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Study Tips and Tricks

To put it simply, studying is tough. It’s hard to figure out what technique works for you and, even when that technique does eventually succeed, maintaining one’s focus without constant distractions can seem impossible. So, to help combat this struggle that many students seem to have, I’ve put together a list of some study tips and tricks that have either aided me or a friend when we’ve been in search of a new way to review.

Please know that everyone studies differently! What may work for one person might only cause another to have a rough go at absorbing their material. With that being said, only apply the tips mentioned below in your studying habits if they work for YOU!

Find a quiet space to work in.

A tried and trusted method, working in a quiet space where no distractions can inhibit you truly do wonders. But, make sure it’s a space where you will ACTUALLY work (i.e. don’t sit on your bed, even if it is quiet there). But, if you’re someone who works better with noise…

Listen to music!

When I say listen to music though, I don’t mean your favorite artists. Sadly, that’ll be a surefire way to distract you from your studying. I find that putting on music without words tends to work best! So, maybe check out some Lofi beats (my favorite!) or even a bit of classical music (although I will admit, classical does normally end up making me a bit sleepy).

Body doubling

If you’re unaware of what body doubling is, let me explain it real quick. Body doubling is when you and someone else (a friend, partner, etc.) work together simultaneously on your own tasks. If you’re like me, you get next to nothing done if you’re trying to work on your own. Most of the time, my solution is to do work with a friend while on FaceTime or to meet up with them in person while we both study/work together- body doubling! In all honesty, this truly works wonders for me. Maybe it’ll help you, too!

Change your scenery

A lot of times, I get a bit too used to the environment around me and begin to get quite distracted by anything that’s lying around. To counter that, I head to a cafe or a park! More often than not, I will end up at the Barnes and Noble on Union Square to get some studying done.

Rewrite your notes

Tedious? Yes. But does it work? Also yes. Rewriting your notes will really get all of the necessary information to stick into your brain, even though it can appear as a strenuous task at first.

Take breaks!

I know this may not seem like much of a study tip but, trust me, it helps in the long run. No matter what technique you decide to go with, it’s important to take breaks in between bursts of reviewing material. You won’t be able to properly process anything if your brain is shortcircuiting with the amount of information being fed into it. Check out the Pomodoro Technique if this is something that interests you!

Put your phone on the other side of the room!

Especially if you’ve decided to study in the comfort of your home, put your phone out of reach! It truly is the biggest distractor and you’d be surprised at how much you could get done when it’s not within arm’s length.

Make a list

Personally, one of my biggest issues when studying is staying on track. I forget what I need to accomplish and sometimes miss out on whole topics. So, I make a list! I write down what needs to be done, if there’s an order I want to do it in, and then check it off as I go (it’s also a bit rewarding getting to put a checkmark next to each task as you complete it).

Have a friend test you (and vice versa)

It’s hard to test yourself and make sure that you’ve got all the information down pat. Call up a friend and maybe make a game out of it! And, most importantly…

Take a deep breath and trust yourself!

Silly, I know, but taking a moment to yourself before a big exam can truly work wonders. More often than not, you already know the material! Stress tends to cloud our brains and, sometimes, it’s inevitable to get around. It’s easier said than done, of course, but we can still give it a shot!

Again, not all of these will work for everyone, so don’t panic if you don’t immediately take to a specific technique! I do hope that at least one of the listed tips has helped you find a new way to study, though. Best of luck in your academic endeavors!

Written by Ashley Lavalle

Photography by Sophia Keefe

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