I was delighted when my name, RM Nisperos, was seen in the featured article Making the Grade of Family First Magazine, a Don Bosco Press Publication. Thanks to Stephanie Mayo for including me as a resource person for the article that was published in the magazine’s Volume 2 Number 1 June-August 2014 Issue.
Here is the transcript of the interview for the Making the Grade article.
QUESTION: How should students go about preparing better for their tests?
RM NISPEROS: Our brain works harder when we are taking an exam. It is important to condition our brain for maximum performance. A good night sleep and a hearty meal is very important for students to perform better on exams. Students should remember that studying takes toll on their brain. Studying cause stress which is the very reason that students should nourish their brain with healthy food and ample rest.
QUESTION: Can you share with us effective, novel strategies for studying better for tests? Something that many may not know and may not have tried yet.
RM NISPEROS: Our memory have the capacity to store short- and long- term duration. Short term memory store more information but can easily be forgotten while long term memory store information in the unconscious mind that can easily be retrieved even after long periods. The trick is repeat studying forcing our brain to migrate information from the short- to long- term memory. Studying in short amounts of time but with more repetitions is better than studying extensively only once.
Short term memory can only store 7 bits of information. Students can circle around this constraint by clustering numerous information into 7 packets of information. For example, it is difficult to remember 09177514051 individually. Clustering them into 0917-751-4051 or in 3 packets of information will be easier to remember.
QUESTION: What do you think are the common reasons for poor studying habits?
RM NISPEROS: Distraction plays a large role in derailing good studying habits. Depending on every student, it could be television, mobile phone, games and other things/that can disturb concentration. Specifically, technology plays a big part in developing poor study habits. It is important that technology is utilized as a leverage for better studying habits rather than becoming a distraction.
QUESTION: What do you think students should avoid before an exam?
RM NISPEROS: Cramming in all cost should be avoided because learning’s true calling for student to apply them in their lives. Crammed studying could make students pass exams but the lessons they’ve learned won’t be utilized in the future. The point is to learn stuff that should be stored in student’s long term memory and to be used in life, not just to pass exams.
QUESTION: What do you think is the best motivation for the student to study better?
RM NISPEROS: Students in nature lives in the present that they usually don’t realize impacts of studying better. Students mostly prioritize fun rather than doing academic stuff. Technically, students are hedonists that basically want to have fun. The best motivation for me is instilling that learning is fun. When this happens, learning will be valued and studying better will become automatic.