Top 38 General Study Tips & Study Skills For Students

Studying is something all students must do; It is especially important when you have a big exam coming up, that is why we have devised a cogent list of tips to help students study. Following this list, it will allow you to maximise your potential and achieve the best grade you can.

Study Tip 1: Make a study plan.

Making a study/revision plan is imperative as it will allow you study effectively. Make sure to include what subject you will revise at what time, and make sure to factor in regular breaks and exercise slots. Also, make sure to start early and space it out- studying is more effective in small one hour chunks, than a constant ten hours. This is becuase it allows time for you to "forget" in that small time, and then relearn it when you return to studying, which is constantly refered to as one of the best ways to learn and improve your memory.

Study Tip 2: Never assume you know the whole topic.

Assumption in studying is one that shouldn't be overlooked as it can lead to complacency, which in the long run could prove fatal. Always make sure you revise each topic, even if you think you think a particular topic is easy, becuase there could always be the risk that you miss something, and then later it appears in the exam.

Study Tip 3: Don't panic.

Have you been revising a topic for hours on end and you're finding that you can't recall most of it? The best thing to do is don't panic and remain calm. Take a break and relax if you need to and then return with a more positive mindset. On returning, try some different studying techniques if the one you are currently using does not work for you. For example, make revision notes, test yourself, collaborate with a colleague. Just remember with a little hard work and patience, you will be able to recall the information.

Study Tip 4: Consolidation.

Every day, before you go to sleep make sure you consolidate the information you have been studying throughout the day. This doesn't have to be a long process, just about 10 minutes or so. This will aid to strengthen your memories and should help you remember the information more quickly when you go over it the next day.

Study Tip 5: Eliminate distractions.

When you are in your study periods, make sure to turn off your mobile phone or other sources of distraction that could be likely to draw you away from study. This will allow you to focus more and achieve more during your study sessions.

Study Tip 6: Study Collaboratively.

Doing studying with a friend can be a great way to learn, ask your friend to study with you in a quiet, distraction free location. One of the methods you must try during this revision session is teaching each other information. This is another excellent way to revise and is called "The Protégé Effect". This will prove you understand the concept and will help to retain the information in your head.

Study Tip 7: Don't make artworks of your study notes.

Study notes are important but spending a long time making your notes colourful artworks that could otherwise be used for productivity revising is a waste of valuable study time. There's nothing wrong with making them look neat, but don't over-do it.

Study Tip 8: Stay Hydrated & Sated

Before studying, make sure you have plenty of water on hand, and you have eaten to ensure you won't be distracted mid-study. This will also help with your concentration levels during your study period.

Study Tip 9: Experiment With Different Study Methods

It is a good idea to experiment with different study methods (flashcards, quizes, powerpoints, videos) to see how you learn best. No one is the same and we each learn differently. However, make sure you do this well before the exam so you can use the method that works best for you and hopefully study more efficiently.

Study Tip 10: Don't listen to lyrical music.

It's always tempting to listen to music whilst studying, however studies have shown that listening to lyrical music whilst studying can hinder memory retention, however some studies have suggested that classical, non-lyrical music can help with concentration.

Study Tip 11: Use Apps

With the constantly vast rise of mobile technologies over the last few years, using study applications such as Khan Academy, Brain Trainer, Flashcards and even memory apps will help you to study and give you an advantage as some applications give you flashcard generators and exam style questions. Another advantage is that the app will be on your phone so if you're waiting in line, on the train or on the bus, then you can quickly whip out the app and have a brief read, which will help your brain absorb the knowledge if this is repeated.

Study Tip 12: Get Lots of Zzzzz's

Getting lots of sleep is important as it will lead to better health, better mood, optimal thinking and better memory. Make sure to atleast get around 7-8 hours sleep a night and don't use mobiles, computers etc at least 30 mins before bed as they can help to keep you awake.

Study Tip 13: Past Papers

Past papers are a great study resource as they prepare you for topics that may come up in the exam, and help you structure your answers better as they are in exam-style format. You can find past papers online by doing a quick search of your specification, exam board and subject. Most past papers are distributed by the exam composers as free so don't be fooled by the websites that are distributing them for money!

Study Tip 14: Spice It Up

If you're studying a particularly boring subject or topic, find a way to make to fun by composing a song or rap which incorporates the essential facts you need to know. Our brain is very complex and can recall memories easier if it has an association to it. Also, making the song/rap rhyme will help too as once you get to the first rhyming word, it is easier to remember the second rhyming words and subsequently the rest of the lyrics.

Study Tip 15: Chunks Of Text = Bad

When writing your revision notes, don't use huge chunks of texts as this will make you lose concentration. Instead, structure your notes into paragraphs, bullet points and mindmaps so that you constantly stay engaged with the resources you're learning from.

Study Tip 16: Organise Them Notes

If you're revising for lots of different subjects, revision notes begin to stack up and it can be easy to lose coherence and can be difficult to find certain ones. Instead, consider investing in a filing cabnet, folders or polypockers to organise your study notes so it will be easy to locate the right one when you come to revising for your exams.

Study Tip 17: Get Enough Light

It's bad enough already that you're having to read through mountains of text, so make sure you have an optimum level of light so you don't cause your eyes to strain. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty focusing and watery eyes which could distrupt your revision sessions.

Study Tip 18: Chocolate

Students of the world will rejoice to the fact that eating chocolate (especially dark chocolate) helps you retain information more easily. This doesn't mean however you should consume large amounts because you think it will help your memory: it won't. Just eat a small bar during occasional study sessions.

Study Tip 19: Voice Memo's

Using your phone, you can record voice memo's which can help you study, especially if you're a good auditory learner. Repeat your voice memo's or even edit them into a podcast like style. Some studies have suggested that playing your voice memo's while you sleep makes the information sub-conciously go into your mind, however further studies are needed to prove this, but it's worth a try: right? If you don't have the time to record all your notes, you can copy them into google translate and press the speaker button, this will make google translate read out your text and you can record it in a program such as audacity.

Study Tip 19: Meditate

Meditation can help you stay stress-free and is very relaxing. To meditate you should chose a peaceful and tranquil environment, and wear comfortable apparel. After, sit in a position you're happy with, the traditional position is sitting crossed legged, but that's not comfortable for everyone. Next, Try to focus on your breathing only and clear your mind. Don't worry if your mind doesn't completely have the hang of it- it will come with time. You will hopefully slowly be relaxed and calm.

Study Tip 20: After The Exam

After you have finished an exam, under no circumstances worry about the result, even if you did terrible the best thing you can is stay positive and relaxed. Stressing out over the result will achieve nothing and won't affect the outcome at all. If you get your result and find out you have done badly, don't get upset, stay positive, and think about the next steps forward you can take.

Study Tip 21: Get The Right Font

According to some psychologists at Princeton University, it is best to write study notes in hard-to-read font as standard fonts such as Arial and Comic Sans are often skipped over. The logic behind that studies that were conducted were that if we find something easy to read, we tend to think we already know the material and skip over certain parts. However, make sure to not choose a font that is impossible to read, as you will still need to intake the information.

Study Tip 22: Blocking Programs

If you find it hard to use the computer without the urge to check facebook or play a game, then we suggest that you download a program that will restrict these websites and games during the times you want to study at. This will ensure that you have complete focus during study times.

Study Tip 23: Pay Attention In Class

Make sure to pay attention in class and write down revision notes that you think will be helpful when you come to revise. This will make revision easier as when you come to do it, you won't be learning the whole topic froms scratch- you will be building upon the knowledge you gained in class; this will help you remember the material better.

Study Tip 24: Eat Lots Of Fruit

Fruits can improve cognitive function in your brain and can help you focus. Avocado are a great fruit to help. Despite having a bad reputation for their fat content, avocados contain Vitamin K and can help you concentrate and focus. However, all fruit is good and has a similar function such as bananas, apples and blueberries.

Study Tip 25: Use Blue Ink

Studies have shown that using blue ink is better for memorization as most documents are printed in black ink, however it is note-worthy that this differs and depends on the student.

Study Tip 26: Use Certain Scents

During your study session, if you spray an unusal scent such as peppermint or lemon juice it will create a memory in your brain, this means that you can smell it before the exam and you should be able to recall the information you were revising in that study session. The same thing works for exotic flavours of chewing/buble gum.

Study Tip 27: Write out information.

Writing down information is a good way to get it into your memory, and repetition strengthens this process. Remember that writing something down once is equivalent to reading it 7 times.

Study Tip 28: Routine

Make sure to establish a good study routine, this is becuase over time your brain will be conditioned to studying at a certain time and studying will not need as much motivation as it once did. This can be achieved by making a revision timetable and sticking to it every day so you get in the rhythm of studying.

Study Tip 29: Read The Examiners' Report

The Examiners' report is a document often released after exams, and it contains analysis of answers people gave to certain questions. The examiners leave notes of what was good about the answer, and what needs improving. This is a especially helpful resource as it lets you know what the examiners expect in an answer, and how they want them structured.

Study Tip 30: Do Homework Straight Away

Doing homework straight after school is a good strategy because it gett's it out the way and leaves more time for studying and then subsequently relaxation after. Also, try to do homework the night you get it to avoid even more stress.

Study Tip 31: Sit At The Front

Make sure to try and sit at the front of the class as it will stop distractions such as fiddling, doodling or going on your mobile phone. If there's not a seat at the front of the class, go to the second row, it is a good practise to not sit at the back of the class because it's easier to get distracted.

Study Tip 32: Enquire

You should try to be a pro-active learner and ask questions, this will not only improve your knowledge but it will it is a good trait to have and teachers/professors like initiative.

Study Tip 33: Don't Just Study Last Minute.

Cramming in study when you haven't done any prior does not work becuase you're trying to remember a huge quantity of information at once, instead of taking the time to comprehend the material and for it to process properly in your brain. Make sure to start revision early and space out revision sessions.

Study Tip 34: Wake Up 1 Hour Before Study.

Make sure to wake up atleast 1 hour before your first study session so your brain and body has a chance to wake up. This will hopefully give you a chance in the morning for some relaxation and breakfast before you study.

Study Tip 35: Green Tea

Drinking green tea whilst in a study session is a good idea as it contains theanine which helps reduce anxiety. Green tea also gives you a boost of energy that you may need in the end of the day when you've been studying a lot.

Study Tip 36: Save Articles And Videos

Using the application "pocket" you can save articles and videos and view them offline. This is great for when you're waiting in line or on the bus and will give you chance to view some study material on the fly, wherever you go.

Study Tip 37: Desk Plants

Consider buying a desk plant for your workplace, because despite their aestetic appeal, studies have shown that they have psychological benefits too such as making you being able to concentrate more and being more productive. The study was conducted by a researcher at Exeter University, England and concluded people were 15% more productive when they had small houseplants. This is becuase people who engage with their surroundings are better workers.

Study Tip 38: Look At Cute Pictures

A study conducted by a Japanese researcher from Hiroshima University claims that looking at cute pictures of cats and dogs not only improves your mood but also helps you be more productive.

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