While it’s easy to think that the only proper way to study is by spending hours upon hours in the library buried beneath a mountain of books, research shows that it’s not about how long you study, but more about how effective your methods are.
The goal is to study smarter, not longer. After a certain period of time, your brain simply can’t retain much of the information it comes across (i.e. it suffers from information overload). That’s why maximizing your study routine is better than increasing how much time you spend studying.
If you’re wondering how to start studying more effectively, below is our list of over five of the best study tips for high-school/college/and ESL students in academic English (or anyone looking to enhance their study methods).
Don’t Spend Countless Hours Studying
As we’ve already mentioned in the introduction, spending numerous hours studying doesn’t work as well as spending fewer hours studying (as long as you’re studying at a more intense level). Most high-level students don’t multitask. Instead, they choose to focus on one task at a time (giving all of their attention to that one specific assignment, essay, or thing you’re trying to master like imperatives, etc.).
Because multitasking diverts your attention away from the task at hand, it’s nearly impossible to effectively study if you have numerous distractions surrounding you (e.g. your smartphone, social media, TV, laptop, internet, etc.). There are several different methods to combat distractions, many of which we cover in the next section. Oh, yeah, don’t forget to have enough food and drinks on hand to get you through your study session without having to take big breaks.
Overcoming Distractions While Studying
In today’s age of social media, constant wi-fi access, and unlimited information, distractions are a part of life. Now more than ever, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself from distractions while working. While everyone battles them, students have an especially difficult time dealing with distractions.
Distractions can lead to unfinished work, material left unstudied, and ultimately to poor grades/academic performance. That’s why it’s important to have a strong anti-distraction strategy set in place before you even begin studying. Knowing how to protect yourself from distractions is important to get the most out of your study sessions. Also, be sure to use one of the best websites for ESL students.
Don’t be like a kindergarten student who gets distracted by every little thing!
Dealing With Outside Distractions
These types of distractions come from external sources (i.e. your phone, computer, laptop, friends, roommates, etc.). While they can be incredibly distracting, they are also easier to fight than internal distractions (e.g. worrying about other issues aside from schoolwork).
One of the very best ways to minimize external distractions is by choosing the proper place to have your study session. This is why many people choose to go to the library to get work done; it’s quiet, people are there to work, and there are relatively few distractions.
The main problem that students face in terms of distractions, is knowing how to manage their use of technology. While smartphones and laptops have changed the course of education, they have proven to be very distracting to students (of all levels).
If you have a problem with technology-related distractions, consider leaving your phone at home, or putting it in another area of the room while you’re studying. Another effective tactic is to use internet-blockers on your phone/laptop. These kinds of apps allow you to only have access to sites that you allow (so for studying, that would mean setting the app up to only allow access to sites related to your coursework).
Consider Using Online Homework Help
You can use a homework helper to get your assignments done properly. These websites allow you to either hire a tutor or get help with a specific assignment (or both). They’re great because they allow students to receive near-instant access to high-quality tutoring/homework help.
When you’re using a site like this, you need to be careful about which tutor/helper you choose to go with. Generally speaking, it’s only recommended to hire a tutor/helper that has numerous positive reviews. You also need to consider their price, and how much it will cost to hire them.
Utilize Practice Tests and Exams
Taking practice tests/exams is an excellent method to prepare yourself for an upcoming exam. However, you can also use it for studying in general. The best way to do this is by making an actual test, and then going through it and answering the questions.
This works even better if you have a study partner so that you can both make each other tests. There are also many practice exams/tests/quizzes available online that are only a quick Google search away.