The best time of the day to revise for an exam


If you've ever wondered how to maximise your learning capabilities, a new study has found the answer.

The conclusion is: don't bother setting your alarm for silly o'clock!

Researchers surveyed a group of first and second year students from the University of Nevada, Reno and The Open University in the UK.

They analysed their learning patterns and the results are, well, not entirely surprising.

You know all those studies suggested we should start school and work later? Well this study supports that argument, because the best time for learning is later in the day than students start classes.

Mariah Evans, associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno and co-author of the study, said:

The basic thrust is that the best times of day for learning for college-age students are later than standard class hours begin. Especially for freshmen and sophomores, we should be running more afternoon and evening classes as part of the standard curriculum.

The participants’ preferred sleeping times and how well they felt they performed cognitive tasks at every hour of the day. The result showed that most students labelled themselves as “evening” people as opposed to “morning” people, and that their natural day begins two hours later than what’s ideal for older adults.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, challenges universities’ decisions to begin lectures at 9 am, when this “limits the performance of their students”.

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