How to study effectively and then nail the test

March 16, 2021

By Elaine Goldhammer MD

Elaine Goldhammer is a medical doctor who has practiced western medicine for 24 years. In  2018, she created Inner Freedom Therapy to help clients in a deeper and more meaningful way.  She is now the leading Hypnotherapist and Life Coach in West Chester, PA. 

Hypnotherapy for Test Taking

Understanding how your brain works are such a helpful way to learn how to study. 

Below are some thoughts on the brain to help anyone learn and study and a brief explanation of how hypnotherapy can help.

Our brains are not supercomputer storage centers.  We are terrible at storing memories. 

Most of us can only hold about three things in our brains at a time.  Our brains are better at processing than they are at memorizing.  We are “meaning-making machines,” as they say.  We love to make connections, explain things, create narratives and stories, even if they are not true.  I once heard the jeopardy champion explain how he remembers so many facts.  He does not memorize things but purposely creates interest in those topics and describes them to his brain in a story-like fashion to his mind so that he remembers them.  Think about it.  If you studied medicine, you remember the pathophysiology and clinical decision-making around diabetes so much better after you met and helped treat your first patient with ketoacidosis.  

 Repetition is the key to “priming” the brain—our brains like what is familiar. 

As we see and hear things, our subconscious trusts the information after repetition.   It is tough to remember anything complicated if you only listen to it once.  Your brain likes to create the familiar and likes repetition.  Repetition and experience are so valuable in complicated career fields.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, he describes art experts, who have been studying the great painters for years, can “instinctively” describe a fake.  They cannot tell us why they know one from the other, but their gut tells them when the real thing vs. a copy by an artist who copied every stroke, every paint choice exactly.  They likely think it is instinctive, but the reason they know is that they have studied the real deal over and over.   Their brains have developed a subconscious understanding that detects details that don’t come to the conscious brain. 

When a student learns and sees the test material repeatedly, the brain does not remember each fact stored as data points but knows enough to make it familiar. When presented in front of a multiple-choice test, the test taker who has reviewed the material enough times will gravitate to the correct answer.  I have experienced that where the answer feels like a click once I  see it listed.   Beyond the pure material, the very skill of taking a multiple-choice test is learnable so that even if you don’t know the answer, you can instinctively tell where the test asker is leading you.  

Anxiety and lack of trust get in the way of accessing your knowledge. 

Hypnotherapy helps eliminate the worry about worrying while studying. Worry is a fast way to clog up the pipes to your brilliant mind.  If you are anxious during the test, you will spend precious energy trying to calm down and focus on missing the test’s nuances.   With hypnotherapy, you get all that annoying wasted energy out of the way. 

Get into the state of FLOW.

If you work with me, you will receive a take-home recording to help you get into the flow state.  You will rehearse the flow’s emotion and visualize taking the test.  Emotion drives everything.  When you feel confident, intelligent, focused, you will do well.   We all need a guide sometimes to help us get to where we want to go. 


How can Inner Freedom Therapy help?

If you would like to discuss this click to book a free consultation. 

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