I’m not saying I’m a straight-A student and can afford to tell you how to study but I still thought I would share with you the “hacks” I’ve learned in the long run. And I will be telling you the brutal truth about getting great marks, mind that everyone is different and you might be working differently.
What actually gets you studying is the right amount of self-discipline. Meaning you have to beat every tiny urge to procrastinate for hours and really stick to your plans to study. Discipline means to do things you have to do, even when you don’t want to. As cruel as it might sound, you’ve got to force yourself to be productive to get some work done. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t go to bed regretting spending too much time on other things when you could’ve used it productively
You might have to sacrifice your social life.
At least for some days. If you find it really difficult to juggle both studying and your social life, don’t make plans with your friends on the days that you want to dedicate to studying and getting serious work done. It’s not fun, naturally, but sometimes you’ve got to put your education first and it helps to not have a strict time limit in a day to study.
This is different for everybody but I find that even though I find it relaxing to get stuff done with music or YouTube playing in the background, when I have to study to memorise things, I have to turn it all off, or else I’ll spend hours stuck on the same thing.
Try not to take too many breaks for your phone needs and try to stay focused for a longer period of time so you can stay productive for a longer period of time. It’s easy to digress and go back to procrastinating once you take too many breaks.
If you find it more distracting than helpful to study with friends, don’t do it.
Sleep is important. Instead of having to pull all-nighters, make it a thing to really plan your time well and really use it. To make sure you get enough rest for your health and concentration, be sure to start studying as early as it is possible for you. You will thank yourself later and so will your brain on the day of the exam/test. Try and plan what you will study on which day, and plan your social life or appointments around it so you won’t have to try and fit everything into the last minute.
Ask for help!
Don’t be shy or embarrassed and just ask the burning questions. Nobody could ever know everything and it’s only to help you understand your material. If you take too long to figure something out on your own, ask a colleague or your professor. It’s only important to know when and how to reach out when you find yourself struggling. It will save you a lot of time and headaches.
Stay hydrated and eat those snacks.
Don’t forget about your intake of vitamins and water to feed your body and brain and keep your concentration alive
Write everything down.
Everything you think could be of help while studying, jot it all down in the lectures. It can all be on a notepad or scribbled messily on the top corner of the page, at least you will find the note again later on. If there are any explanations or descriptions from the professor, jot it all down, too. That might help you relive and understand the material again in the future when you have to study for your exam. You think you will remember those things but you won’t so always write them down. Even if it’s completely common sense.
When you read your textbook, try not to read it like a normal book. Point out important sentences, write down key words and notes, note your questions that occur to you on the subject. Work with the book, write down “why” and “how” questions and whenever you think about the answers to those questions, you can kind of check and see if you really understood the material you were reading about. And it is easier to remember all that.
What’s your advice?