Top 5 Tips to Study Effectively

Updated: Mar 16, 2017

How you study will determine how much you achieve in your academic career. All the natural ability in the world is useless if you don't know how to apply it effectively. These five simple tips could make the world of difference to your education and future work prospects.

1. Location, Location, Location

First and foremost, you need a good place to start studying. Choose somewhere you'll feel comfortable spending time but not where you'll be too comfortable and fall asleep. Studying at a desk has the advantage of preparing your brain for the physical conditions of an exam.

Like a dog wagging its tail at the sight of a leash, your subconscious will connect the conditions you study in with the information you want to learn, meaning when you sit in a familiar position in the exam hall, the information will come much easier.

2. Slow and Steady 

Be aware that studying in small increments throughout the school year is far more beneficial than cramming in 12 hours a day for the week preceding the exam. Plan ahead and devote a small amount of time each day to studying.

A smaller amount of study time is also much less daunting, so you're more likely to keep it up. Consistency is a key. It's not a glamorous or trendy quick-fix, but short, consistent study periods over time will guarantee a greater return on investment.


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3. Manage Your Time

Once you've got your location sorted and you know how much time you're prepared to dedicate daily, you'll be ready to construct a timetable. Write a schedule for your week and stick to it. Factor in when you're eating, when you're sleeping, and your study time.

Include downtime and wiggle room in your schedule to keep it realistic, as you may become demotivated if you fail to adhere to an overly ambitious plan.

4. Eliminate Distractions

When you sit down for your allotted study time you need to focus fully on the material in front of you. Turn off all superfluous electronic devices, even if you trust yourself not to look at them. Close Facebook and Twitter, draw the curtains and shut your door to the outside world. Where possible, use a pen and paper instead of a computer. 

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

In class, don't take so many notes that you can't pay attention to what the teacher is saying, but make sure the notes you do take are clear and concise. When you get home, put your notes into different words and try to add more details. Even if you think you understood the topic completely, rewriting your notes will help cement the knowledge in your brain.

Following these simple and easy guidelines will have a dramatic and proven positive effect on your life. The key to getting the most out of the study is to build on the basic steps listed here and create your own program which brings the best out of you. If you know how to study efficiently and successfully, you can take those skills with you and apply them to many situations throughout your new life as a high achiever.

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