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Studying tips from an expert at the U of M

Statistics show people generally remember 10% of what they read and 90% of what they demonstrate, according to the University of Minnesota.

MINNEAPOLIS — As school ramps back up, many students will have to study again for exams. But did you know there are expert ideas to avoid those late night or early morning cram sessions?

Jenny Steiner with the University of Minnesota's Student Academic Success Services, or SASS, said there are ways to boost the amount of information you retain from studying. 

Steiner said it starts first with seeing student success holistically.

"It’s thinking about how am I managing my time, how am I taking care of myself, who are support systems that believe in my abilities and can help me along the way and then what at my school can support me," she said.

Then Steiner said you find small and realistic ways to create study habits. For example, she is a big proponent of the 5+5 Review Method.

According to Steiner, you take five minutes after each class to review your notes. You also take at least five minutes prior to the start of each class to review the notes you took in the previous lecture. 

Steiner said it’s about spreading out that studying to make it a habit, then developing long term memory and learning around a subject.

This method also allows you to ask some questions if you had questions you needed answered before class begins, or if you need to talk to a peer about your notes.

It's also important to find your preferred way of learning.

"It might be through visuals, using color coding in your notetaking or drawing out diagrams, or using some sort of charting method to kind of visualize something together, or maybe it’s auditory," Steiner said.

Statistics show people generally remember 10% of what they read and 90% of what they demonstrate.

"The more senses that we infuse into our learning the deeper that learning connection is going to be," Steiner said.

Here are a few more tips to maximize learning:

  • Seek help early and often
  • Prioritize sleep and wellbeing
  • Build in breaks and rewards

Steiner helped developed some tutorials to help you understand where you’re at with studying. You can see those here.