I have 1day for the exam and there is much to study and Is there anyway to study Effectively.. This is not just for tommorrow this is for the entire life.. I'm feeling little low. Is there any medication or vitamins that enhance study.. I feel like there is nothing in my brain and no motivation. Please Help me on this. Is there any mental excercise that I can follow to get my brain work more efficient.. The worst thing is I'm doing math as my major I have Chemistry and Physics with me. So I got lot to coverup think.. Please Help me..


There is no medicine that I would recommend, and unless you have a vitamin deficiency there is no point in taking any extra.

The problem in your situation is firstly procrastination. What happens when there is one day left before an exam, for which you are not adequately prepared, is that your stress levels go up. Acute stress enhances long term memory by potentiating the hippocampus through glucocorticoid receptors (cortisol, the stress hormone, is a glucocorticoid). This is good because it helps you remember nasty situations, and allows you to avoid them in the future. Another effect is that is blocks memory retrieval. This is obvious, and something we have all experienced in exams. A lesser known effect, one that is not readibly noticeable, is that it diminishes the function of your working memory. The working memory is crucial for performing tasks such as mathematics, writing, planning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_memory#Effects_of_stress).

There are two things you can do until next time:

One thing is to plan your studying better. By reviewing a little bit each day you lower the load on the days leading up to the exam. You also enhance your memory that way (cramming isn't as efficient as long term learning), and lower your stress (which makes your brain less inhibited).

Another thing you can do, and there is some research showing its beneficial effects, is to train your working memory. By doing that you can increase its capacity. Bear in mind though that the effects are not always carried over to other tasks than the one you are practicing. You will need to look around for this since I'm not sure which exercises are the best (I enjoy Lumosity.com). Another "mental enhancer" is exercise. By going for a jog, or to the gym, once a day, you will both decrease stress and enhance several functions of the brain (increased BDNF for example. I mentioned BDNF in another answer: Does intermittent fasting increase intelligence?).

Mindfulness and meditation can help decrease acute stress; instead of focusing on everything you have to learn, focus on something else for a while. Or pick out a managable part of what you have to learn and spend time on that. That way you will learn more (as a percentage of the whole) than if you try to learn everything at the same time.

It all comes down to planning and efficient learning.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I appreciate the answer but I would like to know. Os there any effect of low testosterone level for the memory. If so How can I overcome it? $\endgroup$
    – TanJay
    Aug 3 '14 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ Low testosterone in itself decreases motivation. I'm not aware of any direct effect on memory though. However, low testosterone can be both a cause and a symptom of depression. Depressed patients have reduced memory; a very pronounced memory impairment in depression is what is called "pseudodementia". In athletes, sexually active people, and patients with IBD (and probably a lot more cases) there is an increased risk of zinc deficiency; some andrologists say that 40-60% of men are zinc deficient, and as such have lower testosterone than normal for them. 20-30mg before bedtime might help. $\endgroup$ Aug 3 '14 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Two more things that I have to mention and that didn't fit into the previous comment. Motivation is necessary for long term memory potentiation. If I remember correctly, a study showed a 70% increase in memory in tasks for which the participants were motivated. Also, "sexually active people" refers to men, because zinc is partially lost through sperm. Zinc is necessary for the formation of testosterone. $\endgroup$ Aug 4 '14 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ What kind of Medicine you recommend for that? Is multivitamin is ok? I thought to take UPGA 2000+ Is that ok. $\endgroup$
    – TanJay
    Aug 4 '14 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ Multivitamins wont help. In case you have a clinical depression, then you need to see a psychiatrist. Being low and unmotivated point to that fact. psy-world.com/online_hamd.htm - try this. But, if it is due to low testosterone, then zinc tablets would be your best bet. $\endgroup$ Aug 4 '14 at 8:58

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