How to study effectively

Want to know how to study effectively? The following steps may help toward successful study.

Identify your study space

  • This may be a desk or table at home, at the library or in a designated area at school or college.

  • You should have a comfortable chair which allows you to sit upright at your desk or table.

  • The temperature should be neither too cool nor too warm. If you’re away from home you may not be able to control the room temperature, but you can do things to make you warmer or cooler - for example, put on or take off a sweater.

  • There should be adequate ventilation – if your space isn’t air conditioned, an open window may provide a refreshing breeze.

  • Make sure you have sufficient light. Ideally this should be daylight, so sit near a window. On darker days or while working in the evening, use a good desk/table lamp or overhead light.

Make a study plan

  • A few weeks ahead of your examinations make a timetable to include all subjects needing revision.

  • Your schedule should allow adequate time for study while still allowing for rest and social activities. However, you may need to cut back on some of your non-study commitments during revision time.

  • Your study plan should be simple. Don’t spend too much time making your timetable – an overly detailed schedule may look impressive, but this is time which could be spent on revision.

  • Your study schedule should also be achievable. Start your revision early and try to do the required amount of work each day - not too little, not too much.

Organise your subject matter and study equipment

  • Make sure you have all course materials to hand – this may include notes you have made and those given to you by your tutor, plus books or websites (such as!) containing the relevant subject matter.

  • You should have all the necessary study equipment to hand – this may include, for example, paper (lined or graph), pen/pencil (sharpened!) and calculator (with working batteries!).

  • Your desk or table should be kept tidy – this will enable you to focus on your work rather than clutter.


Take regular breaks

  • For instance, 5 minutes every half hour or 10 minutes every hour.

  • During these breaks, stretch your legs, perhaps grab a quick drink or snack – recharge your batteries!

  • Don’t get distracted - following each short break return to your study space with renewed focus. Continue to work with breaks until your scheduled work for the day is done.


Don't procrastinate

  • Don’t ''over think'' your studies. Just apply the above steps, start and stick to your study plan and see your knowledge and confidence grow!


Summary of how to study effectively

Here's a reminder of the steps to follow when considering how to study effectively:

Now go study!

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