Studying hacks | How to best retain information

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lesley diana

I know a lot of my readers are ages 18-24 which typical means, college students. I have done a few college posts in the past but not as many as I would like. So, I wanted to share with y’all the most proven techniques to study hard but effectively.

30:5 Rule

What research has shown as the most effective and efficient way to study, is the 30:5 rule. This means, study straight for 30 minutes, then allow yourself to take a 5 minute break. What we all tend to do is study 10 minutes and check our phone for 1 minute, or more realistically, becoming trapped in the social media loophole for 5-10 more minutes. Im definitely guilty of this. However, this technique works best to eliminate any distractions that can interrupt studying or even affect how much information you retain. If you keep going back and forth from checking your phone to studying material, you are rewiring your brain to focus more on any surrounding distraction, than what you are trying to accomplish. I know it can be challenging to completely disregard your phone while studying, so here are some tricks that help me.

Airplane mode

Airplane mode people!! How can you be tempted to check your phone when there are no notifications to look at? This helps big time when im trying to avoid getting on my phone. I mean, we check it for one thing, and end somehow end up on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Myspace (kidding) But you get the point, its always best to not even look at it in the first place. You could also leave it in another room, or in a safe, then take it to your car,  drive off,  board a one way flight to Italy, then eat pizza everyday and never return because I mean, Pizza.  Im kidding again but really, airplane mode, it helps.


Another trick I use is set a timer on my phone. This helps me stay on track with studying the full on 30 minutes. And then on my break, not exceeding more than 5 minutes. Once that timer goes off I know its time to switch gears and get back on track, or off track. Well, you know what I mean.

Study 1 week before

No all nighters I repeat no all nighters!!! Multiple reasons.

  1. Stress levels become higher than ever
  2. Life happens, relying on the night before leaves you with no wiggle room if for any reason things do not go as planned
  3. Do u really think you will be able to do your best on a test with no sleep?
  4. The higher chance you will draw a “blank” when trying to answer the questions
  5.  You feel like a complete zombie the next day..nuff said

Studying one week before reduces stress and makes the task more flexible to take on. You can relax and study, rather than skimming through your text book frantically trying to observe as much information possible cuz you only have 12 hours until you have to be taking your test…not fun.

Note taking

This is so crucial guys!! How can you study well if the information you have is vague enough to keep you guessing? Notes have to be neat, accurate and detailed. Now, research has proven humans can NOT multi task, it is actually impossible. What are we actually doing? Switching from one task to the other at a rapid rate. So, where I am going with this is; You cant retain the information in your professors lectures and try to type out the power point at the same time. What you should do instead is take notes of the important points and additional information the professor provides through out the lecture. There is no purpose in copying down what is on the power point if the professor is elaborating and providing additional information that you more than likely be tested on! However, If your professor does not make the power points accessible on the course site, then I would suggest taking a picture of the power point to reference back to once studying.  Overall, good note taking strategies are crucial in college and once you find your best methods, it all becomes much easier.

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I wish y’all the best day and ill see you on the next post!

Let me know if this was helpful, I am always an email or comment away:)

xoxo, Les


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