Back in university, I’d literally Google for ways to study more effectively. I’m not the best student in the world; I would open my books (and I mean literally take them out of the shrink wrap) a week before the exam. Here’s the thing, it wasn’t until I learned how to study effectively on my own terms that I got better at it. So here are 7 ways to study more effectively without getting distracted.
1. Sit at the Front of the Class
One of the easiest ways to study more effectively is by actively paying attention in class. If you don’t pay attention, you won’t be able to know the nitty gritty of what’s going to be on the exam. Not everything in the textbooks is going to be on the exam, so if you listen up, sit up front to prevent yourself from streaming the game or watching the latest episode of New Girl, you’ll become a better student, trust me.
2. Study in the Computer Lab, with the School’s Computers
Call this divine intervention. I learned that this is one of the best ways to study more effectively when I accidentally spilled water all over my laptop when I had 2 essays and 2 exams within the span of 4 days. I thought I was toast. So I ran my ass to the computer lab at school, typed my little heart out, and read and studied with no distractions. I was a girl on a mission, because I needed to get my stuff done! When you’re out of your normal environment (and panicking), you’ll focus more. Trust me.
3. Write down Notes on Cue Cards
I decided to double major in English and History, arguably two of the most commanding majors when it comes to the amount of crap we have to read and remember and analyze. So for me, one of the best ways to study effectively was to write down important dates, notes, etc., on cue cards. I’m a writer, so physically taking a pen and writing things down helps me remember things. Find out what works for you, and if this works, use it. If not, type away or make notes on a chalkboard, whatever works!
4. Lay It out in Front of You
I learned this one a little later in my student life. What I would do (especially when it came to writing essays) is lay out everything in front of me. When it came to history, I’d physically put notes on post it notes, tack them on my wall in a timeline, and that’s how I’d remember all the important dates and events. I’m a visual learner, and one of the best ways to study more effectively is by identifying what kind of learner you are. Once you do that, you’ll be able to study much better!
5. Block out the Internet
Hands down, one of the best ways to study more effectively is by blocking out the Internet. Okay, maybe not your studying tools, but things like YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, all these sites is where time goes to die. And you’ll get sucked in when you could be studying! So maybe use the school’s computer, where you don’t have all your favourite sites at your fingertips!
6. Reward Yourself
This may sound counterproductive, but it worked wonders for me. I watch movies and TV shows the way guys watch UFC. I literally will go on marathons and not stop, so instead of letting it distract me, I’d say to myself – after I finish studying these 3 chapters, I’ll reward myself with one episode of Veronica Mars, take a break, and get back to it. This was one of the most effective ways to study for me, because this way I wasn’t too focused to the point of getting stressed, and I still got to relax and mellow out in my own way!
7. Go Silent, or Go with One Republic
Some people study with music on, some people need it to be so quiet they could hear a pin drop. For me, my moods varied, but for the most part I couldn’t study in dead silence. For me, one of the best ways to study more effectively is with music strumming in the background. I can get lost in it, and it keeps me bouncing whenever I’m in a little slump. One Republic worked for me, so did Adam Lambert. Everyone’s taste is different, but if it works for you, go for it!
Once you learn how to study more effectively, you get to spend less time doing it. That's because you get to cram more knowledge into a smaller amount of time, and you don’t have to study yourself in to circles. So tell me, what tips do you have for more effective studying?