HOW TO STUDY EFFECTIVELY
Studying in an effective manner not only improves grades but can also help test anxiety.
GENERAL STUDY TIPS
Minimize distracting noise. Some people need some sound while some prefer silence. Find what works
Consider a “do not disturb sign” and turning off your phone. Let voicemail take your calls for a
while. You can catch up with people later.
Use proper lighting. It’s hard to feel motivated sitting in the dark! If you use a desk lamp, place
it opposite the dominant writing hand and don’t have it too close to you.
In terms of temperature, it is better to be cool than warm. Warm rooms tend to make people sleepy.
Have plenty of room to work; don’t be cramped. Your study time will go better if you take a few
minutes at the start to straighten things up and organize your materials.
A desk and straight-backed chair is usually best. Don’t get too comfortable ~ a bed is a place to
sleep, not study.
Have everything (book, pencils, paper, coffee, dictionary, laptop, calculator, tape recorder, etc.)
close at hand. Don’t spend your time jumping up and down to get things.
Studying requires the correct attitude. Be calm and patient with yourself as you review the
material. Beating yourself up will do no good. Try to open your mind as much as possible by putting
other things aside and letting go of frustration.
Focus on the areas that need the most attention. Many students feel that any time studying counts
as real studying, but studying is less effective if you do not target the areas that need study.
For example, if you know how to do all the math or science questions of one type, do not focus your
attention on those questions. Instead work on the questions or concepts you find the most
difficult. That way you are work on improving your knowledge instead of just reinforcing what you
Good class notes are important as they make studying and review much easier. Don’t expect to learn
everything later on your own. Pay attention in class and make your own good notes wherever
possible. If you’ve been absent, ask the teacher or a friend if there are notes you could
photocopy. Taking good notes familiarizes you with the material; further review and study
solidifies it up.
Use your class materials when studying. Good notes can often help you work on the material you find
most difficult. If your teacher has given you worksheets, data booklets, quizzes, etc. during
class, use those to help you study. Effective studying uses all the resources you have, not just
an open text book.