Studying requires focus, it’s stressful, and it can make you feel like pulling your hair out. You spend hours studying and may still feel you’re not getting anywhere. Everyone needs helpful guidance and tutoring in class from time to time, but basic tips for studying seem to be taken for granted. This list of strategies and tips will help you study better!
1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Yes, we are starting with this. The importance of a good night’s rest cannot be emphasized enough. When learning new information, new synapses begin to form in our brain, but without a good night’s sleep, they will not solidify or grow. Sleep allows our brain to rest and reset, ready for a new day of processing new material while maintaining the information you previously learned.
So, as tempting as it may seem, try to dial back on the Red Bull and consecutive all-nighters, your brain hates them as much as you do. Get at least seven hours of sleep nightly.
2. Study In Different Locations
While this may not seem important, studying in one place causes you to become acclimated to the setting and your mind begins to associate the knowledge with your surroundings. Chances are that you won’t be taking your chemistry test in your dorm room, or your calculus final in the library, so it is important that you change up your study location to keep your brain stimulated and fresh.
You can achieve this by forming a study group with your friends and allowing each person to pick a different location for meetings. This will keep your study locations changing and it is great everyone to have a nice change of scenery.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management tool for working efficiently. You study in intervals of a fixed time with short breaks in-between intervals. There are plenty of apps that you can download for the Pomodoro technique. The apps allow you to set a study duration of 25 minutes with a five-minute break or any interval combination that works well for you given the specific task.
The essential point is to work efficiently within the fixed interval timeframe and a short break in between intervals. While it may seem tempting to go on a study spree for five hours and get all your work out of the way, our brain’s attention span was not made to focus on one task for a long duration of time. At some point, you may find yourself re-reading a page three times or you are unable to recall previous information. Your brain needs a break to absorb the information and defuse.
4. Exercise and Work Out
Mental health is not the only thing that contributes to our knowledge, but physical health as well. Exercising not only kick starts our brain function and increases our energy levels, but it is scientifically proven to help reduce our stress levels. Exercise releases endorphins into our system which not only reduces our sense of pain but also triggers positive feelings and emotions. Your mind will be energized and ready to concentrate on your studies.
Stress is especially dangerous as it impedes our health and our ability to stay focused. No one enjoys being anxious, and long-term stress can take a toll on our body both mentally and physically. So, don’t be afraid to set the book down to go for a jog or take in a workout session at the gym on campus.
5. Leave Technology Distractions In A Separate Location
Let’s face it, we look at our phones more often than necessary. It is tempting to look at our phone for a quick break, but soon we find ourselves spending the next hour and a half scrolling through Instagram or Snap Chat instead of reviewing that biology assignment we set out to do.
If you find yourself continuously distracted by items such as your phone or laptop, it’s best to leave them a separate location if they are not needed for your work. Leave them in your room and go to the library or ask a friend to hold them for you. Not willing to part with your technology? You can download apps that will lock you out of certain functions for a set amount of time. While it may be difficult to adjust at first, this will help you in the long run, especially when you’re needing to focus on studying for those dreaded tests and final exams.