Create study habits that work for you

Evelyn Alt

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chewing gum is one of the most common and helpful study tricks.

It is a universally acknowledged fact that one of the most challenging parts of being a student is the extreme amount of testing. From quizzes to exams to standardized testing, even the best students struggle with the amount of knowledge needed to be retained throughout the school year. And it’s not only about the test itself. Students often face the common difficulty of not knowing how to study. There are thousands of study tips and tricks that can be found in various places on the internet, but finding which one works best for you consists of a rather lengthy process of trial and error. 

The most effective and productive way for one student to study is rarely going to be the same as someone else. That being said, it is always helpful to have some things to try and ideas to work with when you want to figure out what works best for you. Here are some of the most common and generally most helpful tips and tricks for studying. 

From quizzes to exams to standardized testing, even the best students struggle with the amount of knowledge needed to retain throughout the school year.”

First up is chewing gum. For whatever reason, it seems like every teacher has a different opinion on chewing gum in their class. Some teachers don’t care, some forbid it in their classroom, and some even hand it out to their students before a test or quiz. While I can’t say for sure whether teachers should allow their students to chew gum or not, I do know that scientifically speaking, their students will perform better if they are allowed to have it. 

Chewing gum is possibly one of the most helpful things you can do while studying. Studies show that chewing gum can improve memory, increase attention, and lower the high-stress levels that often come with test taking.

In 2018 a study was conducted by authors Paul Ginns, Theresa Kim, and Eleni Zervos to see how much of an effect gum has on students’ alertness and test performance. Participants in the study were split into two groups: one that chewed gum while studying and one that didn’t. It was found that people who chewed gum while studying did end up performing much better and felt more attentive and awake during the exam. 

Of course, chewing gum during a study session or a test isn’t going to instantly guarantee a 100%, but with all the benefits it will provide, why not give it a try? 

Chewing gum is especially helpful for people who often end up cramming in a study session the night, or even an hour, before their tests. Cramming is far from the most effective way to study for a test. It is far better to space out your studying in the days and weeks before so that you have a deeper, better understanding of the material. That being said, cramming does have its benefits as well. It’s never a good idea to save all your studying for a test until the night before, but in reality, it does happen, and cramming isn’t the worst possible solution.

Although students who cram their studying will have a much harder time retaining the information from their material, studies have shown that cramming can actually create a better outcome on test day than the same number of study hours spread out. So if you forget about a test or quiz and have to study the whole unit the night before, chances are you won’t do too horribly. However, a few weeks later when you have to study for the exam, you might have to review all the material all over again. 

The most common cause of cramming is procrastination. This isn’t the only reason someone might have to cram, but it is a pretty regular explanation. And while cramming will help you on a test you have the next day, it won’t be very useful in the long run. One way to keep yourself motivated and make sure you study enough is to join a study group. This could be with a large group of people or just a friend or two. Making plans to study with other people outside of school is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself on task. 

With the set time you have to meet someone and the added motivation of getting to do something outside of your house for a little while, you are bound to have a more enjoyable experience studying. Once you change your studying format, you might even find that you enjoy it enough to want to keep studying more often.

For many people, tests, quizzes, and exams are the main contributors to stress in their life. Having to study for days on end, never knowing exactly what will be on the test, and constantly being worried about your grades make school a whole lot less enjoyable. But if you are more knowledgeable about how to study and what to do to help yourself retain course material, much of that stress is instantly relieved.