How to Use Your Whole Brain While Studying

Sharing a list on how to study from  The title is a bit misleading in that there is little discussion that ties in the concept of using your “whole brain” while studying.  Nonetheless, some will benefit from this list.  Even though it is mostly geared towards secondary school students, younger and older students may find some tips of interest.  While British English exists throughout the list, these seem to apply equally well on this side of the pond.

There are countless other lists of study tips, which I may share in the future, some of which I made available to my students.  From what I’ve observed, most freshman high school students have no idea how to study; this included (includes?) my eldest son, for what its worth.  Many students never develop effective study habits, even those in schools that attempt to instill them via the use of mandatory, graded notebooks with required structure, content, note taking guidelines, etc.

To have proper study habits, I believe a student must either: 1) develop an effective method, or set of methods, organically; 2) embrace supplemental guidance from a parent, guardian, teacher, etc., if offered; and/or 3) seek guidance from one or more resources, as necessary.  For any, or all, of these tips to work, a student must want to learn; otherwise, they may simply be perceived as one more burden foisted upon them of which they may not recognize as a necessity, or be willing to carry out.

I share this list as-is as I did not bother to reinvent the wheel in this area…

How to Use Your Whole Brain While Studying

  1. Realize that by the time someone reaches adulthood they mostly only use the left side of their brain while studying, that’s the mathematical side -where you think in black and white. Kids use the whole thing, probably why they do better in their minor tests! Use both sides, it’s the only true reliable way. Think in colour, use your imagination, think ‘clear’ and ‘babylike’; all it is, is simple info – but more of it.
  2. Clear your desk – if you think you can do just as well with a messy desk as you can with a neat orderly one. Have a folder for each subject and make your bed – all three oddly make you remember more.
  3. Relax.
  4. Start studying as soon as you can after school. The minute you come in the door, slam your bag on the ground, run upstairs, take a shower (if you need it), and start studying straight after.
  5. Listen in class. Believe it or not, those who do well in any subject listen in class, even if they don’t appear to be.
  6. Pick out the important words in bold and look them up on the net or get it from the textbook and write your own definition for them – this helps greatly.
  7. Paraphrase. By paraphrasing you can make the information easier to handle, making it better to remember what you’ve learned.
  8. For your homework, use the resources available to you – the main ones being the text book and class notes. More or less rewrite it in your own words. Sounds kind of “duh!” but you’d be surprised by the amount of people who do badly because they don’t read the book.
  9. Get cheat notes and read them. This will make you seem and feel more clever when you’re reading the textbook.
  10. Keep a note and pen near you,try to write out the points you are studying.It will prevent mind deviation and make your brain more engage in studies.Its a proven trick.
  11. Associate your theory with a practice example. If you are studying history try to make a tale related to it. It will help you to know it very well.
  12. Take an interest in the subject, but don’t be too focused on being interested. Let yourself say “Oh my gosh, really?” every once in a while, even if you feel like an idiot. Then make a note of what you did not know and say “Wow, that’s amazing.”
  13. Have the ability to relax with your textbooks. The tests aren’t the end of the world so take a deep breath and relax.
  14. Do not spend more than 1 hour studying without having a break because the mind gets tired and does not give attention to the subject.
  15. Don’t study with either an empty stomach nor with a fully loaded stomach.Take a light food before studying.

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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2 Responses to How to Use Your Whole Brain While Studying

  1. Dave your senior ( experience and age only) says:

    As good as I’ve seen;but we don’t see this often. Probably no later than 7th grade is the time to implement this.


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