How to Study Effectively

How do you study? Do you review notes from class? Make up practice questions to quiz yourself? Stare at your homework for hours before mustering up the motivation to pick up your pencil? No matter what method you use, here are a few tips on how to make your study sessions as effective as possible.

  • Put away any electronics: Phones, tablets, and even smart watches are unnecessary distractions that will make it harder to stay focused on what you are supposed to be doing. Apart from whatever devices you absolutely need for your work (it is best to use a computer, if possible), put all of your electronics in another room until your studying is complete.
  • Make a list of what you need to achieve: Making a list helps you prioritize what you need to get done, and keeps you organized so that you don’t forget tasks. We recommend writing your list down on paper so that you can physically check off each item as you complete it and so you can have it in front of you the entire time that you’re working.
  • Organize by subject: Some subjects are more interrelated than others. For example, English is more similar to History than Math is. So, if you have one English, one History, and one Math assignment, do the English and History one after the other, and then switch to Math. By grouping related subjects, your brain will stay in the same “mode” and won’t have to switch back and forth between each assignment.
  • Get all materials together at the beginning: Before beginning your study session, place any materials you may need within arms reach, even if they’re not related to the first subject you’re studying. For example, if you are likely to need a calculator at any point during your study session, even if you are working on a completely different type of assignment first, put it on your desk or table before you start any work at all. This way, you will not need to get up and are less likely to be distracted by other things around the room.
  • Choose your music wisely: Many people like to listen to music while they work. It can be a great way to make tedious work or a boring assignment more enjoyable. However, your typical country, pop, or jazz songs are not the best thing to listen to when trying to concentrate. Instead, try classical music or instrumental songs. This type of music calms the mind, and makes it easier to focus on the words you’re reading without being distracted by speaking or singing voices.


Whether you’re using flashcards, doing homework, or preparing for a big test, these five tips will help your study session be more successful and allow you to get more done in less time.