Toughest Exam Question: What Is the Best Way to Study?

In summary, testing yourself repeatedly before an exam teaches the brain to retrieve and apply knowledge from memory. Practice tests also help with test-taking skills, such as pacing and sleeping. The all-nighter is a bad idea. Although 60% of college students stay up all night at some point in school, the practice is linked to lower grades. High-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best, research shows. But what you eat a week in advance matters, too. When 16 college students were tested on attention and thinking speed, then fed a five-day high-fat, low-carb diet heavy on meat, eggs, cheese and cream and tested again, their performance declined. What
  • #1

rhody

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From: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204644504576653004073453880.html": October 26, 2011

Highlights from the article:
  • Chiefly, testing yourself repeatedly before an exam teaches the brain to retrieve and apply knowledge from memory.
  • Practice tests also help with test-taking skills, such as pacing...
  • Sleep also plays a role in test performance, but in two unexpected ways. Review the toughest material right before going to bed the night before the test. That approach makes it easier to recall the material later...
  • The all-nighter—is a bad idea. Although 60% of college students stay up all night at some point in school, the practice is linked to lower grades...
  • High-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best, research shows. But what you eat a week in advance matters, too.
  • What you eat a week in advance matters, too. When 16 college students were tested on attention and thinking speed, then fed a five-day high-fat, low-carb diet heavy on meat, eggs, cheese and cream and tested again, their performance declined.
  • While many teens insist they study better while listening to music or texting their friends, research shows the opposite: Information reviewed amid distractions is less likely to be recalled later...
  • Even when students are fully prepared, anxiety can be another burden on test day.
  • One calming tactic that has been shown to improve scores is to teach yourself in advance to think differently about the test... Then switch your mental image to the testing room and imagine yourself feeling the same way. With practice, you'll be able to summon up more confidence on test day.
  • If you are still feeling anxious, set aside 10 minutes beforehand to write down your worries. Expressing one's worries in writing, Dr. Beilock says, unburdens the brain. The anxious kids who did the writing exercise performed as well on the test as the students who had been calm all along. But anxious students who didn't do the writing performed more poorly.
Rhody...
 
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  • #2
Wow- study and get rest. The WSJ sure is on the cutting edge.
 
  • #3
Well, there is a new class to teach about good study habits every year. I doubt this article is meant for long-time students or educators, except as a reference to help new collegiate students.
 

1. What is the best way to study for a tough exam?

The best way to study for a tough exam is to create a study schedule and stick to it. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you cover all the necessary material. Also, make sure to review your notes regularly, practice with sample questions, and seek help from your teachers or peers if needed.

2. How can I stay motivated while studying for a tough exam?

One way to stay motivated is to set specific and achievable study goals for yourself. This will give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each goal and keep you motivated to continue studying. It may also help to take breaks and reward yourself after completing a certain amount of studying.

3. Is it better to study alone or with a group for a tough exam?

This ultimately depends on your personal learning style. Some people prefer to study alone in a quiet environment, while others thrive in group study sessions where they can discuss and quiz each other on the material. It may be beneficial to try both methods and see which one works best for you.

4. How can I effectively retain the information I study?

One effective way to retain information is to use different study techniques such as flashcards, diagrams, and practice quizzes. It may also help to teach the material to someone else, as this can solidify your understanding of the material. Additionally, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated can also improve your ability to retain information.

5. How can I manage my time effectively while studying for a tough exam?

To manage your time effectively, it is important to prioritize your studying based on the weight of each topic on the exam and your own weaknesses and strengths. This will help you allocate more time to the areas that require more attention. Additionally, avoid procrastination and try to eliminate distractions during your designated study time.

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