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Evaluating study tricks

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Evaluating study tricks

Carmen Sullivan

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Finals are right around the corner and most students are fitting in their last minute cramming sessions. Many different study tricks are used by students in order to recall all the information that they learned over the semester. Popular choices are listening to music, chewing mint flavored gum and getting a good night’s rest.

The truth is, only some of these habits actually help you study and perform well on tests.

Listening to music while studying has some negative affects on studying. Many scientists say that listening to music while studying can cause our brains to hear an irrelevant sound, slowing down our comprehension. Slow comprehension means we struggle with recalling the information that was studied while taking the test.

Although music can distract your mind, it also can put it into a relaxed state, which is the desired state to be in for studying. Junior Noah Mazzei listens to music while studying. He said, “It helps my mood when I’m working.” Mazzei mostly listens to modern rap and old rock while studying to ease his stress. A more tranquil mind can allow you to focus and grasp knowledge more easily.

Similarly, mints have a limited benefit to studying as well. Chewing mint gum can activate brains better by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and cerebral blood. A recent study divided 224 people into 3 groups: those who chew gum during the test, before the test and not at all. Those who consumed the mint gum before the test recalled about 15 percent more information than the other groups for only a 20 minute time period.  Math teacher Mr. Aryn Stack passes out mints to all his students before every test. “Mints are proven to help students focus,” said Mr. Stack.

However, sticking to the classic goodnight sleep can go a long way in improving your final exam performance. Students who get more than 7 hours of sleep the night before a test perform about 10 percent better than those who don’t. This occurs because while we sleep, already-known knowledge combines with recently-learned knowledge and allows us to recall this information better.

As exams and stress pile up, students can use these tricks to make the most out of their studying.