The routines that you get into for studying are really important. This article will help you to get into the proper routine.
Study period lengths
The best way to study is to focus for between 40 and 90 minutes, then take a 10 minute break where you do some kind of exercise. Regular exercise really helps with your concentration when studying.
Every student spends a lot of time studying and almost every one of them would like their studying to be more efficient.
Here are some basic tips to manage your time better when studying
Don't make your breaks too long. 40 minutes of studying and then a half hour break is not effective because you then get totally out of the flow. Of course you will need a longer break once or twice per day for lunch and dinner, but your other breaks should be much shorter.
Setting strict times for studying is a good way to go. It's really hard to be disciplined about this sort of thing, so you probably need someone to help you keep to the routine that you set. Other strategies to help you keep to your schedule: you can put a reminder on your phone to buzz you when it's time to study, or you can write the times you've set for your study above your desk.
Make sure to do your most difficult studying when you are most alert. You can do the slightly easier stuff at other times when you might not have quite as much energy or focus.
Set a list of your to-dos
It's important to write a list of all the things you need to study. Plan it carefully, and be very specific on this list. So instead of saying “study math,” write something specific such as “read pages 34-58 of the mathematics textbook.” When you accomplish each task tick it off the list.
Cramming before exams
Everyone tells you to pace your studying throughout the year and not to wait until the end of the year to try and fit everything into a couple of weeks' worth of intense studying. Whilst you should study throughout the whole year, the truth is that cramming does work. An extra burst of intense studying just before exams helps you to remember a lot more for that particular exam. It's fresh on your mind when you study the material just before your exams.
A few weeks before your exams you need to really change your life and become a bit of a hermit. Don't see your friends too much, stop watching all television, and stop doing many of the other things in your life that you normally do. Then start studying REALLY hard. You can get in many hours of study every day (including the weekends), and doing this will help you a lot in getting good results for your exams.
If you leave studying to the very last minute (a few days before the exam!), then it's too late. A powerful way to avoid leaving studying to the last minute is to really plan it ahead of time. Set a deadline of 2 or 4 weeks before the exam to start becoming a hermit. From this time on, study really hard to get everything complete. But make sure you don't make this last minute burst of studying an excuse to do nothing for the rest of the year!
Another important factor is regular exercise. If you are studying for 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. DON'T WATCH TV DURING THIS BREAK, because it will interfere with your proper study routine. Instead, the best thing you can do is 10 minutes of exercise. It can be a quick run, some aerobics or whatever other exercise you like doing, but make it something that's quick. Exercise gets your mind off the studying and helps you concentrate.
Watch what you eat
Eating a lot of sugary foods is really bad for your concentration. You need to eat foods with a minimum of sugar, and also reduce white bread and other simple carbohydrates. Coffee is actually not too bad for your concentration if you drink it only occasionally.
Other important tips
- Get plenty of sleep. Most people need at least 8 hours per night. Your brain needs sleep to recover and to help remember information more effectively.
- Choose carefully what you do during your relaxation and down time. Relaxing your mind is important during study breaks, but TV, video games and other stimulating activities will not allow you to relax properly. Exercise, on the other hand, is a great thing to do during a break.