Did you know that being ready and organized for tests and exams can make a huge difference to your school performance? If you’re wondering how to study effectively, you must have the right attitude and regular habits tailored to yourself.
There is no absolute path on how to study effectively. Each student has different studying methods which work for them. Not everyone has the same skills and abilities; that’s why it’s essential to know which approaches work best for you.
To further help you form your own set of studying strategies, we round up some of the best study techniques to help you make studying more enjoyable than you can expect.
Importance of Study Skills
Excellent studying skills help you improve your knowledge and enhance your ability to learn. Developing effective studying habits can also help you reduce stress and anxiety about exams and deadlines. Why? Being equipped with preparation helps your brain to relax and focus more.
In line with this, these skills will increase your self-confidence, given that you can manage your time wisely. A functional study schedule allows you to spend less time studying and balance your time for other essential things in your life.
Practical study skills will not only help you excel in school but train you better in your future career as well. You can benefit from it in achieving your long-term goals more quickly. How? Effective study skills are closely related to the type of skills that employers and looking for.
Remember how to study smarter and not harder! Once you develop these valuable study skills, you will realize that all your works and efforts become more rewarding.
Effective Ways of Studying
The first thing to remember is that you should consider studying as a venue to learn rather than a punishment. Many people frequently think that studying for long periods lead to high grades. But, research shows that successful people spend less of their time studying due to better studying strategies.
Here is a list of how you can significantly improve your way of studying:
- Do a pretest – Before actually learning pieces of information, assess yourself first by practicing and answering some questions. Even though you might get most of the answers wrong, your mind will get more accustomed to being active and prepare you for your studies.
- Write your notes – You can write the titles and headings in any way you want. It also helps if you write them in bold. In that way, you can retain more critical information. You can even write in your own complicated way as long as it helps you remember the content of what you’ve written.
- Paraphrase – You may be reading the whole textbook without retaining anything in your mind. Paraphrasing is an effective technique to help yourself understand the material you are reading better. Putting it in your own words will make it easier for your brain to digest new learnings.
- Teach it to others – Find someone who doesn’t understand what you are trying to learn and explain to them the concepts thoroughly. Doing this will help you learn more given the insights they can provide and exchange of thoughts.
Top 10 Studying Tips for 2019
1. Stay organized
Your study area should be set up with all the materials you might need to finish your assignments and projects. You may be needing pens, erasers, clips, stapler, puncher, papers, and even snacks. For some tasks, your laptop will also be handy in case you need it for research.
You can study without any disturbances if all your materials are prepared. Create your checklist of the things you might need in your study area to avoid breaking your focus in the middle of studying.
Taking your food and drinks with you in your study area is also ideal since this will prevent you from making endless trips to the kitchen.
If you want to learn more about staying productive, check out our article on ways to organize your desk.
2. Look for the perfect atmosphere and find your zone
The first step in learning how to study smart is by picking the right place to study. It can be your bedroom, the library in your school, or even the coffee shop near your house. This is effective as long as this specific place can make you focus on your studies.
Your study area and schedule should be comfortable and free from distractions all the time. You may study in the morning, night, or whichever time makes you more focused while studying. Find out which time is your peak in concentrating and keep in mind to study on that specific time every day.
Moreover, It’s better not to study much later than your bedtime because doing this will only make you feel more tired to study correctly in the following days.
3. Find study groups and make friends
One of the most underrated how to study tips is joining study groups. You can study with a group who can help you attain new perspectives and enhance your learning experience.
You can study with your friends or even with other groups of people who are willing to help others to learn. Most schools and universities have designated study groups and tutors, so learn to maximize your resources well.
Studying with others can even help you meet new friends who you can share new knowledge with. Study groups can support you in discussing your ideas by interacting with the members of your group. You can ask your group mates for clarifications and additional information that can help you achieve new studying strategies.
4. Start small
If you are not yet comfortable with studying with a large group, you can always find yourself a study partner to help you study with all-nighters. You can ask each other about the things you don’t know and even find out about it together since two working brains are quicker with solutions.
A close friend whom you share the same interests or classes can support you better in how to study well. As time goes by, you and your partner can invite other people who also need help with studying. By doing this, you get to hone your ability to communicate with other people.
5. Avoid distractions
Remember that distractions are everywhere, and these can easily prevent you from learning how to study effectively. While studying, it’s hard not to get distracted that within a few minutes, you may already find yourself holding your phone, browsing your social media, and chatting with your friends.
Turn your cellphone off or in silent mode to help you make sure you’re concentrating on what you are doing. You can play a background tune while studying to help you focus better.
Prevent studying while watching TV since it can make you lose focus. For some people though who are comfortable with it, using the TV as a background sound is an excellent alternative to music.
6. Get into a routine
Pick the best time and a place where you can study. Find out your learning style where you are most comfortable with to learn how to study smart. Think things over and analyze the best habits, which make it easier for you to understand and remember concepts.
Your routine should be consistent to train your mind to function at its best. Getting into a routine will drive you to excel even in your most hated subjects.
Make sure that your routine consists of breaks as well. In that way, you won’t feel too tired and drained with the process.
Don’t use up all your time studying because it will just decrease your ability to memorize information. Sleep early after studying so your brain can rest and adequately absorb all the materials you have studied.
7. Don’t cram
One of the hardest ‘how to study tips’ to accomplish is avoiding cramming. However, it’s best not to make yourself study everything in one sitting. Doing this can stress your brain and slow down the process, given the influx of information.
Instead, learn to study a little bit every day to absorb information and review things in your mind consistently. This will truly help you avoid the stress of last-minute studying.
If you are having a tough time studying, allocate an hour or two for studying alone. Make a to-do list to clarify all the things you need to complete. Put up that list on a place where it can remind you often and avoid cramming again.
Are you taking math? Take a look at our review comparison of the TI-84 Plus CE vs TI-84 Plus. You’ll be able to add notes into your graphing calculator.
8. Take your breaks
You need to have a break now and then to recharge your energy. You can take a 15-20 minute break after every hour of studying. Then, you can consume your snacks and drinks, or even take a walk, stretch your body, and lessen your stress.
Regular study breaks also help you absorb more information and keep you motivated. Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks because anything you study after an hour and a half is more likely to be forgotten.
9. Look over your notes
Learn how to study well by taking notes efficiently while your teachers are stressing out essential information. These notes are beneficial if ever you need to study for an upcoming test or exam.
Notes can help you recall the important points in just a short time. The act of writing notes is already an excellent way to remember information. You won’t need to reread all your materials again and just stick with your written outline.
According to studies, exercise significantly influences the health, fitness, and psychology of a person. A doctor from the University of Illinois proved that a 20-minute exercise before an exam could improve your performance and memory.
Your brain’s capacity is enhanced after a workout because your body pumps oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Working out before studying will make you more observant, attentive, and able to learn new information.
Which is the best time to study?
In general, morning may be the best time to study since your brain will be refreshed after having a good night sleep and eating a nutritious breakfast. Studying at this time promotes easier absorption and recall of what you reviewed yesterday.
Morning to noon is the best time to review for your test, write your reports, and answer problem-solving math equations.
Meanwhile, studying during the afternoon is best for heavy tasks such as summaries per subject and a lot of memorization.
However, there is really no specific “best time” of the day to study for everyone. Each of us has their own view as their most productive time. Experiment and observe if you are more effective as a morning person or if you function better as a night owl.
How to force myself to study?
Rather than forcing yourself to study, find a motivation that will keep you going and focused on what you are doing. You may change your environment where you can feel more comfortable and productive. You can transfer to a new coffee shop or a friend’s home but remind yourself that you are there to study and not to play around.
Don’t be guilty to reward yourself after doing a job well done on studying. It’s a great tactic to retain your good study habits, and it keeps you motivated to do more.
Is it possible to study quickly?
Research shows that there are now ways on how to study effectively with ease and speed. While studying, pretend that you are teaching someone else with the material you are trying to memorize. This belief changes your goal and mindset to learn willingly instead of merely getting passing grades.
Take notes rather than using a tablet or laptop to achieve better retention. This is an advantage since you are thinking about it while writing it down. Try to review after a day or two, and you will find it a surprise that you still have it memorized after. You may even take a nap in between sessions of studying to boost your brain.
What is optimal sleep to memorize my studies?
On average, you need to sleep for at least 7 hours every night. However, someone who only sleeps for 4 hours each night may perform as well as someone who sleeps for 8 hours. Why? Sleep cycles can vary per person, so observing yours will be one of the best studying strategies for you.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience weakened memory, difficulty in solving problems, trouble focusing, and more. It can even affect your hormones and worsen your mood.
The best time to sleep is between 2 AM to 6 AM. Take note that your body is the weakest from 3 AM to 4 AM, so studying between these times are not helpful at all.
Can I study when I’m tired?
It’s still possible to study even when you’re tired since there are several ways to boost your energy and productivity. If you tend to fall asleep easily, don’t waste your time and take a power nap. If you have a deadline, wake yourself up by eating snacks, listening to fast-paced music, and walk around.
Find out if you are an early riser or a night owl. In that way, you can decide when is the best time for you to review and study. If you are an early riser, you can wake up earlier and allot at least an hour or two to study. If you are a night owl, you can study even until late midnight and rest during the day.
Learning how to study effectively is all about being aware of your priorities and allocating a balanced schedule for your studies. What are the best personal studying strategies that you practice? Share it in the comment section below!