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5 Effective Study Tips You Should Try

Blog by Jessica Counti, an undergraduate social science student at the University of Western Ontario.

Being a student is already stressful, but during remote learning? Even more so. Sometimes it can be difficult to get started on a task or to get organized in general. With so many dates and deadlines, its key to keep these all in check. Here’s 5 study tips to keep that will make studying more effective for you:

1. Create a Schedule or a list

Having multiple classes to keep track of isn’t easy on its own. But add the online learning factor? Sometimes things can become a bit confusing. One tip to help keep organized is to create lists, planners, or schedules -- whichever suits you the best. Every method is different, so it is important to try out a handful before learning what works the best for you. If you’re someone who enjoys journaling, perhaps you could start a bullet journal to keep track of daily tasks. Pinterest has a lot of inspiration that will guide you through making spreads for your bullet journal. Or, if you would rather have a digital solution, there are plenty of online task tracking and scheduling apps that you can use, which are listed below:

  • Microsoft To Do
  • Google Calendar
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Todoist
  • Trello

2. Plan Ahead

Now, once you’ve made your schedule or list, it’s time to plan ahead. This can be useful for any student, as you can prioritize what task to focus on first. If you’re given dates in advance be sure to add them to your schedule or list so you can set time aside to work on the task. Planning ahead in my experience is also a great way to feel a bit at ease, making it easier to space out work over the course of a long time frame. 

3. Complete Tasks in Chunks

Amazing! Now that you have all of your tasks in order, you’re in control of how you target each project. If you’re given a few weeks to complete a project, a good tip is to do it in intermittent parts. Completing work in chunks can not only be less stressful, but it gives you more time to work thorough your task. Perhaps there’s a final exam coming up in a few weeks or a month. Start doing little things to prepare for it -- whether it means reading over summary notes, creating a study guide, or organizing a study group.

4. Find a Suitable Study Spot

Being at home, it can sometimes be difficult to find a good study spotl. When you’re studying you want to ensure optimal focus, maybe you work a bit better with a little bit of noise, or maybe you work better in complete silence. However you study, try experimenting with different settings within your home or outdoors and what helps you focus. I like to study when there are things happening around me, I used to enjoy studying at a cafe, however since most of my studying is being done from home now, I usually play cafe sound on youtube while getting through my tasks. I personally also like to change up my study spots, it makes the expereince more exciting for me, and maybe you are like that as well, so don't feel hestiant to try different study spots around the house!

5. Take Breaks

While studying is great, studying for too long can be tiring and tolling. That’s why it's important to take a break from your material every now and then. Perhaps you could take a walk outdoors, watching an interesting show or video, or doing a fun activity. I use the pomodoro technique when I want to get through a lot of material, this way I incorporate breaks into my study session and take sufficient breaks! Can’t grasp a concept or tired of reading the same notes over and over? Sounds like it’s time for a small break, just enough to recharge you to get back at it again.

Have you tried any of these before? If not, which one do you think you’re going to incorporate into your daily life first? Wishing you good vibes as you study away and meet your deadlines!