Schools Training

Some “Harsh Reality” Study Tips

26 FEB 2014

When it comes to doing well in school, you can pay close attention in lectures and think you know it all, but it’s true that at some point, you’re going to have to sit down, open some books and try to make some of that information stick by actually studying. Unfortunately, most students never do this until a couple of days before a test and they end up cramming and cramming, trying to learn it all in a night or two. It’s not only counterproductive, but it usually doesn’t work very well either.

Even more unfortunately, most of the so-called “great study tips” you find in Canadian education news or educational articles are usually things like “find a quiet place,” or “don’t cram the night before”, which are rather useless in the grand scheme of things. Luckily, though, we’ve compiled a list of realistic study tips that – kind of like medicine – won’t be great going down, but will make you feel better in the long run.

Turn Off Your Phone

We get it; you’re pretty much just sitting there, waiting for someone to text you so you have an excuse to bail on your study plans. Well don’t even be tempted. If you have your phone on you, you’re going to be looking at it every two minutes, texting or surfing the web. If you’re going to sit down and study, you should sit down and study, not mess around on Twitter – let’s be honest, it’s not like you’re using that phone to keep up to date on college news. Do your grades a favour and just switch it off for an hour. You’d be surprised how much more focused you’ll become.

Go to the Library

Being in a place where the main purpose of everyone there is to study will actually make it less painful for you to get work done. Because everyone else there is in the same boat as you, you won’t have the temptation to do something else like you will studying at home or at a coffee shop. Bring your headphones, put on some relaxing music and just get to work. You’re less likely to feel like you’re missing out on something when you’re doing the same thing as everyone else.

Take Better Notes

While it’s an easy habit to fall into, don’t just write down every word that the lecturer says. If you do, the chances of you reading through it all again are going to diminish slowly with every word you write. Plus, all of that time and energy spent making sure you’re getting every word down is time you’re not actually paying attention, so you end up with a whole bunch of text that don’t even understand. It’s much more effective to write down key words and concepts, with explanations as you go. The main thing is that you pay attention in the lecture, and furiously writing everything down is just going to distract you.

While these are simple study tips, they’re the ones that are the most important to your success. No one really likes studying, but it’s something we all have to do. So, even though it might be hard, just taking these simple steps will make it much less painful in the long run.