T Nation

Study Skills

Does anyone know what the best durations for studying for a test would be? Half Hour? Hour? What time period provides the best results? Also, is retaining information better suited to quick bursts of studying or long hours? Does anyone have any tips in general to help promote study skills and retention of material? Any links or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I start thinking about other things after about an hour. If you got in 4 one hour sessions in a day, that would be a lot better than 4 hours of straight studying I say.

My biggest tip would be to study at school. Personally, when I study at home, the computer is way to big of a distraction.

Another tip would be to check out the brain function thread in the supps forum, as the right substances can dramatically increase your mental power.

Advice from the Open University UK …

3-4 weeks before the exam (and up to a few days before), do 30min blasts with regular breaks (as in get up and do something completely different for 10 mins) - make sure you eat and sleep properly before hand and excersise will help vastly.

Go over past test papers to evaluate your weaknesses and strengths.

Condense your notes, identify themes and important information, convert them to mind maps.

Don’t cram late into the night - if you don’t know it the day before your exam you won’t know it on the day.

Can be more specific after the Hatton fight. NOT before lol.

HTH

[quote]Renton wrote:
Advice from the Open University UK …

3-4 weeks before the exam (and up to a few days before), do 30min blasts with regular breaks (as in get up and do something completely different for 10 mins) - make sure you eat and sleep properly before hand and excersise will help vastly.

Go over past test papers to evaluate your weaknesses and strengths.

Condense your notes, identify themes and important information, convert them to mind maps.

Don’t cram late into the night - if you don’t know it the day before your exam you won’t know it on the day.

Can be more specific after the Hatton fight. NOT before lol.

HTH[/quote]

damn studying 4 weeks before an exam is pretty hardcore, I just do the reading assignments and then a bit more hardcore studying few days before and I’m usually fine.

Don’t exercise at night though, for me at least keeps me up way too long.

[quote]shizen wrote:
damn studying 4 weeks before an exam is pretty hardcore, I just do the reading assignments and then a bit more hardcore studying few days before and I’m usually fine.

Don’t exercise at night though, for me at least keeps me up way too long. [/quote]

Hey shiz - I said AFTER the Hatton fight!!! OK !?! lol

Seriously though - for me, 1 to 1.5 hours max per night, 4 weeks before and only every other night seems to work well. On the off study nights I train as hard as I can. I try to forget everything about studying while I’m in the gym. I don’t study or train at weekends when an exam is looming.

What works for me is never doing more than 1.5 hours at once. Take a 30-60 minute break, rotate subjects, repeat as needed

My first semester at college has been so easy, I’ve hardly had to study at all. Only 3 out of my 5 classes had final exams. The first was a ridiculously easy take-home final for statistics. He made it a take home because he said it would take 4-5 hours, took more like 90 minutes. The next was Speech which only required a couple hours of studying the night before, and the last one is Chemistry which I haven’t taken yet but it’s basically going to be a compilation of questions from previous tests.

Out of interest - Joseph93 -What are you studying towards?

i cant study for more then 45-50 minutes a pop without needing to stand up and move around. I deal with posture issues too. This may sound funny… but if you hunch over while you study you get tired quick. I think its a breathing issue. I am doing better now i sit up straight on my ball thingy (hey sitting on em isnt so bad).

Then i take a quick walk, something to eat, take a piss and return and start again. Thats say 5-10 mins… But if i take too long breaks then i cant get back into the flow. So you have to find out how long you can study for, yet retain the flow.

Don’t waste time watching videos like this

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AXf7707VOq0&feature=related

Do a bunch of speed and study your whole semester’s worth of material in a few days.

Yay finals!

smoke meth and study, works great

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
What works for me is never doing more than 1.5 hours at once. Take a 30-60 minute break, rotate subjects, repeat as needed[/quote]

This is pretty much my method too. By doing this on Thursday I was able to spend about 10 hours knocking out reading for a final on Friday, although by the end I wanted to die by choking on a page out of one of my books. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

As far as retaining material and ideas, I find it best to take things in stride as they come so I have as much time as possible to internalize the stuff. As far as study sessions go, going over something and then coming back to it later helps me internalize it better and get a comprehensive view rather than just going through everything marathon style.