Debunking Study Myths: Not every studying tip you’ve heard will actually pay off.

As we go into finals seasons, it’s time to perfect those studying habits. It’s all about finding what works best for you and effectively planning out your methods of studying. Keep reading to discover some of the studying myths to avoid as well as some effective practices to implement. You may be thoroughly surprised to discover that you may have been studying all wrong. 

Study Myth #1: You should have a designated place for studying. 

Scientific studies have shown that studying in one specific area does not help you remember information better. According to the author of How We Learn, Benedict Carey supports the idea that switching up the setting where you study can actually drive increased recalling of knowledge. By studying in different environments the brain is challenged to work harder to recall the information in different places, causing better retention. In addition, new settings will lead to new associations in the brain, allowing easier retrieval of information. A pro tip offered is to study in the room where the exam will be held, so your brain will link your notes to the room and help you recall the material you studied there. 

Study Myth #2: Classical music does not help concentration. 

This myth is completely subjective. Some people are able to study with noise or music, while many may need complete silence. But according to the experts, a French study found that the music of Mozart will assist with better sleep and diminished stress levels. They discovered that students who listened to classical music during an hour-long lecture performed better on the exam than those who did not. The researchers asserted the individuals listening to classical music were in a greater emotional state which led them to be more responsive to new information. The music also allowed the students to be more focused, leading to better performance. 

Study Myth #3: Cramming works. 

Unfortunately, I am sorry to tell you that all of those late nights spent cramming material cannot be justified. Cramming is not an effective way of helping the brain to remember information. Gary Lynch a professor of psychiatry, human behavior, anatomy and neurobiology states that spreading out your studying over longer periods of time and taking breaks are the most effective methods of studying. Lynch also asserts that when cramming material, only one synapse of the brain is working. Multiple synapses are used when studying in short sessions spaced out over time. In this way, the brain is using its full power to help you recall information. 

Remember this finals season, study in various locations and environments or for the best results in the room where the exam will take place. For those who like noise while studying, play some classical music to help you focus on the material. In addition, if you have trouble falling asleep before an exam, play classical music to help you fall asleep and reduce any pre-exam stress. Finally, spread out your studying over time and in short sessions to maximize your brainpower and most effectively recall and retain information. Good luck on your finals, Eagles! 

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