Study tips


My desk at home

Reagan Freeman, Submissions Editor

How do you get yourself to study? Studying is exercise for the brain, something that we have to force ourselves to do. But seriously, how do you study? Do you come home immediately and start pulling out books, or do you lounge around for three hours before finally grabbing a pen? If you are the one to lounge around for three hours and still struggle to grab a pencil, here are a few of tips to help you kick that habit.


1. Workplace and Preparation

Make sure you have a clean work space that is comfortable and free of distractions, like people and TV. A cluttered work space is more likely to prevent you from working your best.

Before studying, make a list of what you want to get done. Making a list of goals can help keep your mind on track. When writing that down, also set an amount of time to work on each topic. Try spreading out the times into chunks. According to Oregon State studies, they find that studying for too long without a break can make your concentration falter.  


2. Procrastination

Is procrastination a big problem for you? If so, start fixing it by setting rewards for yourself! Motivate yourself to study by rewarding yourself at the end. For example, I allow myself to watch TV for half an hour after completing all of my Hebrew homework.


3. Internet Browsing

If you tend to spend lots of time surfing the web instead of doing your work, put your phone in another room. If you do need the internet for a project, try using an app that will block distracting websites for you.

I downloaded the app Simple Blocker from the Chrome Web Store. Simple Blocker allows you to enter in distracting websites and to set an amount of time you want to work. It will then block those websites for that amount of time.

4. Textbook Reading

Textbook reading is ridiculously boring, but it’s important that you get it done to succeed in school. But how do you get over all of the boring-ness and get the information into your head?

Read the textbook section by section, and don’t move onto the next section until you’re comfortable with the first section. Before taking notes on the section, read it in its entirety first. If you are taking notes on the first try, it will be a lot harder to figure out what information is more important than others. On your second reading, try keeping notes of what you are reading. Use sticky notes or index cards to write down what you do or don’t understand.


5. Note-taking

Keep your notes organized! Keep them in one spot, so you can find them easily when you need them.

I always rewrite my notes. I find it more helpful, and I can add more details when going back through. When going back through, try doing your own research to add more information, especially when you don’t understand something.

Comparing notes with a friend is also very helpful. You can find information that you may have missed and add it to your own. Also, you can find what others may have found important versus what you found important. This also gives you a view on how other students learn and study for tests, which could be helpful for you.

Pictures are also beneficial for studying, especially if you are a visual learner (like me). I recommend drawing diagrams whenever necessary. For example, in biology, I draw diagrams for all of the phases to show their differences.


Remember, motivation is key for studying and doing well in school! If you think you won’t be able to do it, you won’t. If you think positively, you will get positive outcomes!