type of Kinesthetic learning. Using your whole body while learning concepts helps you retain information better.
  12. Reward yourself with something you can look forward to after you have completed your studies or project for the day. This could be hanging out with friends, going to a coffee shop, watching a movie, going to a restaurant, playing a video game, taking a long walk etc…