Study Tips: Part 1

  • Break down the information: Determining where to start studying can be an overwhelming task in and of itself, not to mention reviewing all of the necessary notes, readings, assignments, etc. before the big test day. Breaking down all of this information into smaller, more manageable chunks can help make the task less daunting. To do this, identify the most salient topics in a chapter or unit and go through them one at a time. You will be able to absorb more when dedicating your attention to one topic at a time rather than several.
  • Begin in advance: Create a study plan and begin in advance. Studying for 30 minutes every day for two weeks is much better than studying for 10 hours the day before the test.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks can prevent brain overload! There can come a point in studying where you feel like your brain can’t absorb any more information. When studying for an extended amount of time, your working memory does overtime and it can become much more difficult to effectively concentrate on and process the information you are reading. Giving your brain a break can actually increase the longevity you are able to study. Just make sure you don’t take too long of a break as it can then be harder to get back into the swing of things and transition to studying again. A good rule of thumb is to take a 2-minute break for every 15 minutes of studying, of a 5-minute break for every 30 minutes of studying.
  • Reward yourself: Reward yourself for your studying accomplishments! For example, grab a Starbucks after a couple hours of studying. This will increase the likelihood of you continuing to study in the future. Essentially, reinforcing, or rewarding, your studying behavior will eventually strengthen it.


Written by Catherine F., Novastar Prep Coach


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