Metacognition & Time Management

Metacognition: The awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking process.

Conducting research often requires a thorough understanding of concepts, patterns, and variants. Metacognition helps foster this understanding, and can improve one’s takeaway from their findings.

  • Metacognition facilitates a more thorough understanding of material
  • It requires that students actively assess their own learning progress, and think critically about study habits, understanding of material, and areas of weakness

Fostering thorough comprehension

  • Frequent review vs. Cramming
    • Frequent review of notes helps students retain info & understand concepts better
    • Cramming information promotes memorization rather than understanding of material
    • Focusing one one task is more effective than multitasking

Comparison of theories, explanations

  • Seeking alterative explanations & methods of solving problems can help clear up areas of confusion


Time Management

Time blocks

  • Separating work time into 20, 30 minute time blocks helps stay on top of progress and stay focused
  • Experiment with different length blocks for studying and relaxing to try and find best fit

Study breaks

  • Another way to help in sustaining focus
  • Can be helpful to take break away from workplace (walk around, stretch etc)


 Sustained focus

Staying focused

  • Concentrating on one task at a time can help maintain one’s focus
  • Keep track of tasks, plan completion and track progress
  • Setting goals for timed completion of tasks can help with staying engaged and staying on track

Book Keeping


  • Keep a separate research notebook/journal
  • Can be useful to separate into focus topics (Data recording, hypotheses, data trends, sources of error, etc)
  • Track deadlines & stay in constant contact with faculty advisor