June 15 2018
We’ve heard it all before: the key to good test scores (and almost anything in life) is getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and doing some light exercise. But what happens when you’ve done all the basic procedures and still find yourself scoring less-than-stellar on your tests? If the basics aren’t enough to ensure your academic success, here are five unheard of (and highly efficient) ways you can improve your grades (and possibly your life.)
1. Download Media-Locks
Are teenagers really obsessed with social media? Research says yes. One study found that students spend only an average of 6 minutes studying before becoming distracted, usually by technology. If this sounds like you, hope is not lost. As noted by Gurl.com, apps like Cold Turkey can get rid of computer temptations once and for all! Just simply download the app and choose the websites you want to block on your laptop. When you block a website for a few hours, you make it impossible to distract yourself with BuzzFeed quizzes and interesting articles. If your iPhone is your biggest cause of distraction, you can download apps like Freedom to block certain apps.
2. Stay Positive
According to a scientific paper published by ScienceDirect and written by Irina Bondarenko, “[When a teenager has] high cognitive activity and achievement motivation[,] positive emotions play a key role in maintaining high academic success and engagement.” So if you're an overachiever whose school life is causing yourself extreme stress, it may be helpful to dedicate more time to something that makes you happy. You may find doing a fun activity for an hour, like painting or playing an instrument, could significantly improve your grades while improving your overall happiness.
3. Adopt Mindfulness Meditation Practices
Mindfulness practices, including mediation, are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society, with new evidence constantly proving their ability to aid numerous aspects of life, both mental and physical. However, what makes mindfulness meditation interventions so interesting are the beneficial impacts they could have on learning. These practices have been found to increase short-term academic performance, while improving in-class learning. Other studies discovered that it can even help individuals manage ADHD. Incorporating mindfulness meditation into your life can be as simple as devoting five minutes of your day to meditational concentration practices.
4. Change Things Up
Tired of studying in the same room for hours every night? Apparently, your brain is too. According to The New York Times, a study found that changing up your location can increase studying efficiency. “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” Dr. Bjork, the senior author of this famous study, told The New York Times. So the next time you’re in a studying rut, try a change of scenery.
5. Teach the Material
Research shows that the ability to retain information is enhanced significantly when a student teaches the material to another person. You can do this by teaching your family members, or even becoming a peer tutor.
If you have the motivation it takes to be an excellent student, you are sure to find a system that works for you. Just remember that, while these tips could give you the extra edge you need to move up a letter grade, it’s still important to implement the essentials. So get enough sleep, eat some healthy food, and do some light exercise! Your brain (and body) will thank you.
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