Study Myth Busters

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Everyone has their unique study process and will swear that theirs is the magic study formula that works best. Many of these study myths are borne from the desperate attempts to cram an entire semester’s studying into one night before the exam, but others are habits that we have become accustomed to. We take a look at the most common exam study myths and decide whether they are confirmed or busted.

Osmosis

This myth is flat out BUSTED. Putting books beneath your bed, playing audio tapes while you sleep or eating pages from your text book will not help you to pass your exams. You may get indigestion, but you certainly won’t get an ‘A’. Any marks you do obtain during the exam using this method were thanks to your long term memory of the lessons, revisions or studying you did before. Imagine what you could have done if you had just studied!

Cramming

This myth is actually INCONCLUSIVE. The one thing we can say for sure is that cramming cannot help you to remember an entire semester’s work. Large volumes of information crammed into your poor brain hours before an exam is likely to leak out before you have driven to school. If you have lots to learn, start early and give yourself plenty of time. However, if you have a relatively small amount of information, cramming can be a good way to study just before an exam. So, if you reviewed all of your science notes in good time, but spend the morning before an exam cramming a couple of formulas, you should be ok. This kind of studying also only suits certain learners so proceed with caution.

The All-Nighter

Totally BUSTED. I mean completely and utterly crushed. This is possibly the very worst thing you can do just before an exam. Sleep deprivation will lead to memory deficits and an inability to concentrate in class. In a study at the University of Tel Aviv lecturer, Dr. Avi Sadeh, found that sleep deprivation severely affects performance. He found that; “A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development.” What this means practically is that a sleepy eighth grader will perform academically closer to a sixth grade level. Basically, not getting enough sleep will severely hamper your exam performance.

No matter what myths you follow, there is no substitution for being prepared and sustained learning throughout the semester. If you don’t succumb to any of these study myths, but are still not performing as we as you would like on the exams, consider getting a tutor. Tutors not only help you to understand work during the semester, they also help you to study for exams and are a real wealth of information on which study techniques will suit your learning style. Remember, everyone learns differently, so what may work for your friends may not work for you. Trust your tutor to test you to see what kind of a learner you are.

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