Helping Yourself Study Better
Take a break about halfway through your study sessions. Get up and walk around, stepping away from your study space. You can grab a snack, go for a short walk, or do some stretches. Try to clear your mind so that you can start fresh when you go back to your study space. Your break should last for 5-15 minutes, depending on how long you’re studying.
- Some people benefit from shorter, more frequent breaks.
- You should also take a break when you’re feeling frustrated.
Seek tutoring if you’re struggling with the material.
You can go to your teacher, a classmate, or your parents for tutoring. You may even want to hire a private tutor. Getting a little extra help is normal, so ask questions as soon as you feel yourself getting behind.
- Many schools offer free tutoring from teachers or peers.
Join a study group.
Study groups share notes, thoughts, and ideas. Working in a group will allow you to bounce ideas off of your peers. You can help each other better understand concepts that might be difficult to learn by yourself. Bonding with someone who shares your struggles, hopes, and goals is very inspiring. You can mutually mentor and quiz each other and monitor the performance of scheduled tasks. The feeling of collective responsibility makes students less prone to laziness and pushes them to make concerted efforts on the way to educational success.
- Look for a study group at your school.
- Visit the local or school library to look for postings about study groups on the bulletin board.
- Ask your friends to form a study group with you.
Each the material to someone else.
One of the best ways to understand and retain material is by teaching it to someone else! Work with a friend in the same class, or teach the concepts to your parents or siblings. You could even tutor a younger student in the subject if you feel confident in your understanding of the material. Their questions can help you think about the material in new ways.
Reward yourself for meeting your study goals.
Plan a small reward for each day you study, such as time playing your favorite game, a piece of candy, or money to set aside for something you really want. Think of weekly goals for meeting each daily goal that week, such as few hours with your friends or a weekend sleepover.
- When you’re getting started, attach your reward to your behavior, such as studying each day, rather than the outcome, which would be your grade.
- Ask your parents or roommate to help you with the rewards. They may be able to give you an allowance for meeting your study goals, or they could hold onto the candy and give you a piece when you earn it.
Manage your stress leading up to the exam.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous before an exam. To help reduce stress, do an enjoyable and relaxing activity, such as yoga, meditation, or exercising. You could also listen to calming music, spend time with your friends, color, or read.
Avoid cramming the night before. Cramming the night before an exam has not been proven to improve grades. Instead, take time to prepare in the weeks and days before the exam. The night before, you should eat a healthy meal and make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep. These strategies are a much better alternative to prepare you for the exam than cramming.