Finding the best way to study can be hard. There are so many options and everyone has their own opinion. So we’ve put together some top tips for effective studying.
Unfortunately there is no one-size fits all approach when learning how to effectively study. Studying methods should be tailored to your needs. Everyone has different abilities, so it’s important to determine what works best for you.
So, what are effective study strategies for long-term learning?
1. Find the right time and place
Everyone has their own ideal way of working. Some people find they work best in the morning, some in the afternoon, and others find evening is their ideal time. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important you find what works best for you.
You also need to experiment with level noise. You may find that a quiet library is best, or you may prefer some music playing.
2. Get organised
You may be someone who works best with looming deadlines, that doesn’t mean you can afford not to plan. You don’t want to find yourself with several deadlines all at once, and insufficient time for the work.
Even if you’re not very keen on planning, it’s well worth sitting down and looking at your deadlines to make sure you’re able to manage the work in time. Why not try writing deadlines in a diary or planner to make sure they aren’t forgotten about?
3. Study little and often
It’s usually better to do some work every day, rather than spend two days a week working frantically. This is because we all have more productive and less productive days. For example, some days you may be tired, unmotivated, or you’d rather be outside in the sunshine. If you adopt a policy of ‘little and often’, you can afford to work slower on an unproductive day.
4. Take regular breaks
Research with school children has shown that doing 20 minutes’ work, then having 5 minutes running around before going back to work again is more productive than trying to work for a full hour.
Okay, so you may not be a school child, but reward yourself for concentrated work by taking a short break every hour or two: go get a coffee, or check your email. However, be disciplined about how long your break lasts. Why not set alarms on your phone to help you know when to take a break and when to start studying again?
5. Take care of yourself
You are not going to be able to study effectively if you don’t look after yourself. Nobody can work well if they are ill or not eating properly.
Developing effective study skills requires lots of time and patience, but knowing how to study effectively is a skill that will benefit you for life.