Study Shows How to Study for Optimum Results

Posted by Lori Goldman on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Under: Study Skills

A study done at Tufts University in Massachusetts looked at the best ways to recall information and retain it for longer.  There are techniques you can use to improve your marks and feel less stressed about studying.

Amy Smith is a graduate student and lead author of the study. "I would recommend always reviewing your material first … and then give yourself practice tests. Read your notes maybe once or twice and then push them aside and make yourself remember as much as you can," Smith said. "Then go back to check your notes: Did you remember everything? No? Then do it again." reported on another study from Europe in August, 2016.  "It seems like an obvious statement: get a good night's rest before a test or exam and you're likely to do better. But it's surprising how many students fail to get enough rest. Often, that's sacrificed for cramming the night before. But it's a bad idea, for many reasons. 

[It] found that the brains of people who don't sleep well tend to perform poorly on a memory test. That supports the theory that when we're awake we weaken memory connections. If we're awake too long, the connections between neurons (synapses) become saturated. This means we have greater difficulty retaining new information. Sleeping allows our brain to form new connections. 

So forget the cramming and get a good night's rest. Your synapses need it."  CBC Dec. 5, 2015

Erin Barker from Concordia University in Montreal believes that feeling negative can sometimes help people when they are challenged. It protects us by making us change our behaviour and improve our actions and therefore the outcomes. Happier people can improve their marks more than unhappy ones. But people who felt bad about a worse mark than usually did better afterwards.  Barker believes that if you stay focused and limit negative feeling about preparing for exams or getting bad marks, you can be more motivated in meeting the challenge.

The take away is to do as teachers always recommend: get exercise, get lots of sleep, and have a social life, all while juggling your homework and study.  BALANCE is the key!!

In : Study Skills 

About Me

Lori in I got my Bachelor of Education degree in the USA but was born and raised in Canada. Working in Asia and with immigrant adults and children for 26 years has given me insights into the difficulties they face in a new country and school system. I like to help adults adjust to and explore the rich and diverse opportunities in Canada while also supporting them in their challenge of parenting in a new culture. I love to help children learn English, develop skills, and gain confidence to succeed in school and life.


“Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning A lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part. "Most people don't plan to fail; they fail to plan." ~~John L. Beckley

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