new material and concepts, quizzes and tests – going back to school can seem like information overload. as you work toward your degree or certification in healthcare, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a guide to retaining and organizing all that information? well, you’re in luck! we’ve rounded up insightful study tips to help you maximize your studying efforts.
cut down on distractions
maybe you can rub your belly and pat your head at the same time, but when to comes to checking email and peeking in on social media while you’re trying to study, you’re not really “multitasking”. your brain is actually doing something called “switchtasking”. this occurs when you attempt multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time. and as this article states, “each switch in attention incurs switching cost, which includes a loss of time, decrease in performance, and an increase in stress levels.” talk about counterproductive! so, switch those notifications to silent mode, and focus on the task at hand.
there’s a great guide called the cornell note taking method (pdf guide) that’s clear, concise and proven to be quite effective in helping organize notes. how does it work? well, instead of keeping page by page notes exclusively on lectures and chapters, divide your page into two columns. you’ll want to dedicate about ¼ of the left side of the page to the left side. this is where you can identify key terms and concepts. use the right side to document your notes on this content. research indicates organizing your notes in this fashion can help your brain visualize the information for future recall. this is an excellent way to ensure productive study sessions!
be honest. you done the “cram before an exam”, right? how’d that work out? while you’ll get lucky sometimes, research suggests shorter study sessions spread out over multiple days produce better results than those longer sessions. the basic conclusion? repeated retrieval of information leads to long-term retention of what’s learned. as this article from psychology today explains: “this happens because each time we retrieve a memory, it has to be reconsolidated and each such reconsolidation strengthens the memory.”
fun colored flashcards aren’t just for gradeshool! they worked well then and they can help you today! you can often buy specific healthcare related flashcards, and these can work great, but if you make your own, you’ll get the additional benefit of working through the material again while you’re writing it all down…which is another way to get those concepts to sync with your long-term memory.
say it aloud
you likely already know reading information you are trying to remember aloud can be helpful. this is due to multiple parts of your brain working simultaneously to process the information as you speak it and hear it. did you also know the same goes for explaining concepts and material to other people? grab a (willing) friend or family member and walk them through things you’ve learned.
practice makes perfect
practice tests are proven to be one of the most effective ways to retain information. can’t find a particular practice test for an upcoming exam? make your own!
when followed, these tips can help you along the way as you prepare for your exciting new career in healthcare. at eastern college of health vocations, our health care programs are designed to prepare students for their careers as medical assistants and dental assistants. we focus on giving you the right tools at every step, including financial aid assistance and scholarship opportunities; supportive faculty who have practiced in the profession they teach; instruction in resume writing and interviewing; and most importantly job placement assistance. enroll today or arrange a campus tour by calling our admissions office in little rock at 501-232-0378 or new orleans at 504-736-0654.