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Aggies can capitalize on straightforward study tips

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 01:12

Every student has their own unique way of studying. For some it's changing seats after a certain amount of time or sitting on a certain piece of furniture like couches or beds. For other students it's munching on food, eating a certain type of food like hot chocolate powder or picking at their food and only eating parts at a time while they are studying. Some students listen to specific music or music they hate so they can focus more on studying rather than listening to music.

Then there are those few who do some studying while watching something they’re interested in, alternating between study and free time.

Researchers and scientists have done studies where certain activities and foods help increase brain power, increasing studying capability. Fruit juices that are 100 percent fruit will help sharpen your brain. Compounds inside the juices, called flavonoids, help reverse the process of memory loss and keep blood vessels healthy, creating an easier blood flow which will increase brain capability to perform the necessary tasks associated with studying. These juices work the best because they don't have as much sugar and water as other juices in supermarkets. They also have the most compounds to help sharpen the brain, providing more accuracy in studying and focus.


Chocolate has the same effect. It has the same compound as fruit juices that make it so the blood vessels stay healthy and make the brain function better. Hot chocolate works the best, especially when drinking it regularly. Another study from USDA scientists shows pears and fruit juices will do the same thing. Pears have a mineral in them called boron. Boron helps improve your memory, alertness, attention span and reaction time. It's the perfect fruit to eat in college.


A different study shows drinking any liquid beverage will increase your brain productivity and concentration by 14 percent in only a matter of minutes. This is especially true when you are thirsty because the parts of your brain that were busy telling you that you were thirsty just became open to become busy with something else. The study has found that people who were well hydrated before a test were less confused and tense.


Activities, as well as foods, have been studied and proven to help the brain strengthen and concentrate more. One activity studied at New Stanford University is reading. It may sound old fashioned, but reading a novel or even a short story will help. If you pay special attention to the descriptive details of the story you are reading and take the time to read and process the description instead of rushing through, it will exercise your brain and help strengthen your skills for rational thinking and abstract reasoning, both of which could be useful during a test.


There is an activity that helps improve your focus which could help to study better — daydreaming. A study performed by the University of California found that letting your brain wander and day dream will, in the long run, help you focus on what you are doing. The University of California found that we think in two ways: looking out and looking in. Looking out focuses on the outside while the looking in focuses on the inside of us — our feelings and emotions. Daydreaming turns on the looking in side of the brain so your brain can analyze what's been going on in the world around you. You get distracted from what you were working on a bit. When you get done with daydreaming, you return to your work refreshed and more focused.


Jasmine may not be something to help your brain increase its productivity, but it is great for lowering anxiety levels. Lighting a jasmine candle, a study at Rutgers University found, will reduce anxiety levels and boost happiness just by the aroma. Lavender will also have the same effect as jasmine. It clams and relaxes your body and mind just with the fragrance which makes it easier to focus and study.

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