Study Survival Tips

08 June 2020

Study Survival Tips

You’ve probably heard your parents, or other family members listening to an old song with the refrain of ‘I will survive’. Of course no-one will be as daft as to sing about studying (!) but this could feel as if it is your refrain too when you are struggling to keep your head above water where your studies are concerned.

Pay attention to the following 10 tips to keep on track:

  1. Zzz… stands for sleep!
    Less than 8 hours of sleep decreases your concentration. Sleep helps your mind to retain the information you were studying.
  2. Eat healthily
    Too much sugar and/or coffee and a lot of fatty foods could lead to feelings of sluggishness, burnout or jitteriness. Recommended foods include lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts and dried fruit. Bananas, blueberries and oranges will boost your energy. Also remember not to skip meals.
  3. Organise your study space AND your notes
    Ensure that your study space is quiet, effective and comfortable enough. Organise your study notes in separate files with appropriate headings. This will optimise your studying time.
  4. Draw up a timetable
    Determine what time of the day you study best. Plan your timetable around this. Work what you need to study and divide your time in such a way that you are productive for a long enough period of time; take regular breaks (not too long!) so that you remain focused without difficulty when you are sitting at your desk.
  5. Study in chunks
    Chunking means that you group information when you are studying. Break large sections of information into units. Study each unit on its own. It’s easier to memorise shorter units than an entire chapter for example.
  6. Don’t procrastinate
    It’s no use procrastinating. You are only making it worse for yourself. It is not as if you will be totally relaxed anyway; in the back of your mind you will be thinking of what needs to be studied although you allow yourself to be distracted. Procrastination could also lead to anxiety (also see tip 9).
  7. Say it out loud
    It is believed you are 50% more likely to remember something if you say it out loud instead of just reading it over and over. Alternatively rephrase what you have just read in your own words.
  8. Study in groups
    There are benefits to studying alone and studying in a group. Use a combination of these when possible. If it feels as if you are struggling with a section of work, discussing concepts with fellow-learners could help with understanding the work.
  9. Deal with anxiety
    Make a conscious effort to monitor yourself. If you feel you are becoming anxious, follow a routine that you know will relax you. You could take a warm bath, listen to soothing music or phone a friend (also see tip 6).
  10. Reward yourself
    Rewarding yourself when studying means motivating yourself. Different people will enjoy different rewards. Scroll through social media for a few minutes, take a power nap, eat a healthy snack, dance to a song.
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