20 Unconventional Study Tips

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Between high school and college, you’re going to do a lot of studying. Studying for quizzes, studying for exams, studying texts for research papers, nothing but studying. Sooner or later, you’ll have signs of burn out. Before that starts, consider adding these unconventional study tips into the mix.

Is your study routine in a rut? It happens, but consider using these unconventional study tips to shake things up and make it actually…you know…fun.

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unconventional study tips

Treat Yourself

Rewards provide motivation.

Even if you give yourself something simple, like 15 minutes of video gameplay after finishing each subject’s homework per night, you’ll stay motivated.

Study Alone

Sometimes you need solitude to focus.

If group study sessions become too distracting, then be brave enough to break away and focus on your own.

Review Readings After Class

Do a review as soon as you can.

Sometimes quickly reviewing the newest material after class will help you make easier mental connections.

Try Studying In Bed

It’s the last thing you’ll see before sleep.

It’s not a guarantee, but studying in bed and then going to sleep immediately after could help that information soak into your brain easier.

Go Some Place New

A change of scenery can stimulate your brain.

If your study routine has become stale, try finding a new spot. The unfamiliarity will make you more alert and attentive.

Take Frequent Breaks

Your brain needs time to breathe.

Everyone needs to take breaks on whatever you’re working on. Cramming without pausing doesn’t lead to long-term memory retention.

Teach Others

Teaching others improves your own retention.

By actively explaining a concept to someone, you actually improve your personal understanding of it.

Turn Off Screens

Don’t let electronic screens pull your attention away.

Maybe it sounds crazy but…you can actually study with your phone, TV, and other devices off. It’ll help retrain your focus on the study materials.

Rewrite Key Concepts

Use repetitive writing to reinforce understanding.

You can learn and retain information by constantly writing and rewriting it. It’s an old school discipline technique that actually does its job well.

Use Acronyms And Metaphors

Mnemonic devices will help your memory recall.

Creating your own cheesy acronyms and phrases are helpful ways to shorthand important concepts in your brain. Instead of trying to remember the whole thing, commit the acronym instead and you’ll fill in the rest instantly.

Exercise Break

After a study session, take an exercise break.

The physical exertion and endorphin rush afterward will rejuvenate you physically and mentally. Plus you can review material in your head while exercising.

Relax Before An Exam

Don’t cram the night before.

Study early in the evening and commit to a full night’s sleep. Your brain will be fully rested and better able to recall information on the exam. Cramming won’t make the difference.

Put On Music

Find music that calms your mind.

Some people think that music can be distracting. This is somewhat true because it depends on the kind of music. Instrumental music and binaural beats can help calm and focus your mind on the task at hand.

Eat Sushi

Fish can help improve memory.

Research has proven that fish contains memory boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. If you’re a sushi fan, then don’t be afraid to have some before a particularly grueling study session.

Sit Up Straight

Posture makes a difference in focus.

The more your body lounges and gets too comfortable, the higher chance your brain starts wandering off attention-wise. Sit up straight with good posture when studying.

Use Sticky Notes

Try this tip when working on vocabulary and definitions.

Get a couple of Post It pads, write out the concepts you need to memorize and stick them in familiar spots. The writing itself helps reinforce the information, and the constant reminders keep it fresh in your brain.

Illustrate Notes

Draw out general concepts.

This tactic works great for visual learners. When reviewing notes, don’t be afraid to create sketches and doodles illustrating each key concept in a way that makes sense to you. You’ll improve your fundamental understanding versus rote memorization.

Wake Up Very Early

Take advantage of your body and brain waking up.

Consider doing a quick study session early in the morning, perhaps an hour before you’d normally wake up. Your body and brain are fully rested and can focus much more easily.

Record Yourself Reading Notes

Consider recording your notes, so you can listen to them while commuting.

Let’s say you have to drive to campus or walk frequently between different buildings to get to classes. Take advantage of that time by recording yourself reading class notes and listen back to them. You can be productive and constantly review materials without having to sit down in front of a book or notebook.

Use Noise Cancelling Headphones

Don’t let random sounds break your concentration.

Even if you’re not using them for music, invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. The noise cancellation will remove any extraneous sounds from distracting your brain and make focusing easier.

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Unconventional Study Tips FAQ

What’s a good way to help information I’ve studied stick?

Use repetitive writing to reinforce understanding. You can learn and retain information by constantly writing and rewriting it. It’s an old school discipline technique that actually does its job well.

How can I better remember complex concepts?

Mnemonic devices will help your memory recall. Creating your own cheesy acronyms and phrases are helpful ways to shorthand important concepts in your brain. Instead of trying to remember the whole thing, commit the acronym instead and you’ll fill in the rest instantly.

What’s a good way to help remember things better after a study session?

After a study session, take an exercise break. The physical exertion and endorphin rush afterward will rejuvenate you physically and mentally. Plus you can review material in your head while exercising.

Is there any food or beverage that will help me study better?

Fish can help improve memory. Research has proven that fish contains memory boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. If you’re a sushi fan, then don’t be afraid to have some before a particularly grueling study session.