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8 somewhat surprising study hacks

We get it, studying can be, well, hard. After weeks of learning new information, it's tough to sit down and memorize it all again so you can ace the test. As annoying as studying may be, it's important to learn how to do it effectively. Since having to study isn't going anywhere, you might as well learn to make it as painless (and maybe even fun!) of a process as possible. 

Remember: studying is not a "one size fits all" activity. Everyone has a different way of processing information, so the best thing you can do for yourself is learn what works for you and implement that into your every day study routine. Don't know where to start? We've rounded up eight study hacks that you *probably* haven't heard before, so keep reading to revamp your study routine 

Come up with pneumonic devices

Okay, so this one might not be *totally* surprising, but coming up with easily memorable pneumonic devices is an easy way to keep track of large quantities of information. For example, if you're trying to remember which direction a compass goes (North, East, South, West) you might come up with the pneumonic device "Never Eat Soggy Waffles," where each letter in the sentence corresponds with the first letter of the next direction. Pneumonic devices are often easier to remember than the dy information you're learning, so keep these in mind during your next study sesh.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that helps you stay motivated and productive during work sessions. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, the technique has you use a timer break to down work into intervals (usually 25-30 minutes long) that are separated by short breaks that allow you to re-charge as you study. While you should always listen to your body and take breaks when you need them, this can be an effective way to boost productivity when, TBH, you don't feel like working.

Chew gum

I know what you're probably thinking—chewing gum has absolutely *nothing* to do with studying. While it sounds strange, chewing gum while studying has been proven to boost alertness and prevent you from zoning out. Sounds like you *have* to take a trip to the drug store before your next quiz!

Take color-coded notes

After 12+ years of taking rainbow-themed notes, I am pleased to say that taking colorful notes has been proven to "strengthen connections between concepts" while studying. By taking notes in multiple colors, your brain will more easily recognize the informtion that should be prioritized, making it easier to remember material that isn't as fresh on the brain.

Make charts and graphics

Is your notebook filled with substandard scribbles and illegible charts? If so, you might want to use a program like Picsart or Canva to design graphics that are more easily understandable than what you write down during class. If you are studying the water cycle, for example, you could find a circular template, add the right text and embed photos of the different parts of the cycle. Voila, what was once a black and white sketch is now an organized (and aesthetic) addition to your study notes.

Play relaxing music

While we are often conditioned to believe that we learn best in total silence, that is not true for everyone. Music is known for being a tool that boosts mood and decreases anxiety, so for those of you who get stressed while you study, listening to music might help calm you down. We recommend classical, soothing music—and preferably something without words.

Move around

One of the worst things about studying is the sluggish feeling that you just can't seem to shake after a few hours on the grind. While it may feel like the only thing that will remedy this feeling is sleep, that is not entirely the case. Sometimes taking a walk, moving to a new location or taking a meditation break is all you need to reset your body for another round of studying.

Pretend you're the teacher

I get it—this tip sounds *pretty* silly, but it is actually a very useful study method. If you're struggling to memorize a concept, read through your notes, corner one of your siblings (or your dog, TBH) and force them to listen to you ramble about the subject until it just, well, clicks.

Have you discovered any unexpected study tips? Let us know by tagging us on social media @girlslifemag.

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by Claire Hutto | 7/26/2021
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