8 Study Tips You Never Thought of (That Actually Work!)

Study Tips That Work

Put away the double espresso and throw out those energy drinks! With these eight easy study tips from San Diego, CA tutor Natalie S., you no longer have to jump through hoops to stay awake and cram for your exams. Check out the tips below, and start your journey towards better study habits now:

  1. Learn your personal study process. Are you most productive in your room, at the library, outside, or in a coffee shop? Do you like to listen to music, or does it have to be totally quiet? Do you need an occasional cup of coffee to get you started? Are there certain healthy foods that you like to eat while studying? Do you need to write down your notes in order to comprehend the information, or is it better to read them aloud? In other words, are you primarily an auditory or a visual learner? Figure out your study process, and it will be much easier for you to focus and get a lot of work done.

  2. Eliminate distractions! Don’t waste time texting and stalking people on Facebook. Those activities are a time suck, and they get in the way of developing good study habits. Put your phone on silent, and close the Facebook tab on your computer.

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  3. Find your favorite study music. If you like to work in a coffee shop or a bookstore, but need to avoid some of the public distractions, make a playlist of your favorite study music and listen to it on your earphones. Instrumental music is often the best since it doesn’t have any lyrics that will distract you and tempt you into singing along. Classical music is also said to stimulate the brain, so it’s good to listen to this type of music first as it may boost your brainpower!

  4. Take stretch or exercise breaks. Hours of sitting and studying exacerbate mental fatigue. Instead, spend five minutes stretching, doing sit-ups, or jogging in place to get the blood flowing and give your brain a break.

  5. Drink water! Studies show that staying hydrated with water helps the mind stay sharp and focused more than any other liquid. Skip the sugary sodas or the caffeine-filled energy drinks in favor of pure water. If you simply must have some sort of flavor in your drink, try making a natural, herbal tea.

  6. Write down your notes. Rewrite your notes, and then rewrite them again. Students often write too much information when they first hear a new concept. They record everything the teacher has said and they crowd their brains with too many details. Take your first set of notes, and read them over. Rewrite them a second time in a more concise fashion, paraphrasing only the most important details. Finally, rewrite them one more time in bullet points. Rewriting your notes and cutting them down each time forces you to learn and remember the material, so it’s more manageable.

  7. Use alarms. If you have trouble buckling down and studying for long periods of time, try setting a timer to go off every 30 minutes. Then step away your computer, put your phone on airplane mode, and study until the alarm goes off. Take a short break; check your texts if you have to, and then do it again. Working toward an immediate deadline makes you focus more because you’re working toward something concrete.

  8. Use a reward system. Whether it’s lots of small snacks throughout your study session or one big prize at the very end, give yourself a treat for hitting certain study milestones. Maybe you could reward yourself for reading up to a certain chapter, or perhaps you get a reward for every hour you study. Whatever you choose, if you stick to this system, you’ll have more motivation to study harder!

Use these study tips to figure out your personal study process, and you’ll be on your way to successful, productive study experiences that will increase your GPA and reduce your stress.

Natalie S.Natalie S. tutors in English, ESL, History, Phonics, Reading, and Test Prep in San Diego, as well as through online lessons. She received her BA in English Education at the University of Delaware, and her MA in English Literature at San Diego State University. Learn more about Natalie here!



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