The science behind studying


Education, and studying, come in the same package, but not everyone learns the same way, leading students to struggle when tests, midterms and finals arrive.

Since the creation of schools, teachers have told students that the most effective way to study is by isolating themselves in a room with a textbook. But, is this even effective?

According to The New York Times, students should, “forget about what you know about good study habits.” The tips don’t work for everyone, which makes studying a struggle for everyone at any school level.


“I highlight what’s important, before studying I must be well-rested and have eaten and keep away from distractions,” said Alyssa Aleman, a student at Skyline College. She later said, “it keeps me focused and lets me understand the material.”

Huffington Post said that, “cognitive scientists suggest that alternating study spaces is a more effective way to retain information.”

This suggests that students may want to consider alternating their study areas since a lot of people learn visually. Students could be able to associate what they study with the place they were at and alternating the study space could help students retain the information.

“Study with friends and people that I felt had the same priorities as me,” said Paula Silva, an English teacher at Skyline College who shares what she did when she was a student.

As a teacher, Silva suggests students to, “make studying a social event,” as she admits it was extremely helpful for her and to divide up the studying or work into chunks. Dedicating an entire day to studying might lead students to wasting time. She also encourages students to ask for help from teachers to, “mix exercise, socializing and staying healthy,“ into your schedule and to manage your time well.

The Huffington Post suggests that students take tests as a form of studying since it can help them relearn information and to prepare them mentally for any upcoming tests.

“Crash course”, a YouTube channel that was started by John Green and his brother, is a great resource for students who want to learn more about studying tips or to just learn for fun. “Crash course”, has videos about different subjects and study tips suggesting that students have a study schedule. A beneficial schedule has dates of exams and due dates so that students can dedicate a specific time for that class.

They also suggest that students learn as much about the exams as possible to create a similar study environment to be prepared for what the exam will feel like.

Studying is inevitable in college and students will have to incorporate it into their schedule to succeed in school. It may be hard for some students, but it is not inconceivable. Students will have to explore and try different strategies to find out what works best for their success.