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9 Academic Writing And Study Habits Used By Successful Students

9 Academic Writing And Study Habits Used By Successful Students

Many students are discouraged to see that, no matter how hard they try, there is always someone with better grades. You may think this is due to a genetic difference or magical and you cannot do anything against it. Well, you’re wrong!

In fact, it is much more likely that the reason is simply that their study habits are better than yours. Here are 9 helpful academic study habits practised by successful students:

1. Draw a Time Table

This seems like a common habit but the reality is that it is not so much; It is precisely the best students who never fail to plan their future success.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have before you, a balanced study schedule will give you the extra motivation you need, helping you focus on one piece of the puzzle each time to progress slowly in its construction.

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2. Take a Break at Intervals

Surprised that one of the recommended study habits is to interrupt your study routine? Many students only practice the study technique that consists of content cramming shortly before the examination.

However, it is scientifically proven that our ability to learn and retain information decreases in direct proportion to the time we spend in front of books. Therefore, if you want to maximise the use of your time, it is advisable that you divide your learning schedule while resting between different sessions:

3. Take Notes

As an advocate of learning, that is, it is important that take done notes when studying. Research has proven that studying and writing goes a long way in helping the brain remember information when needed.

4. Sleep Properly

One of the major enemies of academic excellence among student who do not measure up to others in class is fatigue. The reason sleep is important is that when you rest properly; your brain assimilates what you have learned during the day.

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Therefore, the better you sleep, the more you learn. This habit of study is often overlooked by many students on the excuse that they are very busy. However, successful students recognise the importance of a good rest.

5. Ask Questions

Have you noticed that the most successful students in class always have questions in during a class? Instead of sitting passively listening to what the teacher says, they engage in the learning experience through questions and doubts.

This does not mean that you should always be interrupting the lesson unnecessarily; Questions can also be asked after class, through a study group, etc. Remember: Never stop questioning the why of things; A great question for a small world!

6. Analyse Failures

If you really want to incorporate the best study habits into your routine, you should start right now. Look back, towards your last exams, and review where you had lower grades and why until you understand everything perfectly.

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Regardless of whether we are talking about a final exam, a simple class exercise or an online test, successful students always analyse their failures.

7. Improve Your Vocabulary

Academic writing is very formal and concise in style and uses a formal vocabulary.

According to MHR Writer, “Academic writing should be void of bad grammar, bad style, and poor organisation”. These features can severely obstruct anyone’s academic and professional success. The formal structure that should be used helps to ensure that an academic argument is being supported.

Successful students understand this and as such devote time in improving their vocabulary using helpful means and method. Better students structure their work using proper grammar; sentences and vocabulary give an insight as to why they produce a coherent academic argument.

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8. Simulate Test Conditions

One of the main ways to make sure we get the desired result in our exams is to do tests and simulations that resemble the actual exam.

This means that you must separate from your books, set up a time factor, etc. In this sense, online tests are the ideal resource for preparing test type tests.

9. Apply Knowledge to Real Problems

Successful students know that learning is not about passing tests and getting good grades, but understanding concepts and discovering how you can use them to solve real problems.

Problem-based learning is a method that emphasises precisely this aspect, so it is usually among the most commonly used by the best students.

The best way to become a top student is to try out different techniques and find out which ones best suit you.

Featured photo credit: iacpublishinglabs.com via aos.iacpublishinglabs.com

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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

Brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical condition itself, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brain fog is a cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus.

Many often excuse brain fog for a bad day, or get so used to it that they ignore it. Unfortunately, when brain fog is ignored it ends up interfering with work and school. The reason many ignore it is because they aren’t fully aware of what causes it and how to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that if your brain doesn’t function fully — nothing else in your life will. Most people have days where they can’t seem to concentrate or forget where they put their keys.

It’s very normal to have days where you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these things on a daily basis, then you’re probably dealing with brain fog for a specific reason.

So what causes brain fog? It can be caused by a string of things, so we’ve made a list things that causes brain fog and how to prevent it and how to stop it.

1. Stress

It’s no surprise that we’ll find stress at the top of the list. Most people are aware of the dangers of stress. It can increase blood pressure, trigger depression and make us sick as it weakens our immune system.

Another symptom is mental fatigue. When you’re stressed your brain can’t function at its best. It gets harder to think and focus, which makes you stress even more.

Stress can be prevented by following some simple steps. If you’re feeling stressed you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine — even though it may feel like it helps in the moment. Two other important steps are to indulge in more physical activities and to talk to someone about it.

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Besides that, you can consider keeping a stress diary, try relaxation techniques like mediation, getting more sleep and maybe a new approach to time management.

2. Diet

Most people know that the right or wrong diet can make them gain or loss weight, but not enough people think about the big impact a specific diet can have on one’s health even if it might be healthy.

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency and especially vegans can be get hid by brain fog, because their diet often lacks the vitamin B-12. The vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mental and neurological disorders.

The scary thing is that almost 40 % of adults are estimated to lack B12 in their diet. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are in B12 deficiency, but this doesn’t mean that people need animal products to prevent the B12 deficiency. B12 can be taken as a supplement, which will make the problem go away.

Another vital vitamin that can cause brain fog is vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have enough vitamin D in their diet. Alongside B12 and vitamin D is omega-3, which because of its fatty acids helps the brain function and concentrate. Luckily, both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

Then there’s of course also the obvious unhealthy foods like sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar will send your blood sugar levels up, and then send you right back down. This will lead to brain fog, because your brain uses glucose as its main source of fuel and once you start playing around with your brain — it gets confused.

Besides being hit by brain fog, you’ll also experience tiredness, mood swings and mental confusion. So, if you want to have clear mind, then stay away from sugar.

Sometimes the same type of diet can be right for some and wrong for others. If you’re experiencing brain fog it’s a good idea to seek out your doctor or a nutritionist. They can take some tests and help you figure out which type of diet works best for your health, or find out if you’re lacking something specific in your diet.

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3. Allergies

If you have food allergies, or are simply a bit sensitive to specific foods, then eating those foods can lead to brain fog. Look out for dairy, peanuts and aspartame that are known to have a bad effect on the brain.

Most people get their calories from corn, soy and wheat — and big surprise — these foods are some of the most common foods people are allergic to. If you’re in doubt, then you can look up food allergies[1] and find some of the most common symptoms.

If you’re unsure about being allergic or sensitive, then you can start out by cutting out a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog disappears, then you’re most likely allergic or sensitive to this food. The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet.

If you still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

4. Lack of sleep

All of us know we need sleep to function, but it’s different for everybody how much sleep they need. A few people can actually function on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but these people are very, very rare.

Most people need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, then this will interfere with your brain and you may experience brain fog.

Instead of skipping a few hours of sleep to get ahead of things you need to do, you’ll end up taking away productive hours from your day, because you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be cloudy.

Many people have trouble sleeping but you can help improve your sleep by a following a few simple steps.

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There is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a technique that regulates your breath and helps you fall asleep faster. Another well-known technique is to avoid bright lights before you go to sleep.

A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep with the TV on or with our phone right by us, but the blue lights from these screens suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, which actually makes us stay awake longer instead. If you’re having trouble going to sleep without doing something before you close your eyes, then try taking up reading instead.

If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, start doing this.

5. Hormonal changes

Brain fog can be triggered by hormonal changes. Whenever your levels of progesterone and estrogen increases, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and your memory can get bad.

If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, then you shouldn’t worry too much if your mind suddenly starts to get a bit cloudy. Focus on keeping a good diet, getting enough of sleep and the brain fog should pass once you’re back to normal.

6. Medication

If you’re on some medication, then it’s very normal to start experiencing some brain fog.

You may start to forget things that you used to be able to remember, or you get easily confused. Maybe you can’t concentrate the same way that you used to. All of these things can be very scary, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Brain fog is a very normal side effect of drugs, but by lowering your dosage or switching over to another drug; the side effect can’t often be improved and maybe even completely removed.

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7. Medical condition

Brain fog can often be a symptom of a medical condition. Medical conditions that include inflammation, fatigue, changes in blood glucose level are known to cause brain fog.

Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus and dehydration can all cause brain fog.[2]

The bottom line

If you haven’t been diagnosed, then never start browsing around Google for the conditions and the symptoms. Once you start looking for it; it’s very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose.

Take a step back, put away the laptop and relax. If you’re worried about being sick, then always check in with your doctor and take it from there.

Remember, the list of things that can cause brain fog is long and it can be something as simple as the wrong diet or not enough sleep.

Featured photo credit: Asdrubal luna via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Food Allergy: Common Allergens
[2]HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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