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5 Strong Study Habits to Develop for a Productive School Year

strong study habits

Experts say top students spend between 50 to 60 hours studying per week.

That sounds like a lot, but in reality, most students study around 19 hours a week which isn’t always a bad thing. It’s important to work smarter rather than harder which is doable when you adopt strong study habits.

Not sure how? Here are the most effective study habits you should try today.  

1. Develop a Study Plan

One of the best study habits is to create a schedule and stick to it so you develop a routine. Doing this ensures you develop good habits that will help you succeed in your education on a long-term basis. 

Create a wall calendar and assign topics for each day leading up to the due date or exam. You should know when a test takes place, the type of questions to expect, and the topics covered.

Even if you feel swamped, never delay or put off your planned study session. If you do, your studying will become far less effective and you won’t accomplish what you need to succeed.

Also, don’t cram all your studying into one session because it’s ineffective and you’ll end up burned out. Research shows that taking short breaks during a task increases your productivity and focus during a study session.

Because of this, it’s best to space your work out over shorter periods so you can be consistent and have shorter sessions.

Students should also create a schedule for reading instead of skimming over an assigned book chapter. You should make notes about the major themes explored in a passage and look up unfamiliar words or concepts. Making an outline of the chapter or creating flowcharts makes information easier to digest.

2. Designate a Study Area

Areas for studying are a fantastic way to get into a focused, positive mindset. Even though it’s tempting, avoid studying at a local coffee shop as it’s easier to get distracted there.

Instead, designate a section in your room where you can study. Make sure there’s no noise and enough lighting so you can read and write without distraction. You should also follow a “communications blackout” policy where you can’t use your phone or social media until you finish studying.

Some students love listening to music when they’re reviewing notes but it’s important to listen to the right type. Avoid tracks with lyrics as it will be harder to stay focused.

Instead, listen to classical music. Researchers found that 19th-century musicians engaged areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions, and organizing information. All of this, of course, is essential for students.

3. Use Study Groups Effectively 

Talking to other students can lead to forming a study group. Not only does this create a positive mindset for studying, but collaborating lets you get help from others and complete assignments quicker. 

It’s important to use study groups effectively by reviewing what you’ve learned in the past week together. This will prepare you for learning new concepts and build upon any knowledge you’ve gained from the previous week. 

An ideal study group has three to five members. Most sessions last up to three hours maximum. If a study session is too long, productivity will drop and members will lose focus.

There should be a group leader so everyone can stay focused and organized. You should all decide on the format so you know which topics to explore and how you’ll cover it. For instance:

  • Use a study guide from your professor
  • Get inspired by study questions found at the end of chapters in your textbook
  • Assign each member a topic which they can present to the group 

It’s also important to find an appropriate meeting place. You can either use your college’s study rooms, a member’s dorm room, or outside if the weather permits.

4. Review Your Notes Before Starting an Assignment 

Always take good notes in class so you can review them before starting an assignment. Read them thoroughly so you know how to complete the assignment correctly.

Reviewing notes helps you remember important information learned during class. This helps you target key points and ideas.

You should also look back at previous exams or assignments where you had lower grades so you can understand where you went wrong.

Consider getting relevant textbooks to help you study as they will deepen your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.

5. Ask Questions in Class

Students that shower their teacher with questions show they’re engaging in the learning experience.

Not only do questions prove you understand difficult concepts but they breed more questions from other students so you learn more.

Apart from staying engaged, you should also practice active listening. Concentrate on the points a fellow student or teacher makes and pay attention to how they’re saying it (tone, gestures, etc.) 

Avoid talking or thinking about the problem when listening, and focus on the speaker. This will give you a better chance of understanding new ideas. 

Those Are Our Favorite Strong Study Habits

Practicing strong study habits is the key to a successful education. It’s important to stay organized by following a study schedule, creating a distraction-free area, and keeping a folder of notes.

Never be afraid to ask questions as they help you learn and create an effective study group to make the learning process more enjoyable. Happy studying!

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About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.