We all have those moments when we don’t want want to study anymore for the big test or write an essay due the next day. Whether you procrastinate by going down the black hole of YouTube or binging your favorite Netflix show, one thing is clear: your work is not going to do itself. In order to keep focused and do a good job on your homework, try to develop your own method of studying that works best. If you’re still searching, here are ten tips to help you ace that test.
1. Block out time.
Set aside a chunk of time specifically for studying. Although pulling out your laptop and glancing at your notes between classes may seem efficient, you’ll find that you won’t be able to focus in such a short amount of time. Turn off all distractions for a set amount of time and put your mind to the task at hand.
2. Turn off electronics.
Transitioning from the first tip, turning off electronics is an effective way to keep focused. Of course, if you need to use your computer, you don’t need to turn it off, but do keep all other nonessential electronics far away. That way, you won’t be tempted to check your phone every few minutes.
3. Make your own study guide.
Although asking your friends for a copy of their study guides is convenient, going over the concepts yourself is more effective as you commit all those facts to memory. When you’re writing or typing the words yourself, you are conveying the concepts in a way that will help YOU remember them!
4. Don’t listen to distracting music.
You might want to put on your favorite tunes to make studying more fun, but you’re likely to be distracted by songs you recognize. Instead, if you want a peaceful ambience, play some soothing classical music or songs with little lyrics so you won’t be tempted to sing along.
5. Study with focused friends.
Studying in a group is okay, as long as everyone in the group is committed to working instead of just hanging out. If your friends are naturally distracting, find a few classmates who are in need of a study buddy. With someone else who knows the concepts nearby, you can save a lot of time taken searching up topics in a textbook.
6. Remove food and drink.
Even if it’s late at night, and you feel like eating something might help fuel your brainpower, try not to reach for snacks in the middle of studying. Not only does getting up and finding snacks take up time that could be used for studying, eating is distracting and you’ll likely find yourself binging instead of studying.
7. Get up and stretch.
Take a break every once in a while. The amount of time between and length of each break depends on you, but be sure to get up and walk around instead of sitting for hours. This will help clear your mind and get your blood flowing to all parts of your body. Then, you’ll be ready to tackle that work with a refreshed mind.
8. Change locations.
Similar to the previous tip, make a change to your study setting every once in a while. Don’t sit at the same table at the library for hours; if you feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything, move to a different place, such as a cafe or a table outside. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh view to motivate you.
9. Drink lots of water.
This might seem like a strange tip, but we often forget to drink fluids while sitting at a desk for hours. However, it’s important to stay hydrated even when you may not be engaging in active physical activity. A sip of water can be refreshing and a good alternative to sugary and caffeinated drinks.
10. Make sure the lighting is good.
In order not to tire your eyes out, check that the lighting in your study space is nice. Staring at a computer in a darkened room is definitely not good for your eyes long term, so make sure you’re sitting in a well lit room. Sometimes, fluorescent light in cafes and other public settings may not be right for you, so be sure to adjust to your own preferences.
What study tips work best for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.