What if I told you that I improved my grades simply by the type of notepaper I purchased, when and how I chose to read and even by eating candy in class? I did just that.
Attending college, as an adult, I have made strait A’s, but I cannot say the same for when I was in high school. In high school, I had many misconceptions about A students. I believed they were naturally smart,’ studied day and night,’ or my personal favorite, there popularity somehow contributed to those good grades.’
As an adult I took a course on study skills and amazingly I too began to make the grades. Not only that, but is seems that my newfound grades actually began to make me smarter. Grades are not always determined by how hard you study or how smart you are. Try the following techniques and you can determine your own grades.
Claim Your Seat:
It really does make a difference where you sit in the classroom. When you sit in the front of the class, not only do you see and hear better but you are not distracted by what is going on behind you. In addition to what you see and hear, teachers and professors really do have a better perception of the students who sit in the front three rows. If you find yourself on the boarder between and A and a B, or a B and a C, having the instructor in your favor may be what makes the difference.
Take Good Notes:
Go to class armed with pen and notepad, prepared to take good notes. Do not take just any notepad; try to use colored legal paper. Research studies show that your brain remembers what you right better, especially if it is written on colored paper, with yellow being the most memorable.
Snack In Class:
If you can get away with it, studies confirm that you retain more information if you are experiencing something pleasurable while learning. Eating colored candies while listening to a lecture may actually help you remember the details. In fact, if you take a different flavor or type of candy to each class, you may begin to associate the details with the type of candy that you consumed.
Read In Short Sessions:
Your brain retains the information that you read at the beginning and the end of your study session. Most adults only have a twenty-minute attention span; that is why we typically see commercial breaks for every twenty minutes of TV viewing. So if you read for two hours strait then you are going to retain the information you studied during the first twenty minutes and the last twenty minutes. That means that you have wasted the 80 minutes in between. Try studying in twenty-minute intervals.
Review Your Notes Before Bed:
Your brain is most likely to retain the information that you review just before you go to sleep. If you have a test or final, the last thing you should do before you go to bed the night before is review your study notes.
Review With A Friend:
It really does help to study with a friend, preferably one who is in the same class as you. Not only will your brain retain the information better in a social situation, but also your friend may have caught some information that you did not.
Write It All Down:
When you write information on paper it is more likely to find it’s way to your long-term memory. This is especially helpful if you are trying to learn a long list of vocabulary terms. Make it a practice to make handwritten flash cards for every term and you will have no problem remembering them.
Trade Notes With A Friend:
Note taking is only effective if you write down all of the information, and lets face it we all get distracted at one point or another. Find someone in the class who is willing to let you look at their notes and make it a habit to read over them at least one time per week. This is as simple as making time to arrive at class a little early or stay a little late and it is well worth the effort.
If your professor will give you permission, tape-recording is still one of the best ways to ensure that you do not miss any lecture information. I would caution however not to become lazy on your note taking if your teacher allows you to tape.
Apply What You Know:
One of the best ways to learn and retain a new concept is to apply the information to your daily life. If you are studying Psychology, analyze your family. If you are studying Science, do some experiments in your kitchen. If you identify with the information your brain will not discard it.