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Score an A* in A-level with these study smart techniques

Score an A* in A-level with these study smart techniques

Some students have study for hours to perform well on exams, while others manage to score with seemingly little or no study time. In this article, we’ll shed light on some science-backed study techniques that will help you study smart instead of hard.

1. Incremental revision

If you learn a topic on day one, look at it again the next week, and then each month after that. If you do this, you’ll remember more information than if you start revising everything one month before the exam. Plus, you’ll be less stressed on the day of the exam. 

Not only will this strategy help you remember and retain key information, but it will also help you score higher grades. How? 

If you’re stressed, there’s more cortisol flowing through your body. High cortisol levels are linked to lower brain function. So, in a stressed-out state, you may make more silly mistakes. 

Avoid this by planning and revising regularly.

2. Take that front seat 

Yes, those back benches are cooler, but if you want to spend fewer hours studying at home, choose the front seat. 

In the year 1988, two researchers, Rennels & Chaudhari, conducted a study on how the class seating arrangement affected students' scores. They found that students who sat in the front row scored 80%, while those who sat in the middle and back rows scored 70%  and 68% respectively.

This is because if you sit in the front row, you are more likely to listen to what the teachers are saying. So, when you go home to study, you need to spend less time on that topic since you’ve already done the groundwork in class!

3. Say NO to multitasking 

Multiple studies have shown that those who multitask tend to be distracted and less productive. What’s more? Those who multitask take longer time to grasp a concept.

So, if you keep looking at your social media or chatting with your friends when you study, you end up spending a greater number of hours at your study table.

4. Make handwritten notes

When you take notes by hand rather than on a laptop, you become more engaged and are more likely to remember what is being taught. 

In a 2013 study, it was discovered that even when students used their laptop solely to take notes, with no other distractions, their learning was less effective than when they took notes by hand. 

Furthermore, taking notes on your laptop can lead to additional distractions unless you actively pause notifications. Using a notebook, on the other hand, allows you to focus on your studies.

5. Start Journaling

Writing down your emotions has a cathartic effect. It reduces stress in the body and lowers cortisol, which, as we discussed in point one, helps students stay focused while studying. In fact, psychologist Kitty Klein has conducted extensive research proving that journaling improves both memory and the ability to learn new information.

For best results, try to journal half an hour before you sit down to study or take exams. 

6. Read it out loud

If you're having trouble learning a particularly difficult subject, try reading it aloud to yourself. Several studies have found that students who read aloud learn faster than those who read silently. 

Do you have any idea why this happens? 

When you read silently, you only use one sense: your sight, whereas when you read aloud, you use both your eyes and your ears. This improves your brain's ability to focus and helps you understand the topics better. 

7. Keep a bottle of water nearby

Dehydration impairs a person's ability to absorb new information. Ideally, you should be drinking water before you feel thirsty. 

So, keep sipping on water to stay focused and avoid feeling sluggish while studying.

If you liked this article, read 6 revision tips on how to be A-level ready next.



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