The Best Study Methods & Tips That Actually Work

For most people, studying is very hard and takes a lot of effort. As a student, I speak from experience. It all seems good until you reach the 6th grade (or even earlier depending on your standards), and then, all of a sudden, studying becomes hard to keep up with. But, it does not have to be! Since then, I’ve adopted numerous amount of strategies that have been vital in my academics. In this article, I will share some of the strategies I have adopted into my “academic life” and the best ways to study. These ways are very good and have helped many people study more.

Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro method was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 20th century. The reason for the name is that Pomodoro means tomato in Italian and Cirillo used a tomato-shaped timer when he was a university student. The Pomodoro method has six steps. First, you decide on the task you want to complete. Then you begin working on the task for exactly 25 minutes. When the timer rings after 25 minutes, you take a short break that is in between 5 to 10 minutes.

When you complete four of those 25-minute Pomodoros (while taking a 5-10 minute break between each one), you can take a longer break that is around 20-30 minutes. After the long break, you go back to the cycle of doing 4 Pomodoros with a short break in between each one. This method has become very popular throughout the world. Many people have found success with this method, and it is highly recommended to everyone. There have been many online tools created for people to utilize the Pomodoro method, including Pomodoro timers. I highly suggest you try out the following online Pomodoro timer; I use it personally.

Exercise Before Studying

It has been scientifically proven that exercising before studying helps the brain be more active and retain more information. Blood flows to the brain during any type of intense physical activity. This, in turn, heats up neurons and promotes cell growth, especially in the hippocampus. This means that just 20 minutes of exercise before studying can improve your concentration and help you focus your learning. You will be able to sit still longer. Unlike popular opinion, you do not need to run a 5k before studying, even a short walk counts as exercise.

Study Before Sleep

It has also been scientifically proven that if you study before you go to bed, you will retain more information the next day. During sleep, it is thought that information from the day is converted into long-term memory and moved to a different part of the brain. This means that the concepts you studied are more likely to ‘stick around’ and be remembered than information that was absorbed after waking up or during the middle of the day. However, if you feel very tired, it will be better to go to bed rather than study. Your studying will have negative effects if you study when you are very tired.

Spaced Practice

Many people choose to cram for exams for a few days (or even the day before!) the exam is held. Although people believe this is a good way of studying, it is not. A better way to study is through spaced practice. In the spaced practice technique, you study over a longer period of time. In this way, the same learning time will result in more lasting learning. For example, three hours spread over the duration of two weeks is better than the same three hours in a row before the exam. Spaced learning is a very viable way of studying in the long term.

Studying With a Friend

Studying with a friend, or multiple friends, is a very effective way to study (again, speaking from experience). You and your friends both gain from it. Studying with friends can also be very fun. For most people, studying is something that is very boring. But, if you study with people you enjoy hanging out with, you will have fun and also learn a lot. You and your buddies can quiz each other, make games to learn the material, and can create other ways to get the most out of your study session! Another benefit of studying with other people is the more motivation you get. It can be very hard to start studying, but it is much easier when there are other people. You will also be more motivated to study more when your friends study more.

Listening to Music

Science has proven that listening to music can be very helpful for studying. Classical music especially is very good for studying music. There are also many live 24/7 studying music videos on YouTube. Listening to music can help you be more relaxed and can help you study more. Listening to music can also make it feel like time goes by faster. It is also easier to jam out to your favorite tunes when studying rather than studying with boring silence. However, sometimes it feels very stressful with music on and you should turn the music off then. Overall, you should listen to music while studying and only turn it off if you feel disturbed by it.

Conclusion

In this article, I described many ways to achieve better studying results. Although these methods are all objectively good, different techniques work for different people. For this reason, you should do the methods that works best for you. For some people the Pomodoro Method does not work but studying before sleeping does. That is completely fine as studying methods are not one size fits all. If you had success with any of these methods, feel free to comment on this article! If you have any questions/concerns, please comment and I will get back to you ASAP!

2 comments

  • Hey, Arpit.. I agree with you; myself I have started to implement the Pomodoro method to my studies, and it has proved to be really beneficial. Thanks for linking the timer, I used to manually count it not knowing there was an online method for it. Do you have any other recommendations?

    • It is suggested that you also have proper time management. Learn to set goals correctly—set goals that are achievable and measurable. Prioritize the time wisely—prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. Set a time limit to complete a task (while also taking breaks between these tasks), organize yourself, remove non-essential tasks/activities, and most importantly, always plan ahead. If you implement these tips, most certainly you would be able to study and effectively manage the rigor.

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