Super Food and Studying
Imagine taking a test and then hearing a loud “CRUNCH,” just to see the student in front of you biting into raw broccoli
Or you look over and see someone eating walnuts while marking off their exam.
You wonder, “What could they possibly be doing?”
These students are boosting their brainpower by eating! Many health foods contain nutrients that can help increase memory retention, and help you ace that exam!
Although many classrooms and testing centers prohibit food, here are some tips to incorporate super nutrients into studying a week before exams and tests.
Day one of seven:
Start out studying by creating an outline for the class you’ll be taking an exam in. Break down your curriculum into units, chapters and main points. Under main points, write out definitions of new words and explain key vocab. These will be made into traditional flashcards or digital flashcards and studied on this day until they are thoroughly memorized.
To retain the memory of all these flashcards you’ve made, eat some fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines (either canned, broiled, baked or boiled) for lunch on this day. Studies show that fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, helping long-term memory and improving mood. Perfect for the first day of memorizing lots of terms. More on Flash cards
Day two of seven:
Reserve this day for reading and testing yourself on the exam. Read over the main points of each chapter and predict what questions your professor/teacher may ask you on test day. Write these questions down in a Word document, Quizlet, or any other studying site to help you simulate what exam day may feel like. Quizlet Studying Sometimes, a textbook will provide end of chapter questions. This is a great tool for predicting what teachers may put out on tests, because most of the time, they will either put these exact questions or variations of it on the assessment you’ll be taking.
To improve cognition in this stage of studying, snack on some nuts during studying. A 2014 review revealed that nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds, can improve cognition and understanding. Furthermore, a large study found that female who ate nuts regularly over several years were found to have sharper memory than those who did not eat nuts. The nutrients in nuts like vitamin E and healthy fats, may clarify why nuts are so beneficial to the brain.
Day three of seven:
Grab all those notes and materials of yours you have lying around in your folders. Organize these by chapters, and study these from top to bottom. Highlight points that you don’t understand or cannot seem to memorize. Write all these highlighted points down for tomorrow’s session and then follow this tip for memorizing it, read it aloud two times, write it three times, read it four times (this is called the two, three, four method). Repeat these steps until these points are memorized and understood. Teachers and professors do not give out pointless notes, and usually give notes that are useful on test day. Believe it or not, most professors want you to pass their class. How to study textbooks
How to Study Textbooks – A Quick Survey
To improve memorization skills for this day, eat blueberries for breakfast (In a smoothie, into some cereal, added into oatmeal, or even just eaten alone). A study done in animals showed that incorporating blueberries into their regular diet improved memory and delayed short-term memory loss. Great for a delicious breakfast and for a memory that will remember every point in your notes.
Day four of seven:
Today is the day you and your professor will switch places. Take the notes from day three and teach them until you can do it without the notes. It doesn’t matter who you teach it to, a family member, a pet, or even a pillow! Just make sure to teach it thoroughly enough until you can do it without notes and without your audience becoming confused. By teaching the content you’ll need to know for your exam is the best way to know what mistakes you may make on test day. These can be clearly caught by you when you are unsure of a topic you are teaching or fail to mention a crucial point to your audience. Say it out loud
To teach clearly, one needs to clear their head of brain fog. The best food to do that are pumpkin seeds, which are high in iron. Those who have low iron levels often have brain fog and decreased brain function. Incorporate these pumpkin seeds to your diet by adding them to a sandwich for a pleasant crunch or sprinkling them onto a salad for some savory flavor.
Day five of seven:
Time to power through those questions and flashcards you made on day one and day two. You should repeatedly answer these questions until you are thoroughly familiar with them and can answer every one of them correctly. Skim through your organized notes. Are there any highlighted terms you still can’t understand? Then search up questions on the internet dealing with the subject an answer those until you are familiar with them. Create another thorough mock test with these questions. Include essay and multiple-choice questions with this simulation test. In addition, create an answer key. Do not use this study test for today. How to study from your notes
To avoid feeling sluggish on this day, drink coffee. Coffee is composed of two main components, caffeine and antioxidants. These can increase mood, alertness and concentration, helping you power through your fifth day of studying. Don’t let yourself get lazy yet!
Day six of seven:
Use the test you made of day five to simulate what exam day might feel like. Find a quiet room, start a timer and start the test. When you have completed the test, check your answers by looking at the answer key you’ve made. Retake this test as many times as you like until you are comfortable with the material. Any subject you feel shaky on should be reviewed with flashcards and the two, three, four memorization method. Practice Questions
In order to ace this mock exam, you need to be focused and anxiety-free. Green tea is perfect for this as it contains components such as L-theanine that help reduce anxiety. In addition, a study done with green tea has found that it helped improve performance and focus. Green tea would also help you become alert in the morning because of the small amount of caffeine it has.
Day seven of seven:
Use this day to relax and not worry about this test. This day is meant for reducing anxiety before test day in order to do your best on the test. If you feel the need to study, quickly skim over your organized notes and flashcards, otherwise, refrain from heavy studying like you’ve done for the past few days. Remember to get an adequate amount of sleep on the day before your exam. Sleep will help you wake up fresh and alert in the morning. More about test anxiety
Test Anxiety Quiz
The food to eat on this day is oatmeal—not for breakfast, but for dinner instead. Oatmeal naturally raises your blood sugar, which in turn, makes you feel sleepy. Oatmeal also contains melatonin, a natural hormone that helps you sleep. This food is perfect before test day to get good sleep and ace that test!
Eat some broccoli for breakfast today. Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin K, which is linked to having a better memory. Before going into the test, snack on some dark chocolate. Chocolate has been found to be a mood booster. One study found that participants eating chocolate experienced higher amounts of positive feelings. What to do in the Test Room
Remember that you’ve studied hard for the past week, your hard work will pay off!
Keep distractions away from you while studying. Refrain from going to social media websites and lock away your cell phone in a cupboard or give it to a parent. If you are studying online, use Coldtrukey.com, a site that blocks certain sites for an allotted amount of time.
Another tip is to create a quiet place for your studying. Use your room, a basement or go to your public library to have a place that you can concentrate in. Creating a productive study space
Always divide studying into sessions. Create thirty-minute sessions, with fifteen-minute breaks in between. Creating studying sessions longer than this can make it harder to recall memories, as you are cramming in more information you can handle at a time.
Learn to relax before you take your exam. Do not drink coffee or tea before your exam to wake up, high amounts of caffeine before a test (not a studying session) can increase heart rate, heightening anxiety during the test. When answering test questions, do not linger too much on a question you cannot answer, and come back to it on at the end of the test. Sometimes, you my find the answer in another test question, or looking at it with fresh eyes may help you recall some memory from studying to help you answer the question correctly.
Good luck on your test!
Written by: Isra Rashid