Skip navigation

The best study tips

A group of students sitting around an outdoor tableStudying is imperative for students who want to do well in a class, but many students struggle developing solid studying skills. If you think your study routine is holding you back, here are eight simple things you can do to improve it.

1. Make a list of your assignments. It helps to write down everything you have to do so you don't forget anything. Having many different things to do can get overwhelming. Breaking tasks up into smaller subtasks can make them seem more manageable, so you can start doing them instead of thinking about how much work you have to do. Go through your tasks one by one, checking them off as you complete them for a sweet feeling of accomplishment.

2. Have a set study time. Sit down and plan out when you're going to do your homework, then stick to that time. For example, you could say that you're going to study every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m., every Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., and every Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. Treat all of your study sessions like a class that you absolutely have to attend.

3. Remove all distractions. It's hard enough to focus on studying, but it can be much harder if your phone is ringing and your friends are talking and your TV is making noise. It can be helpful to play some quiet music, especially if it's instrumental, but anything more will just keep you from your work. If your phone keeps ringing, you can choose to put it on Do Not Disturb mode or airplane mode, or just turn your phone off and put it away.

4. Time yourself. It's difficult for anyone to focus for hours on end, so it's good to take breaks so you don't burn out. Make sure that these breaks aren't too long, though; otherwise, you'll never get your work done. One popular way of timing your work and break times is the Pomodoro method: work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. Every third break should be longer (15 or 20 minutes instead of five) so you can relax and get ready for the next set.

5. Use active study methods. Passive studying, like reading from a textbook, gets boring, which means you're more likely to get distracted. Instead, try making flashcards, doing practice problems, or creating a study guide. If you absolutely have to read out of a textbook, then make it engaging by annotating (not just highlighting) the text.

6. Study with others. Collaborating with classmates can make studying easier because you can work together on difficult problems. Explaining content to other students can help you learn it better too. To make sure the study session doesn't get too distracting, you can use some of the other techniques, like making goals and timing work/break periods, to keep yourself and your group on track.

7. Space out your study time. You can make your studying time much more productive just by spreading it out over multiple days. Studying for 12 hours in one stretch will just tire you out. If you study for two hours a day for six days, or one hour a day for 12 days, you'll spend the same amount of time but it will be much more effective.

8. Stay healthy. Don't worry too much about getting perfect grades; studying is great because it helps you learn. But don't forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you eat right and sleep enough. This keeps you healthy and helps you get better grades too.

Copyright © Henry on 2017

Editor's Note: Find below more information on studying;
Tips on creating a study schedule
How to avoid distractions while studying
How to take a study break
Getting the most out of studying with others