Friday, December 7, 2012


5 Random Study Hints to Share with Your Students

One of the reasons students don't preform well on tests is stress. Tests are stressful! They study and then promptly forget everything.

In addition to having my students prepare for their tests by studying I also tend to give them some random hints. Do these help? I think yes! But, mainly I think that they help students feel that they've made an extra step and thus are more prepared.

1. Use your sense of smell/taste!
When studying burn a candle/incense with a certain happy scent and then when you take the test or quiz where a perfume/cologne or have a satchel of the fabric which smells the same with you. Your brain will recall the information you studied more readily as it associates the smell with the information. Also, your brain is more likely to remember pleasant information. This means that if you eat ice cream while you study your brain stores this in the "happy" place. This is easier to go ahead and buy an extra pint of ice cream.

2. Chew Gum / Fidget
By chewing gum and/or fidgeting during the test/quiz you will be keeping your blood moving. That means that your blood goes towards your brain faster and you think "better." No idea if this is true or not, but I think the fact that they are moving tends to get rid of their nerves during the test which is just as important.

3. Brain Gym!
I give my student some moves that allegedly have the left side of their brain contact the right side more efficiently (with your right hand trace 4 triangles, simultaneously with your left hand trace 4 squares). I have read mixed reviews on this, but again, I feel that it gives them something to do when they are freaking out which they believe helps them. Thus, with the placebo effect, it does!

4. Eat a good breakfast
I still remember taking those STAR tests when I was younger and my teachers would bring in OJ, cheese and crackers. It goes with reason. Think of Maslov's pyramid. When someone is hungry they can't learn. When your stomach controls you, you aren't thinking correctly. So by eating a solid breakfast (fish for the omega if possible) their brain works better and their stomach won't bother them.

5. Have a good night's sleep
I remember that in Psych 101 in college we learned how short term memory is converted into long term memory. He told us the only way cramming would work was if we crammed really hard, went to sleep and then went straight to the test. Otherwise it probably won't function. Regardless of cramming it is the same as above. If you are falling asleep your brain will not work so be sure to get a good night's sleep.

Do you have any unique advice that anyone ever gave you? Or weird advice that you give your students?

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