You can learn better! Four cool studying tips for students

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Owl © Serge Michel

Spaced repetition

One common practice for learning is cramming. Essentially, you are running out of time and working yourself into exhaustion to try to master some lessons or a specific skill before a test.

Cornell Notes System

The Cornell Notes System was developed by Walter Pauk in the 1940s. The idea behind the Cornell Notes System is simple. Separate the page you take notes on into different areas. Specifically, reserve a margin of about 1/3 of the width of the page for marginal notes. The other 2/3 are for your notes. You can also leave a bit of space at the bottom of the page for a summary.

Closed book learning

Trying to recall what you learned before reviewing any notes has been shown to increase retention (Karpicke and Roediger, 2007).


Building challenges is one way to force yourself to use the material or practice the skill you are learning.

Putting it into practice

Those tips are more effective when you use them in combination.


Cousins, J.N., Wong, K.F., Raghunath, B.L., Look, C., Chee, M.W.L., 2019. The long-term memory benefits of a daytime nap compared with cramming, Sleep, 42(1),



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Antoine Vernet

Antoine Vernet

I write about tips and tricks for students and professors. I also write about cool social science, old and new. I am an associate professor at UCL.