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Three Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Study Time

Practice test for college

You’re nearing the end of your college career when deja vu strikes. Four years ago you sweated and squirmed your way through the SATs — a challenge you never thought you’d have to face again. Now, a new standardized test blocks you way to grad school — the GRE.

Far more difficult than its predecessor (and way more expensive), the GRE is certainly a rigorous and imposing challenge, but it can be conquered, just so long as you do your test prep review properly. Here are a few scientifically backed studying tips for exams that can help.

Chunk Information to Prevent Straining Your Cognitive Load.

Cognitive load theory says that our working memory has a limited amount of bandwidth. Memorizing an intense amount of information is a lot like downloading a large file from the Internet. Downloading it all as one file will take a lot longer than downloading several, separate, smaller files. You can apply this idea to your test prep review. Psychologist George Miller believes that the human brain can chunk information into seven bundles. So if you’re having difficulty memorizing something, break it up into seven parts and tackle each one separately as you do your test prep review.

Don’t Pull Any All Nighters.

It might seem like you have a lot of work cut out for you — and make no mistake, you do — so it’s tempting to pull an all nighter and crank things out. However, studies show that losing an entire night’s worth of sleep can negatively impact a person’s memory and reasoning for up to four days. What good will all those GRE test prep classes be then?

Listen Up.

Speaking of test prep tutoring, reading along with the instructor allows you to mentally store information in two ways — by hearing it and seeing it. When you’re doing test prep review on your own, read your GRE test prep books aloud. Just be sure to not do this type of test prep review in a library, or else you might get kicked out.

Chunk. Sleep. Listen. If you do those three things when getting ready for the GRE, you’ll be just fine. If you have any questions about doing test prep review, feel free to ask in the comments. Read more about this topic at this link.




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