Everything Your Parents Told You About Studying Is Wrong

Everything you've learned about how to study is wrong. Did you think that having a study room, sticking to a homework schedule and intensely focusing on a single thing are good study habits? Think again:

In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics. [...]

Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.


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This has to do with "state-dependent" learning. Ultimately, the best place to study would be in the same location you'll be tested in. However the information gets better generalized if studied (and applied) in a variety of settings.
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I always seemed to do better when I listened intently in class and took notes, but then never studied or looked at the notes again.
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This explains why my flip flopping study sessions resulted in higher grades than my friend's focused ones. Same class, teacher, study hours, intelligence level and homework habits. Only difference is my study style is ridiculously ADD compared to hers, and my grades were consistently (and confusingly) one letter higher. If this study is right, that makes sense.
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