Every student wants to do well in school. In order to do that, you have to understand that studying shouldn’t be limited to just the week or night before a test. Whether you’re still in primary school, high school, your first year of uni, or fast approaching the end of your degree, establishing good study habits can make a huge difference.
Lessons will become easier and you’ll have a greater chance of getting the grades you want if you have a good study habit or plan in place.
Here are our top 10 tips to help guide you to better study habits:
1. Find the Best Time and Place to Study for you
We all have our own preferences when it comes to finding a good area and time to study at. Some study better in the library after school while others can only concentrate when they’re in their own bedroom at night. The important thing is to determine the best time and place for you. In order to do that, you have find out what time suits you best. Maybe your concentration is better early in the morning or late in the afternoon? Perhaps you’re more focused after a good dinner?
It’s important to have a designated study area. A place that is quiet and free from distractions and inspires and motivates you to study. A great idea is to decorate the space so that it isn’t so dull and bare. Just be careful and avoid making it full of distractions.
2. Make a Schedule
It helps if you have a plan of attack or a schedule when it comes to studying. Do everything you can to maintain consistency and follow your plan through. For example, you can set up a daily alarm to remind you when it’s time to study. Having a regular reminder helps keep you on track and forces you to be honest with yourself. A wall planner is a great way to keep you organised. Hang it somewhere you can easily read and write on in your study space. Jot down important dates, like project deadlines or dates when exams are.
Another good idea to make a to-do list at the start of the week as this helps break down what you need to do in to manageable chunks. Assign yourself a task you need to accomplish each day. You can even make a list before you start your study hour so it’s clear what you need to prioritise. By setting an alarm, you can stay on schedule with completing all the tasks you need to do. If you haven’t finished a task at the end of its alloted time, decide whether you should continue with it or if it’s better to start doing something else and go back to it later.
3. Study Daily
Make it a habit to study a little bit everyday. Reviewing your lessons daily will help you understand them better and minimise the stress that comes from cramming. You can start by studying or reviewing for an hour or two every day. Add more hours as the semester progresses. If you’re having difficulty finding time to study, sacrifice some of your Netflix-binging or other activities for your studies. You might have to spend less time online or miss a game or two with friends during the weekend, but it has to be done if you want to do well in school.
4. Do Weekly Reviews
Go over your most recent notes once a week and revise or update them. This will help keep things fresh in your mind. Enlist the help of a friend or a family member and have them quiz you on your lessons. You can help prep yourself by creating your own exam questions or flash cards to practice with.
5. Know your Learning Style
We all have our own way of learning. Some of us learn best if we’re looking or reading something while others prefer hearing someone explain a topic. Knowing what your learning style is will help you develop a technique that will allow you to understand a lesson better or study faster. If you’re not sure what your learning style is, try each one and see which resonates most with you. While there are seven in total, these three are the most common learning styles:
- If you’re a visual learner, coloured notes and diagrams might help you remember key ideas better. You can also visualise ideas as images in order to remember them better.
- Auditory learners prefer listening. Try reading your book or notes aloud. You can even record the important points and play them back. Engage in a discussion with classmates and listen to what they say.
- Meanwhile, the kinesthetic learning style requires people to best learn by doing the task and using their own hands. Role playing or building models might be what you need to do when reviewing.
6. Step on the Brakes and Take a Break
Breaks are very important, especially when you’re studying. Spending a long time working on a project or reviewing a lesson can make you feel tired or frustrated. Schedule a break and make sure you take it. Get up and move away from your study space. If you’re experiencing a mental block, try doing something physical. Walk around the block or run down to the store to pick up a healthy snack. You’ll return refreshed, focused and ready to keep studying.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Your teachers or advisers are there for you. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask for help on a lesson you’re struggling with or don’t understand. It’s better to ask for further clarification on a certain concept to ensure you interpreted it correctly. You can also ask for help from other students and your peers.
8. Use Technology to your Advantage
There’s no substitute to studying the old-fashioned way, which means reading, listening and taking down notes. But we should also take advantage of what technology has to offer. Check out the apps or software that can help you study better. Ask around, your friends and teachers are sure to have a good app or web extension that they can recommend for studying.
See our Top 10 Web Extensions to Keep Productive
9. Keep your Motivation Up
It’s inevitable that you’ll lose focus or feel frustrated at times, it’s a part of life. Overcoming these times can be difficult, but is well worth the challenge for that A+ or high distinction. Keep motivated by placing a reminder of your goals in your study space. It could be the sticker of the university you want to go to or a poster of the career you want to one day have; anything that will remind you of the end goal. You should also put up photos of people you admire or quotes that inspire you. Seeing them will remind you of your goals and help keep you motivated.
10. Take Care of Number One – Yourself
Don’t neglect yourself. You’ll only do well in school if you’re feeling well. So make sure you get enough sleep and are eating well. Make healthy food choices and avoid sugary or fatty snacks. You can reward yourself with a sweet treat from time to time, but always remember that moderation is key. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated when studying. It’s easy to get absorbed in your work and neglect drinking water. Another bad habit to avoid, is studying early into the morning. Bear in mind that you can’t concentrate well if you’re tired or sleepy. Keep active and exercise. Go for a run or play a game of basketball or two. Being physically fit and active will go a long way in improving your focus and stamina.
These are just some of the many tips and advice you can find. It’s a good idea to create your own strategies and find what works best for you. Ask your friends what they do when they’re studying, they might have some different tactics that aren’t available on the internet. Your teachers offer a wealth of information for more than just what’s related to your course, ask them for some tips they used when they were a student. Find something that works for you and keep at it.
Central College Online is a part of the Group Colleges of Australia organisation which has been established for over thirty years and offers online courses in more than forty subjects to thousands of students.