If you’re working on CLEP practice tests or studying for a CLEP exam, you need to make sure your body and mind are prepared for the task at hand. In this blog, SpeedyPrep will discuss some of the biggest mistakes you can make while preparing for your CLEP test, and how these mistakes affect your ability to achieve learning permanence.
You drink too much caffeine.
A cup (or two) of coffee can give you a nice boost in focus and mental clarity for the study material ahead of you. But caffeine consumption fits into the theory of diminishing returns—more caffeine doesn’t mean more study power. At a certain point in caffeine consumption, the mind goes from focused to frantic, and the body experiences symptoms like increased heart rate, anxiety, jitters, headaches, and gastrointestinal disturbances. These are not conditions that lead to effective studying or learning permanence. Switch from coffee to energy drinks, and these ailments compound due the high amounts of caffeine, guarana, and of course, sugar. Plus, with more caffeine comes poor sleep quality.
To avoid caffeine crashes, keep your coffee consumption to a minimum, and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and awake. This will ensure you avoid caffeine-induced dehydration, and will keep your mind awake and aware for the studying at hand.
You don’t eat enough (or eat poorly).
Sometimes, when you’re deep into your study material, it can be easy to forget about the outside world. Even things as essential as food can become an afterthought when you’re wrapped up in your studying. Unfortunately, the consequences of skipping meals can affect your health and your learning abilities.
Your brain, and more specifically, your frontal lobe, uses nearly 20 percent of your daily calorie intake for cognitive function and clear thinking. If you don’t feed your brain and your body, the glucose levels that support your brain’s cognitive function will decline, and you’ll experience confused thinking, dizziness, fogginess, and fatigue—not the recipe for studying success.
A poor diet can have similar effects. By eating processed foods high in sugar and sodium, you’ll experience short-lived spikes in glucose levels, followed by debilitating crashes in energy and mental clarity.
For the best studying results and the most permanent learning permanence, it’s best to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains will provide you with steady, sustainable energy without the peaks and dips, so your brain will always be ready to process information and work through long, arduous study sessions.
You lose out on sleep.
This is, by far, the easiest way to undermine your studying success—although that might seem counterintuitive to some seasoned studiers. On one hand, it makes sense to stay up late to absorb more study material and achieve learning permanence (especially if it’s the night before an exam). On the other hand, getting ample sleep helps your brain and body function better, which will help you process information and solidify your knowledge faster. So which is the better option?
Ultimately, your health is critical to your studying success—the better you treat your body, the more likely you are to learn, study, and take tests effectively. While staying up an hour later than normal won’t affect your cognitive abilities too much, pulling regular all-nighters will leave you feeling stressed and fatigued. That doesn’t lead to great studying and test-taking, no matter how much you’ve looked over the study material.
You study too much.
We know—it might seem strange for your CLEP study guide experts to tell you that you can study too much. But at a certain point in your studying process, your brain can become overloaded and overwhelmed, which makes retaining information difficult. When your brain just can’t study anymore, give it a break—go for a walk, have a snack, hang out with your friends, or do anything that takes your mind off of your study material. You’ll return to your studying feeling refreshed and alert, so you can study and learn better than before.
You don’t use SpeedyPrep!
You don’t need to study more—you need to study smarter. That’s where SpeedyPrep can help. Our CLEP study guides will help you pass your CLEP exams with ease—and with our 100% Pass Guarantee, you’ll pass your exam—or your money back. Get started with SpeedyPrep today!