Unconventional Study Methods


Noelle Natividad, Staff Writer

Some may say that studying is the easy part compared to figuring out the right method for you. Personalizing published study methods is a part of everyone’s arsenal to attack the next test, but is there more that you can do to prepare yourself?

Miranda, a blogger on the Online Academic Community of the University of Victoria, set the scene: “Your notes are sprawled across the table, cups of unfinished coffee sit patiently waiting and somewhere amongst the mess is a list of all the work you need to accomplish. Sound familiar? If so, we should be friends because that’s what my workspace looks like at this time of year.”

During times of crisis, students resort to what works best, running on pure instinct. Because there are an infinite number of ways to study, some unconventional ways have been spread around the web which just might benefit you.

1. Study where you’re comfortable, but not too comfortable.

Studies show that the comfort of your study surroundings greatly affects how much information you retain when it gets down to the wire. Some suggest study locations like your bed, as long as you don’t get sleepy, while others suggest an alternative seating arrangement within your bedroom to ensure comfort. The website for Western Governors University wrote, “Be aware of how you’re feeling. If you’re a little sleepy, avoid that overstuffed armchair and opt for the desk in your den instead. Find a spot that’s comfortable, but not too comfortable, and make it your go-to study location.”

2. Find some motivation.

A number of students benefit greatly from a five-minute break every now and then, and for others, it might be food. Choose something that keeps you focused, but not distracted, on the task at hand. Put a chocolate bar as a bookmark at the end of your required page range or put a sticky note where you can stop reading and relax for up to 20 minutes.

3. Have fun.

Most studies show that periods of intense studying followed by time away from the text allows the information to sink in for a longer period of time. It allows your brain to relax and focus on something more enjoyable or less stressful instead.

Studying is a cumulative thing that differs from person to person. You can study with others or study by yourself, whatever works. Try something new for your next test and share it with others. You never know, your unique study method might just help them, too.

Photo Courtesy by MARIA NORDVALL