4 proven learning techniques that work

·       Dummy tests

Got a maths exam coming up? Why not create a dummy exam where by you give yourself 10 to 20 questions – which you don’t know the answers to upfront – and give yourself an hour or so to complete. Don’t be tempted to cheat or do half a job, you’re only really cheating yourself.

Practice exams can also work with friends and classmates. You put one together for your study partner, and have them create one for you. Run through both sets of answers at the end and discuss those which you got wrong or could have added more of an answer to.

·       Spread it out

One big mistake students often make is to dedicate a whole day (or even an entire weekend) to studying, usually a few days before the exam. This method will never work for two reasons:

  1. Attempting to cram a lot of knowledge in right before an exam is proven not to work. It’s impossible to learn everything required in just a few hours, and is more likely to leave you stressed out, anxious and in a worse position than you were in when you started.
  2. Studying for prolonged periods of time can be ineffective. Try putting a study plan together where you can take a 5 minute break after 30 minutes of study, or even a 15 minute break after an hours worth of studying. This will help to stop you from burning out and becoming overwhelmed with the task at hand.

·       Keep learning

It is scientifically proven that one of the best ways to improve your learning, is to keep on learning – never stop! Think about expanding on your current reading list and branching out in to wider subject areas.

Consider taking some extra classes, studying abroad for the summer, or joining a study group with a consistent study schedule with goals for each day.

A brain which stops learning will begin to get lazy. Keep your brain active and don’t be afraid to learn a completely new subject.

·       Let the student become the teacher

One of the best ways of learning is to teach others what you’re learning. The brain is more engaged when you’re doing something rather than reading something. Consider asking your parents or friends to sit and listen to you talking through a particular subject or topic. Spending time to talk through the different elements will help to cement that knowledge in your own head.