Six Tips for Productive Studying

Megan LeBoff
Staff Writer

Having trouble studying? Don’t even know where to start? Here are 6 tips that are proven to help get you through finals.

     As finals are starting to roll around, studying is more important than ever. But studying isn’t as simple as it may sound. So to avoid burnouts and study effectively, here are some tips that are proven to help you succeed.


     The planning stage is incredibly important. Map out what it is you need to study and arrange them from your easiest subjects to your hardest. That way, you can spend more time with the harder subjects, and a little less time on the easier subjects. Time management is the key to studying, so planning how you will spend your time is surprisingly helpful.

Put your phone away

      None of us want to, but the truth is our phones are incredibly distracting. What starts as checking a text, can easily turn into 3 hours scrolling through TikTok. So make sure to distance yourself from your phone. 

     In fact, one thing you can do is record a time-lapse of yourself studying. This effectively makes you keep your distance from your phone, but also, being on camera is an interesting way of holding yourself accountable.


     Although many of us will be pulling some all-nighters cramming last minute for a test, this could actually be doing more harm than good. Getting enough sleep is crucial for memory function, so when you are deprived of sleep, your brain has trouble remembering facts and information. So try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and your brain will be ready to perform at its best.

Choose a good place to study

     The place you choose to work can easily affect how you study. For example, try not to study in a messy workspace. Being in a messy area can be both distracting and overwhelming. Seeing a lot going on in one space can unconsciously trigger your brain to be overwhelmed, and while studying, this is the last thing you need to worry about. On the other hand, you don’t want a place so relaxing you end up just falling asleep. So choose a good in-between, like a cleaned-off desk, or a table at a coffee shop.

Be careful with what music you listen to

     For some, music is a useful tool to help retain information, but for others, music is incredibly distracting. A general rule of thumb is to listen to instrumental music, as lyrics can easily distract you from your work; I recommend Lofi Girl on YouTube. But everyone’s mind works differently, so find what works best for you, and run with it.

Find a study group

     Study groups are incredibly useful in many facets. For starters, they are great at holding you accountable. If you are supposed to meet up with a group of friends to study, it is much harder to blow off than if you were studying alone. Additionally, studying in a group can help you focus. When everyone in a group is studying, the atmosphere of the room itself becomes focused, making it easier to concentrate. Finally, working with a group creates an amazing support system. If you are confused about a subject, chances are your group can help you. Additionally, teaching others is proven to help you understand the material better. There is power in numbers, so use this to your advantage when studying.

     Finals can be stressful, but with the right steps, anyone can succeed. Happy studying!


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