Math and physics tutoring by Dr. Dave
Exercise helps your brain organize information.

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Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice means working on math problems in a calm, organized and sensible manner. Focusing on easy questions can lead to an illusion of competence, meaning you think you know your stuff, but are really just going through the motions over and over. This is not a very effective way to study. To really boost the learning process when practicing, keep in mind two important things:

Task Lists

Task lists can be a valuable tool to free your working memory for focussed study. When you are trying to mentally juggle all those things you must do, including all the other subjects and the stuff of regular life, it takes up a major part of your working memory and makes your studying less effective. Making lists frees that memory and helps you be more focused and efficient. Furthermore, making lists at the end of the day for upcoming tasks will help free your mind and get better sleep.

Test Taking

Taking a practice test for one hour is usually a far better way to learn and lock in memories than one hour of regular studying. Another very useful way to prepare for a real test is to use a checklist that helps you assess whether or not your studying has been effective. The following checklist was developed by Richard Felder for engineering students, but works well for other subjects too.

What About Sleep?

Metabolic toxins accumulate in the brain when we are awake. While sleeping, our brain cells actually shrink in size, and the toxins are easily flushed out. In addition, sleep allows the brain to organize and clean up all the things that we've been accumulating over the course of a day. It will erase the less important things and reinforce the important things that you want to remember. And if all that isn't impressive enough, your brain will also rehearse the information and procedures that you are trying to convert from a limited working memory to long-term memory.

10 Good Study Habits

Using recall, taking scheduled breaks, mixing things up...

Adopting as many of these techiques as possible will optimize your study time and improve your math memory.

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