Studying can be so dry and bland that it becomes impossible for any of the information to actually sink in. But there are now innovative study techniques that can turn the same dry notes into a creative study guide that will help you to not only ace your tests but actually retain information. Do you want to break out of the rut that you’re in? These are the ways to do it!
This hardly sounds like an innovative study tip. But we’re not talking about the same old summaries you might be expecting. Instead of trying to summarize an entire chapter with a page-long paragraph, focus on the paragraphs themselves. Find the most important part of a paragraph, and summarize that in a single sentence. If the most essential information answers the question “What is PDA?”, then write down the answer. If it’s a definition of a protagonist personality or cyclical structure, write that.
Teach Someone Else
No, that doesn’t mean assigning them homework. For example, asking people to read The Story of an Hour or the Annabel Lee poem won’t help you. Instead of assigning a courage essay, you should teach the topic you are studying to someone else as though you already know it. Science has shown that humans can retain information best when they are showing and explaining it to someone else. So put aside the Old Major and grab a willing victim, er… participant.
Make Up a Song
There’s a reason we teach children information by singing it to them. Not only can it be so catchy that it actually sticks in your head, but it also makes the information easier to recall. This works for everything, from the alphabet, as with small children, to complex anatomy or literary data. So, if you’re having a hard time recalling information, try putting it to the tune of Baby Shark (do-doo-do-do).
Draw a Picture
This is another way that your brain doesn’t expect to get information, which is enough to shock it into actually learning. Instead of writing out what happened in a chapter, try illustrating it, instead. This works best for the classes dealing with actual scenes, such as history or literature, but can be used for other classes, as well. You don’t have to be an artist, stick figures will suffice. But you do need to be creative.
Try a Game
Jeopardy is one of the most popular game shows, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, who doesn’t love yelling out the answers and hoping Alex Trebek says they’re correct? Bring that into the classroom or your next study session to reinvigorate the learning process. Grab some friends, make a list of pertinent questions along with answers and get to work.
Yes, reading aloud can work. But, to supercharge it and make it really sink in, you’re going to need to sacrifice some dignity. Reading the information in a funny accent can help. So put on your best New York “I’m walkin’ here!” accent, or the twangiest Southern drawl you can imagine, and use it to recite important information. Bonus points if you’re willing to do it with someone else in the room. You might find yourself giggling, but you’ll probably better remember what was stated if you just said it aloud.
Studying doesn’t have to be dull, dry, and boring. The days when the most involving things about hitting the books were the colors of your highlighter have long passed. Now, it’s encouraged to have fun when you study. So whether you decide to turn it into a game, to draw, or to do one of the other innovative tips we’ve given above, you can have fun while studying. Best of all, you’ll be tricked into actually learning.
This content is sponsored by Kelly Newborn.