The hope blog


Tomila Sahbaei | 5 min read | August 31st 2021

Back-to-school season is just around the corner. This article outlines five simple studying habits anyone can implement into their routine to have a more efficient studying experience.

Pick the Right Space

A messy desk leads to a messy headspace. Before you begin studying, try to clear off your desk of any unnecessary items. Keep out the materials you need, like a computer or laptop, notebook, some pens, and books. Beyond a cluttered desk, pick a study spot with little to no distractions. Some people prefer to study in their room, while others find that having a room strictly dedicated to studying is more effective in terms of avoiding distractions. Everyone is different, most people will just need a quiet place to study. Pick a spot that is comfortable for you!

Use a Timer

Study timers are a very efficient and effective tool when it comes to committing long hours to studying. One of the most common study timer methods is the Pomodoro Method. This method begins with twenty-five minutes of studying, followed by a five minute break. This is then repeated four times for a total time of two hours. After four sessions, the method follows up with a fifteen to thirty minute break before starting over again. Many people change the allotted time slots. Some people prefer to do this method with a fifty minute study 

Practise Active Recall

Active recall is a method of studying that focuses on active learning rather than passive learning. For example, simply reading a book is considered passive learning. Active learning in turn can be practised in several different ways, but the overall goal is to stimulate the brain’s ability to memorize content. One method of active recall is asking yourself different questions about the content you are attempting to memorize. When you can answer the question confidently, you have succeeded. In turn, the questions you are unable to answer, you make note of by writing them down. This way you will know which questions you have to do further practise on. Active recall can also be applied by using practise exams or exam simulators, as the nature of an exam is asking questions. This method can also be used when studying with friends. You can ask each other questions until you all have the material memorized. 

Use a Planner

Planning your time wisely will help you to maximize your studying sessions. Find a planner that you like and write down all your important due dates in it accordingly. The worst feeling is working very hard on your homework only to miss a submission date, so plan ahead and remind yourself of upcoming due dates often. Having a planner will also lay out your schedule for you, and from there you can pick the best times to set aside for studying sessions. Studies have even shown that planning your non-school related activities first, and then planning your study sessions around them, will make you a more efficient student in the long term. This is likely because it means you avoid study burnout, which the next section of this article will address further. 

Take Breaks

Burnout is often overlooked when it comes to making a study plan, but there is no doubt that after long stretches of work, leading up to a big test or assignment, that one will feel mentally exhausted afterwards. When making your own study plan, make sure to consider your personal capacity. A good study plan will include time for study breaks. Additionally, after completing a big exam or project, it is a good idea to give yourself a longer break. If you do not have another due date coming up, take a day off. If you find yourself in the middle of exam week, a few hours of mental rest are effective too. Extroverts may prefer to go out with some friends as a study break, like the cinema, or a quick dinner out. Introverts may prefer a night in, watching a movie or taking a path. Figure out what works best for you, and implement the breaks into your study schedule. 

A sticker with an illustration of a brain that talks about mental health