Save Time In Tests By Anchoring

by Julie Baird on May 5, 2010

This is something that is not widely known but makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Your brain makes links all the time. If you play a sport, chances are you have a set preparation routine that you follow each time you play. For an example look at the baseball players before they get ready to hit. Each time it is the same performance. I practice my workshops standing up, because that is how I deliver them. When I go out networking I have networking clothes. Not so I fit in, but so I am in the right frame of mind.

Now think about how that applies to schoolwork. If you have the same study habits every time, your brain associates that with the performance.

If you listen to a certain type of music while studying your brain associates that with the subject you are learning. This is called an anchor and you can use it positively in many ways.

  • Wear the same clothes to study as you will wear during an exam. Your body recognizes the feel and knows it is in that zone. If you study in sweats but take tests in tight jeans your brain will not make that connection. If your friends raise an eyebrow, just tell them it is your lucky charm.
  • Have a familiar object at your side when you study, have that on the desk while you sit your tests.
  • If you study to music, internally recall that music while sitting the tests to access the learning. Listen to that music before entering the exam. Try having different music for different subjects.
  • Practice sitting at a desk in a test position while studying as the exams get closer; this not only anchors the learning but reduces the stress of sitting at an exam, because it is a familiar physical position.
  • Have a routine of setting up your supplies that you can duplicate in test. That not only provides an anchor but also gives you something physical and routine to do to settle yourself before starting.
  • Think what will apply to you.

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