Smart Study Tips

April 30th, 2009

Paying attention in class and doing your homework will help you do well in school. Getting a good night’s sleep will make a big difference, too. But did you know that eating right can also give you a boost?

We’ve put together a few tips to help you study smarter and better your test performance:

  • SLEEP TIGHT. Try to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. The last couple hours are especially important, since that’s when your brain converts short-term memory to long-term.
  • EAT BREAKFAST. Students who eat breakfast have better concentration, problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination. They also have more energy. But make it a light breakfast. Ideally, you should consume about 25% of your daily calorie allowance. Digesting too heavy a breakfast will make you sleepy.
  • EAT WELL. Focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like eggs, flax seed, kiwi fruit and walnuts. All of them improve brain function.
  • GET YOUR VITAMINS. Vitamins like folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 improve the ability to recall information. Choline, the fat-like B vitamin found in eggs, has been shown to enhance memory and minimize fatigue.
  • STAY COOL.  Don’t wear too many layers on test day; studies show that people perform better on tests at slightly cooler temperatures.
  • REV UP! Nothing relieves stress and clears your mind like exercise. So an hour or two before the test, put down your books and stretch or go for a jog.
  • HYDRATE. Have some water before test-time, but don’t over-do it. Too much can have an adverse effect on brain function.
  • KEEP CALM. Don’t cram right before the test. Instead, use the time to relax and clear your mind.
  • SKIP THE JOLT. Most energy drinks are not only overly-caffeinated, but they contain a lot of glucose, which converts into energy faster than most sugars. So you’ll not only be jittery, but could even hit a post-sugar slump before exam end.