Skip to main content

Top tips to help you study smarter

Prepping for a big exam or have a coursework deadline fast approaching? Maybe you have trouble getting started, or you’re easily distracted. Or, you might be struggling to get to grips with a new concept. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! There’s more than one way to study, so here are some handy tips and tricks to help you overcome these challenges so you can study smarter.

Getting started

Before you begin, take time to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Yes, this means taking a break before you study! Go outside for a change of scenery, do some stretches, or spend some time sorting out your study space – whatever you think will help clear your mind before you hit the books (or computer!).

When you’re ready, make a plan of action. It can be hard to get started when you feel overwhelmed by the amount you have to do, so try breaking it down into mini-tasks. The best part is crossing them off as you go – it’ll motivate you and give you a well-deserved sense of achievement!

Getting started

Getting started

Staying distraction-free

Staying distraction-free

Staying distraction-free

Can’t find a quiet place to study? Use your headphones to listen to some relaxing sounds. Try white noise, rainfall or sounds of the sea – or test a few others until you find one that works for you. It’s worth checking your favourite music streaming app for study or concentration playlists too.

If you find yourself getting restless during long study sessions, it’s time to change your routine. Breaking up your study sessions into 20- to 40-minute chunks is a great way to keep distraction at bay, as research shows that people tend to lose focus after that time. So reward yourself with a five-minute break and a treat, then get back to it once you feel refreshed.

Learning new information

If you’re struggling to get to grips with new information or subjects, an online flashcard tool could be the key. They work by breaking down the topic into smaller parts so it becomes more manageable and easier to absorb. And, they help highlight the areas you’re least confident in so you can focus on those.

Once you think you’ve got the hang of the subject, try summarising what you’ve learned and explaining it in your own words to your friends, family or even your pet. It’s a good way to test how well you know it.

Learning new information

Learning new information

More study tips

If you have most of the above sorted, here’s how you can make your study sessions even smarter. Review your notes right after your class or lecture, while it’s still fresh, and add any additional comments if needed – this helps cement the information in your mind. Feeling confident? Test yourself by teaching the subject to someone else. This also helps identify any weaker areas so you can focus your study on those.

Try to figure out what your ideal study environment sounds like too. Are you more of a study-in-silence person or do you like revising to the hard bass of electro music? Everyone is different so it’s important to find out what works for you.

To find out which study tips suit you best, take our Study Tips Quiz.

close

Please accept cookie policy!