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The Most Effective Study Method

Every teacher expects their students to study. But what they don’t realize is that many students have never officially been taught how to study, leaving them with no idea how to prepare for tests and earn the best grades they can. That’s why we’re here to tell you about one of the best study methods for all types of students: the 50/10 Rule.

The 50/10 Rule

Students often think they can study for hours on end without interruption. While that may technically be true, it fails to account for the effect that sort of endless studying has on the brain. Your brain needs time to relax and recharge to be able to study and absorb information effectively. In fact, taking frequent study breaks may even help boost your ability to focus.

The reason your brain needs breaks is that, just like any other part of your body, it gets tired during periods of extended use. When you spend a long time concentrating on one task, the part of your brain known as the prefrontal cortex uses energy to resist impulses and keep you focused. Eventually, your brain will start to feel fatigued from all that exertion. The work you accomplish when your brain is in this tired state may be of lower quality compared to when you work with a fresh brain. For this reason, regular breaks are needed to maintain productivity, especially when working through marathon tasks like studying for an important test.

Many students may be unsure how to start incorporating the necessary breaks into their study schedules. How often should you take breaks? How long should each break be? What can you do during your breaks? If you find yourself asking any of these questions, consider checking out the 50/10 Rule!

The 50/10 Rule requires very focused studying for a period of 50 minutes followed by a 10 minute break. Your studying during the first 50 minutes of the hour should be without any sort of distractions. Move to a quiet area, turn off your phone, and try to stay completely focused on your task for the entire period. It may help to set a timer so you don’t feel tempted to check your phone to see how much time you have left in the block.

Once your break starts, you are free to do anything you want for 10 minutes! You can choose to scroll through social media, get a snack, use the restroom, or talk to your friends. The one thing you should try to avoid during your break is studying or even thinking about the tasks you have left to complete. In order for this study method to be effective, you have to give your brain a true break so it can recharge. Otherwise, your ability to focus and study will not be refreshed before you head into the next 50 minute block, and you may start to feel mentally fatigued.

You can use the 50/10 Rule outside of just studying as well. Use it as a way to combat procrastination by motivating yourself to work for 50 minutes and rewarding that accomplishment with 10 minutes of relaxation. Breaking up large, daunting tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks of time can make it much easier to overcome the hurdle of getting started and help you keep up your energy throughout the entire project.

How Studying Helps You

Obviously, studying is key to earning high grades and scoring well on standardized tests. Both grades and test scores are important for the future of your educational career, especially when applying for colleges, programs, and scholarships. However, there are also many other benefits to studying regularly.

Studying helps you develop skills that lead to success in both educational and professional careers. You may find that following a regular study schedule even when you don’t have big tests coming up trains you to absorb and retain information at a faster and more effective rate. This prepares you to quickly learn new skills and adapt in professional environments.

Developing and maintaining a study schedule also teaches you how to manage your time. Time management is a skill that allows you to make the most of your time in all aspects of life, including career, education, and even personal matters. Use your time management skills to lower stress levels by planning out tasks, overcoming procrastination, and finding time for much needed relaxation whenever possible.

Half the battle when it comes to test-taking is conquering performance anxiety. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to boost your confidence before a big test is to spend time studying. When test day finally rolls around, you will most likely feel more prepared and confident in your ability to succeed. As you gain more and more confidence in your knowledge and learning skills, you can then apply that confidence to other areas of your life as well, such as professional interviews and social situations.

More Tips to Study Effectively

There are lots of ways to improve your study habits outside of just the 50/10 Rule. Check out these tips to help supercharge your study sessions even more!

Find a Quiet Place

It’s unlikely that you will be able to accomplish your best studying in a room full of distractions. Even those of us who focus better with a small buzz of background noise can’t study well with the TV on or friends talking around us. When you need to study, consider going to a quiet place like the library, a small café, or a local park. That way, you will not be tempted to indulge in distractions and can instead spend time truly focusing on the task at hand.

Put Away Distractions

Speaking of distractions, try to keep them out of your study environment. This includes devices like your phone, laptop (unless you need it for studying), tablet, or TV as well as other attention diverters. Try putting your phone in a drawer or somewhere out of arm’s reach where you won’t be tempted to check it in the midst of studying. This will help you accomplish more during your focused blocks of time and enjoy your study breaks to a greater degree.

Make Studying Fun

It’s hard to make studying exciting, but there are ways to do it depending on what sorts of hobbies you enjoy. For example, students who like gaming in their free time might like turning their study sessions into a game, allowing themselves to score points for correctly answering questions and cashing in those points for rewards like snacks or extra break time. Those who enjoy art might like drawing illustrations of their notes or using vibrant colors to highlight important material. Be creative and try to bring some fun into your study sessions whenever possible.

Learn Studying Strategies With Prep Expert

If the thought of studying freaks you out, consider enrolling with Prep Expert! Our ACT and SAT prep courses are designed to prepare you not only for important standardized tests, but also for a lifelong successful academic career. Learn essential test-taking strategies and general studying tips from expert instructors who actually know how to make studying fun.

Check out Prep Expert’s full catalog of courses today to find the perfect match for your studying style!

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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