Studying Techniques


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Learning how to study is a crucial part of academic success. There are many methods to brush up on content and learn before a big test, but how do they work? Here are some popular methods to try out this exam season.

The retrieval studying method is one based on recalling information from what you already know. According to UC Irvine’s Learning and Academic Resource Center (UCI-LARC), retrieval practice makes it easier to remember information later on in comparison to only reading over notes. UCI recommends utilizing this method when taking practice tests, flashcards, and mind mapping. In order to make sure you understand the material properly, it’s best to check your notes after and correct any mistakes.

Feynman Technique
The Feynman Technique is named after Richard Feynman, a theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner, who developed the four step study method. This method consists of studying, teaching, reviewing, and simplification. The first step, studying, requires you to understand the material and basics. The next step, teaching, is to teach the subject to someone else. Then go over any mistakes during reviewing. Finally, simplify the content so that a child could read it; the purpose of this step is to refine your knowledge in a concise way. The Feynman technique is effective because it requires the learner to communicate their knowledge, which makes it easier to remember and convey to others.

Pre-Study Exercise
One of the best ways to start studying sessions is to exercise! An article from the New York Times discusses a study done by Dr. Jeremy Manning in 2022 that found an overall increase in memory ability after exercise. Working out prior to studying can also improve focus and can be energizing.

While it is easy to get lost in studying, make sure to sleep and eat well before a test!