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Q: Studying ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Studying
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: sal930-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 20 May 2006 17:45 PDT
Expires: 19 Jun 2006 17:45 PDT
Question ID: 730826
Are there any proven tests that as the day goes on, you start to comprehend less?

For example, if I studied for 8 straight hours (with breaks here and
there), would I be retaining less by the 5th or 6th hour?  Even if I
don't feel tired.

Subject: Re: Studying
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 20 May 2006 20:35 PDT
Hello Sal930,

   My resources show that studying one subject for more than 2 hours
at a time can greatly diminish subject retention. Please check each
site for complete information.

   Of course, there are always exceptions, and some people are able to
study onger. You may be an exception. Why not try experimenting?
Compare how much you think you retain from studyng the same subject
matter for 6 hours, compared to some of the maximized retention tips

   ?Numerous studies have shown that you get the most out of a subject
during the first hour of study. In each successive half-hour, your
learning diminishes. An extra four or five hours studying the same
thing produces almost no results. To make the most of your study time,
take a short break when you feel yourself flagging and hit a different
subject when you come back.?

   ?Limit blocks of study time to no more than 2 hours on any one
course at a time. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours of study you begin to tire
rapidly and your ability to concentrate decreases rapidly. Taking a
break (consider splashing some water on your face, doing a few
stretching exercises, drinking a glass of water, etc.) and then begin
studying another course will provide the change necessary to keep up
your efficiency.?

   ?The number of pages of weekly reading should be no more than 100.
My rule of thumb is 75-100 pages per week. It is certainly possible
for students to read more than this, but the possibility that they
might remember anything they have read or be able to accomplish any
critical thinking on the content diminishes as the number of pages

   ?Reviewing class notes within 24 hours of writing them dramatically
improves depth of comprehension, re-tention of information and recall
for test preparation. This prompt reviewing also enables a student to
quickly fill in missing points or correct wrongly recorded

   ?Many extremely bright students fail courses and many students with
average intelligence excel. What accounts for this difference? Experts
say it is partially the desire to learn the subject material and to
achieve long-term goals. A strong desire and intention to learn
results from interest in the subject material, the ability to
comprehend the material, and a purpose for mastering the material.
Motivation or a desire to succeed academically supplies the energy
necessary to plan and practice effective study procedures.

Motives are among the strongest influences on your behavior. They
affect the amount of time and effort you are willing to exert in order
to succeed. The most powerful motivations arise from your goals and

   ?Develop blocks of study time  -  About 50 minutes? How long does
it take for you to become restless? Some learners need more frequent
breaks for a variety of reasons More difficult material may also
require more frequent breaks?

   ?Studying for hours at a time can be exhausting.  Take regular
breaks, about every hour, to walk around or grab a drink.  Also, try
switching your study activities.  If you?ve been reading for an hour,
quiz yourself on what you?ve just read, or make some flashcards.?

?1. Take regular study breaks. Many students find that working for 50
minutes and then taking a 10-minute break is ideal, although this
varies, depending on the student and subject matter.
2. Find your "prime time." For many students, one hour of daytime
study is equivalent to one and a half hours at night because their
concentration level during the day is much greater.
3. Get your sleep at night, and avoid daytime naps lasting more than
ten minutes. Concentration dips both before and after a nap.?

   ?Ratio. You need short breaks. Few students can study uninterrupted
for two hours without becoming fatigued and losing concentration. Try
the 50-10 minute or the 30-15 combination (e.g. work 50 minutes and
rest 10 minutes).?

   ?Fifty to ninety minutes of study at a time for each course works
best. Relaxation periods of ten or fifteen minutes should be scheduled
between study periods. It is more efficient to study hard for a
definite period of time, and then stop for a few minutes, than attempt
to study on indefinitely.?

?	?Study in chunks: 20-50 minute time periods followed by a brief
break (5-10 minutes) is the most effective way to study
?	Use daylight hours: an hour of studying during the day is worth two
at night! Do the work that requires the most concentration (typically
reading) earliest in the day.
?	Rank your three classes and be sure to spend time on your most
challenging class everyday and early in the day.
?	Study actively: ask yourself questions, review your notes regularly,
discuss key concepts with peers and course professor

   ?The problem of when to study is critical. A good rule of thumb is
that studying should be carried out only when you are rested, alert,
and have planned for it. Last minute studying just before a class is
usually a waste of time.?

?The SQ3R method
The SQ3R method has been a proven way to sharpen study skills. SQ3R
stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. Take a moment now
and write SQ3R down. It is a good slogan to commit to memory to carry
out an effective study strategy.?
?Tip: Begin study no less than 30-90 minutes after a meal.
Tip: Never study within 30 minutes of going to sleep.
Tip: Prioritize! Make a list of what you intend to study, prioritize
the list, and stick to it!

Tip: If possible, study no more than 30-40 minutes at a stretch. Many
students retain more by studying for short periods with breaks in
between. It all depends on what you're trying to study, but generally,
after a period of study, take a break.?

? TRY	Taking a break of 10 minutes for every 50 minutes of work; this
will help you retain information.
WHY?	Because learning does not occur by simply stuffing material into
short-term memory. Learning occurs when what you put into
short-term-memory connects--integrates--with what you already know
(which is stored in long-term memory). This connection occurs
naturally--and you experience the peak of your learning--when you stop
inputting and relax (although you may think about the connections that
are occuring).

   ?Find the best time of day for you. 
Choose a study time when you feel refreshed and awake. This may be
early in the morning or late at night. Experiment and see what works
best with your schedule. If mornings are too chaotic, try evenings.
Remember, do not get too comfortable. If you choose a time when you
are tired and ready for bed, you will fall asleep!? 

?3. Study the hardest parts first. Don't cram. Study in short periods
of 30-45 minutes, you'll retain more.?

I hope this is the information you were seeking! Please request an
Answer Clarification and allow me to respond, before your ate this

Sincerely, Crabcakes

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Subject: Re: Studying
From: myoarin-ga on 21 May 2006 07:07 PDT
Great answer from Crabcakes, as always.

The SQ3R method and advice to review and rewrite notes the next day
are very practical and useful tips.
It is important to understand that memory works a little like computer
files:  there are temporary memory "files", like that of the score of
an ongoing tennis game, that get deleted when the information is no
longer pertinent.  Sure, it is probably still somewhere in your brain,
but it can't be recalled at will, only with with a lot of jogging,
say, if someone mentions the way a point was made in the game.
You have to make a permanent "file" of the information to recall it at
will, and do this before your shortterm memory loses the information. 
This is done by reviewing the information  - your notes -  while they
can still jog your recollection of the lecture or passage of the book,
and revising  - reformulating the notes in writing, which of itself
reinforces your memory, not just gives you better notes to review
A teacher once told me that he had disciplined himself to do this by
making 5x8 cards of his lecture notebook notes on the following day.
Subject: Re: Studying
From: sal930-ga on 21 May 2006 11:58 PDT
Thank you both for your detailed responses.
Subject: Re: Studying
From: myoarin-ga on 21 May 2006 13:15 PDT
IF you are completely satisfied with Crabcakes' excellent answer, you
might rate the question accordingly.  (The system keeps track of rated
answers and keeps statistics on Researchers' success.)

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