The fall 2023 semester is here and the transition back to studying can be hard. Luckily we have six tips for you on how to get back into studying but in a way that makes it easier, not harder.

1. Take organized notes

Organizing your notes is actually very important in the learning and memory process and is first tip in how to get back into studying. There are a variety of ways to take organized notes that make sense to your brain. One very simple but effective way is called the Cornell Note Taking Method. How does this method work? First, make two columns on your page, with the left-hand column taking up roughly 1/4 of the page. Then write down your notes on the main ideas and terminology in the right column after identifying them in the left column. This works much better than trying to copy down every word of a lecture or a full chapter of your textbook. 

Also did you know the physical act of writing actually helps you retain the information? 


2. Use handmade flashcards

All you have to do is write the key term or concept on one side and then a definition or example on the opposite side. Then test yourself or even have a classmate or friend to do it with you! This is a highly popular way on how to get back into studying.


3. Read out loud

Reading aloud triggers many different areas of your brain to become active. Although it seems like a simple thing, reading out loud requires your brain to process the information to get it out verbally, then as you hear it your brain processes it again. Don’t worry if you feel shy doing this, you may want to find a quiet, secluded place for this.


4. Find and take practice tests – or create them!

Lots of research suggests that practice tests are a great way to help you retain information. There is usually a large variety of resources on the internet or even your professor can provide one. If you can’t find anything, make a quiz and test yourself!!


5. No distractions!

It’s definitely tempting to check your phone while you study. Muting or turning on airplane mode can help you focus on studying and you can dedicate a time to check your phone. Also, listening to music can distract your thinking and memory processes, so it’s essential to find a quiet place and stick to listening to music like classical or jazz.


6. Plan a consistent study time

Although you may assume a single long study session may be the most effective strategy, it’s not. Instead, setting aside shorter periods of planned time each day are much more effective than a longer time. Research shows that your brain needs repetition in order to start the processes that support learning and memory.


Lastly, make sure that you get a good night’s sleep to allow your brain to solidify all the information you learned in the day!!



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