All that cramming and those late-night study sessions aren’t helping you earn higher grades. And there is such as thing as studying too much. Balance is important and sometimes you just need to take a break. Don’t just settle for a Netflix binge. And taking a break doesn’t mean logging onto Facebook and scrolling through your feed. Get out of your dorm and go do something that’s fun, mentally stimulating and proven to help you score better on a test. Here are a few suggestions.
Exercise Before Exams
According to a study from the University of Illinois, 20 minutes of exercise, like walking, running or even cycling, can help to boost your test scores. Researchers from the study found that people who partake in physical activity before an exam do much better than their peers who do not exercise. Although it’s smart to review your note cards before a big test, you may want to take a break, and get some exercise instead.
Exercise is also proven to help increase your memory. Researchers from Dartmouth College found that people who are physically active have better memories than people who don’t workout. Maybe, regular exercise can help you recall important terms and information that’ll be on your next test.
De-Stress With Music
If you’re stressing a big exam, take break and listen to music. Or, even better, go see a play or a Broadway show. Research from the University of South Alabama’s psychology department shows that listening to music can not only keep anxiety and depression at bay, music can increase your optimism levels and creativity. Additionally, listening to music while you’re studying can boost your test scores, as well.
Rest is Best
A study from Belgium involving 621 first-year college students found that the students who got a good night’s rest performed better on tests. The grades of the students who slept seven hours per night were up to 10 percent higher than their peers who didn’t get a good night’s rest. Additional research also supports that sleep can boost thinking ability. Medical experts agree that adults should get seven to eight hours each night. Not only is a full night’s rest beneficial to your grades, naps can be helpful, too. Dr. Matthew Walker from the University of California says napping, even for just one hour, can reset your short-term memory, making learning facts easier. Additionally, one hour naps can increase your alertness for up to 10 full hours. More time for studying!
According to research from Harvard Health, American’s spend 90 percent of their lives indoors. But all that time spent indoors can bog you down. Spending time outside has been linked to better health in addition to a handful of other benefits, including concentration levels. If you have trouble concentrating, getting outside may help. Consider taking a hike on the weekend with a friend or join a hiking club at your university. Use an app like AllTrails to find local trails near your school. It’s easy and it’s free to download onto your smartphone. Or think about riding your bike, instead of driving, when commuting to campus. Just be sure to use a bike lock, or bring your bike into lecture, if your professor allows it.