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Study hacks will help you on your proofreading course

When we say "studying" we really mean a few things - retaining information, understanding that information, and learning how and when to apply it in your chosen field. 

Whether you’re studying a proofreading course, a copywriting course or an online journalism course, your ability to do these three things will be tested, by either coursework, exams, or a combination of the two.

The thing is, there are good study habits and bad study habits, and the good study habits are so effective, that they truly deserve the title "study hacks".

These are simple techniques and ideas that can help you to maximise your time and productivity, and ultimately, help you to ace your online proofreading course assignments, or your exams.

Let’s have a look at some of the most effective study hacks that everyone should know.

Exercise

This one is pure science: exercise stimulates the brain. Research from the University of Illinois shows positive relationships between physical activity and cognitive performance, and just 20 minutes of exercise - something as simple as a walk - can give your brain that extra boost.

So before studying, and before an exam, make sure you give yourself 20 minutes to get the blood flowing - your brain, and your exam results, will see the benefits.

Explanation Reinforcement

When studying a particularly complex topic, there’s a great trick that makes sure you understand it and reinforces your memory of it: explain it to someone.

If you can explain the concept to someone, without recourse to notes or textbooks, then it’s safe to say that you’ve nailed that topic.

If you can’t rope in a friend or random passerby to listen to you explain the biological mechanism behind the fight-or-flight response, then simply imagine that you are teaching a class - the end result is the same.

Taking breaks from online proofreading

Taking breaks is crucial, either to promote effective studying or if you’re doing a proofreading course assignment. But they have to be the right break, taken in the right way. It’s not advisable to use your break to surf the internet, for example, because we all know how easy it is to be sucked in to an internet black-hole and resurface four hours later - dazed, confused and staring down the barrel of an exam for which you’re unprepared.

Your breaks should be regular and short - take 20 minutes, stretch your legs, make a cup of tea, and mentally review what you have learned in the session. Once your 20 minutes is up, get back on the horse, and work for another hour. Rinse and repeat.

Sense Memory

This is potentially the weirdest of the lot, but it does work, and can be an incredibly useful study hack: when revising something that involves a lot of information, chew an unusual flavour of gum, something that you’d never normally choose.

When you get to your exam, have a stick of the same gum ready, and the flavour and smell will help to jog your memory. Smell and taste have long been known to be profound stimulators of memory, as all of you Proust scholars out there will know, as will everyone who has caught a random whiff of perfume or aftershave in the street, and been instantly transported back to their teenage crush.

Ultimately, studying well is about hard work, and putting the time in, but it’s surprising how little you can get done in a long time if you’re not prepared properly.

Use these study hacks, and get the most out of your home study course.

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