These easy studying tips could be the key to success for students of all ages.
Whether you’re in high school, college, or university, and whether you’re examining for a test, studying a paper, or pressing for a final, there are ways that you can make education more accessible. If you create good studying habits in secondary school, it will become natural, and by the time you’re ready for post-secondary school, your studying methods will be solid. If you’re already trailing post-secondary learning, it’s never too late to acquire suitable study modes. Follow these studying tips, and you’ll be preparing yourself for success.
Eliminate distractions as much as possible
First, you need to identify your distractions – what are the things you find yourself doing when you know you should be studying? If you’re the type of person who procrastinates or gets distracted while working on the computer, close all sites that are unrelated to your work. Social networking sites are often too tempting to have open because you’ll want to see what’s going on with your friends, who’s doing what, where people are, etc. Similarly, close down all instant messengers, as well as your cell phone, and tell people that you’re studying and that you can’t be interrupted.
Another question to ask yourself is, what things annoy or bother you when you’re studying? Some people need background noise while looking, like TV or music, but others have to have silence. Know which way you work best and plan accordingly. If you need people around, schedule a study session with friends or classmates, but if you prefer to be alone, find a quiet place like an empty room, the library, or a secluded hallway to set up and work.
Take breaks and fuel your body as well as your mind.
For some people, the main problem is that they take too many breaks and never really get anything done. Others have the opposite problem and never allow themselves a break because they don’t think they have time, or they think they’ll lose momentum if they stop. It’s not healthy for you mentally or physically to work non-stop. It’s hard on your eyes to stare at a computer screen or book for long periods. Many people will find they experience information overload, where their mind hits a wall and won’t take in any more information. It’s also not healthy to sit for long periods or to forget to eat or stay hydrated.
If you feel that you can’t afford to take breaks, you should at least get up every once in a while and move around, even if it’s just to find a healthy snack and get a drink. Walk around for a few minutes, do some light stretching, close your eyes or do some eye exercises to prevent eye strain.
You’re spending all this time fueling your brain with information; you need to keep your body fueled too. Keep healthy snacks on hand, like raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, or whole-grain crackers, and be sure always to have a glass of water nearby. Many people forget the importance of staying hydrated, but if nothing else, it will at least force you to take a break and get moving by going to the bathroom more often!
Reward yourself for hard work and accomplishments
Before you start a study session that you know will take some time, have a “reward” in mind to keep you going. A few examples: if you work for a certain amount of time or get a certain amount accomplished, your reward at the end could be playing a video game, checking your social networking sites, going out for something to eat, or going to the movies. Many young children are rewarded for good work with a gold star – consider your reward the more grown-up version of a gold star, and with that reward in mind, you’ll hopefully be less likely to quit when there’s still work to do.
A few other studying tips for students: make sure that you have enough light and space to work correctly; proper lighting will help prevent eye strain and will likely keep you more alert than a dark or poorly-lit room. If you’re working in a cluttered, messy environment, all the extra things around you could be a distraction, so try to find or create a tidy space. Be sure to get enough sleep, not only before studying but also before writing tests or papers. It would be best if you gave your mind a chance to decompress and process all that it’s taken in so that you can work more efficiently.
Everyone works differently and has a process that’s unique to them. Figure out what runs for you and adhere to it. Creating good studying habits early on will make things much easier for you later in your education when the pressure is more excellent. A single test or paper could mean the difference between passing and failing.