New studies challenge the notion that a high test score equals true learning. Although a good grade may be achieved in the short term by cramming for an exam, chances are that most of the information will be quickly lost. Indeed, these surveys show that over 70 % of students probably don’t need to study more – just more effectively.
Based on decades of brain science, experts offer students a new method for learning. “Students tend to sit there and push themselves for hours, when there are other ways to make the learning more efficient, fun and interesting, which will maximize their learning potential,” researchers say. For instance, rather than sitting at the same desk studying for hours, changing the scenery will create new associations in your brain and make it easier to recall information later. Another way to signal to your brain that information is important is to talk about it. Self-testing and writing down information on flashcards also reinforces learning.
Another technique is called “distributed learning” or “spacing”. Long study sessions may seem productive, but chances are that learners are spending most of their brainpower on maintaining their concentration for a long time. That does not leave a lot of brain energy for learning. “The brain wants variation. It wants to move, it wants to take periodic breaks.” Scientists also confirm that repeating the information over a longer interval – say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession – sends a stronger signal to the brain to retain the information, and this enhances learning.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
- a) According to new studies, most learners should study harder.
- FALSE: “Indeed, these surveys show that over 70 % of students probably don’t need to study more – just more effectively.”
- b) It is more difficult to retain information when studying in different places.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
- a) Do good academic results mean that the student has truly learned? Explain.
- No, not really. Because students might have memorized a lot of things just for the test, but then they might quickly forget all this information.
- b) Why do short periods of study make our brain work better?
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) idea (paragraph 1): notion
- b) capacity (paragraph 2): potential
- c) links (paragraph 2): associations
- d) improves (paragraph 3): enhances
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) I am used to studying (study) for a couple of hours every day since I was a child.
- b) Unless / Even if / Even though you take a break, studying the whole afternoon can be very stressful / stressing (stress).
- c) Don’t spend too much time trying (try) to memorize the dates!
- d) Complete the following sentence to report what was said.
- The teacher asked the students: “Did you write a summary of the lesson for your last exam?”
- The teacher wanted to know if his / her students had written a summary of the lesson for their last exam.
5.- Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic.
- Describe your study habits and routines and explain why they are good for you.