Studying can be stressful, extremely stressful. One of the most frustrating things about studying is having to sit down and work on something for hours and hours. Especially when after completing the assignment, you realize you don’t remember any details about what you just studied, or maybe you just couldn’t quite get that grade up to where you wanted it.
Unfortunately, this is something that people struggle with through all of their education – in K-12 and in college. But fortunately, there are a few tricks to help you get a better grade on the test or just help you remember a bit more about what you’re studying.
Figure out where you study best. Some people can’t study with noise and chaos around them, and other people can’t study without music or noise. Once you figure out which one works best for you, pick your environment accordingly, and if you can’t pick where you study, try to adjust your environment to your study needs, even if that means getting better headphones (If you like quiet, I recommend getting noise-canceling headphones. It would be worth the investment).
Take notes. It is scientifically proven that writing down what you hear or read, will help you to remember it so much better than only reading it or hearing it.
Find a happy medium between comfortable and uncomfortable study position. If you get too comfortable, you can’t study too well, but if you’re uncomfortable, it won’t work out very well either, especially when you have to work on something for a few hours at a time.
Take breaks. It’s recommended that you eat healthier and get rest, but also to take a break every half hour or so for even just five minutes. If you can’t focus or maybe you’ve been staring at the screen so long you can see the words even after you look away, it’s time for a break. Keep your breaks short and consistent. Scheduling them out or setting timers is the best way to keep yourself from getting carried away with schoolwork and to keep yourself from taking too many breaks.
Get enough sleep. If you’re falling asleep at your computer, you can’t get your grades as high as you would like them or be able to focus as much as you need. A full 8 hours will really help.
Don’t put off the big assignment or the assignment that you really don’t like. In fact, it actually helps to do that one first. If you put it off, you’ll spend more time working on the little assignments so that you are able to put off the dreaded assignment. Speaking from experience, this means you will spend more time on schoolwork, and you won’t make the grade you were hoping to get. Do yourself a favor and get it out of the way, it can only get better from there.
Test times are focus times. Pick an environment and a time that helps give you total focus and has no distractions. If you study around your family, be sure to tell them that you are taking a test and ask them to give you the quiet that you need.
My most important piece of advice is don’t forget that there is life outside of school. Make time for your friends, having fun, and just living life. Having a focus on schoolwork is important, but sometimes it can be easy to get wrapped up in trying for that perfect GPA, or just raising your grade a bit higher. Those are all great goals, but don’t let that keep you from all the great experiences of high school and of being a teenager. Surprisingly, this can also help you when you do work on schoolwork because you have events and fun stuff that you can look forward to.
Maeghan Teel is a junior at Liberty University. She loves reading, writing, and drawing in her free time. When she’s not off at college she likes to go home and spend time with her parents and two siblings.