15 Smart Psychological Tricks for MBA Students

When procrastination seems to win and nothing gets memorized, it’s time to tune your mind. Psychology has tons of ways to help you with this. Here are the 15 best tricks you can do to improve your MBA learning and quality of life.

#1: Chunking Workload

Breaking down a big topic proves effective. Think of how we try to remember a phone number. If it’s 1234567, we usually memorize it as 123-4567 or 123-45-67. The same with learning material, and the more complicated the subject is, the more chunks you may need.

#2: Spaced Review

Creating considerable intervals between review sessions improves information retention. This works both with exam preparation and MBA essay writing. Even if you’re buying your essays online, you still have to read and review them, right? Leave at least several days to make sure you memorize everything well.

#3: State-Dependent Recall

It’s claimed to be easier to remember the necessary material when you’re in the same state as you were when you learned it. So, taking a test in the same room you studied for it may help you a lot. Listening to the same music or being in the same mood may apply as well.

#4: Learning Whats and Hows

If we talk smart, it’s called declarative and procedural knowledge. MBA students need both of them to be able to transfer their knowledge to practice. Usually, colleges give us a lot of terms and definitions and little practical work. See if you can find some to improve and deepen your understanding of the subject.

#5: Multimodal Learning

The more ways you can use to learn something, the better. You can read about it, write a short MBA essay, look for images on the topic, build diagrams and concept maps, watch videos, etc. Implementing all of these into your studies will give much better results than plainly reading a textbook.

#6: Mind Mapping

Mind maps are effective when you need a new way of memorizing material. It gives you an ability to remember the structure of the topic as an image, not as a list. A lot of students find it useful and more effective.

#7: Adding Associations

When learning a new topic, find anything to associate the most difficult parts with. If you can’t memorize the term or its definition, try using your imagination. Imagine situations that can trigger your remembering of the term. You can also look for images, sounds, words in another language ⁠— literally anything.

#8: Serial Processing

Learning about one object or topic at a time in a sequence is a way of serial processing. It’s usually put opposite parallel processing. The latter implies you learn all the objects and topics at once. As a result of cognitive psychology studies, it’s been claimed that the human brain works more efficiently using serial processing.

An interesting fact: computers also mostly use serial processing.

#9: Sleep

When preparing for another sleepless night, remember one fact. A night without sleep may affect your reasoning and ability to memorize material for up to four days. So, when reviewing for an important MBA entrance exam, it’s always better to do it in combination with healthy sleep.

#10: Time Awareness

Students who are aware of time usually finish their assignments quicker. Put a clock near you when studying to make sure you’re not behind the schedule. If you often procrastinate, put timers and alarms to remind yourself of the time.

#11: Note Taking

Always take notes when you study. It helps you think more about the material you’re learning. You may not notice it at first, but when the time for the test comes, it will help. You’ll remember not only what you read in the book, but also what you wrote.

#12: Place in Class

If you can, choose to sit in the front rows when attending classes. Being watched by the teacher will lower the possibility of distraction. Your focus will improve, and you will hear the teacher well. Besides, if there’s a presentation of slides, you’ll see everything clearly.

#13: Simplifying Information

One of the best mnemonic devices is the use of acronyms and expressions that trigger certain information. For example, to remember the planets of the Solar System, students say: “My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles”. The first letters of the words and the names of planets in the right order match.

It may be old now since Pluto was downgraded, but you get the point.

#14: Pretend Tests

Before the real MBA test, get prepared and take a pretend one. Ask your friends to join to make it more fun. When creating the test, involve all the info you have about the format and questions you’ll be given during the real one. This will help your brain customize and tune.

#15: Bottom-Up and Top-Down Approaches

The bottom-up approach implies you take a small element of the topic and going gradually towards the bigger picture. The top-down approach makes you start with the big pic and go deeper into the topic, learning the details. Try both and choose whichever works for you best.