How To Develop A Study Strategy

July 5, 2021 Rachel Grier

University is both an exciting and intimidating experience. While you get many opportunities to have fun, you also have so many things to do that it can be hard to know where to start. Managing coursework, assignments, exam preps, and co-curricular activities can be overwhelming.

But it’s never too early to start thinking about study strategies.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, you still have time to work out an effective study strategy that’ll help you earn good grades without burnout.

But remember that there isn’t a standard study strategy. For example, you might find it better to study in a library. In contrast, your classmate may study effectively at one of the off-campus rooms for rent in St. Catharines.

Here’re some tips for creating a good study strategy that will help you achieve your academic goals:

Try the Pomodoro Technique
Okay, so you’ve probably heard of all the many productivity hacks out there. The Pomodoro Technique is one of them. It’s basically a time management strategy that breaks work into intervals—traditionally 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break. The idea is to work in sprints, with short breaks in between, to maximize your productivity.

Here’s how you can use the Pomodoro technique as a study strategy:

  • Decide on what to study or what assignment to do.
  • Set a timer to 25 or 30 minutes.
  • Focus on studying for 25 or 30 minutes straight with no distraction or excuse during that slot.
  • As the timer rings after the set duration, stop studying and give yourself a 5-10 minutes break to help your brain relax.
  • You can use the short break to take a small stroll around the room, grab a snack, or check your phone if you’re an active mobile user.
  • Repeat.

Following the Pomodoro technique gives your brain enough time to absorb new information and relax, eventually improving your focus. If you have loads of exhausting work, break your time into digestible chunks, and you’ll love the improvement.

Minimize Distractions
Distractions are the bane of every student’s life. Whether it’s the phone, the TV, or the internet, they all have the potential to suck you in and make you forget about your coursework. As such, you must minimize distractions when you sit down to study.

It’s a good idea to switch off your mobile phone, turn off the TV, close social media, and disable your computer’s desktop notifications during study hours.

The same holds true for distracting objects on your study desk. For instance, if there’s a sports magazine or a novel you’re enjoying on your table, it could distract your attention. As such, you must remove all sorts of distractions from your surroundings and focus on the study material only.

Organize Your Tasks
Organizing tasks can help you stay on top of things, and you’ll feel more confident in your ability to achieve your study goals. When we’re organized, we feel more motivated and know what to do next.

For example, if you’re studying for an exam, you might have a different type of studying to do each day of the week. One day you might study key terms, the next day you might review general concepts, and so on.

Whether it is a quiz, exam, or assignment, make sure to prioritize and complete the tasks based on their deadlines and importance.

It is good to use a study planner for effective organization. You can hang the planner near your table, with all the important tasks and deadlines listed. Alternatively, you could set reminders on your phone to ensure you don’t forget anything important.

Find Your Most Productive Time
Students usually have limited hours after classes, making it challenging to manage coursework, assignments, and examine prep in that slot. But there’s a hack to get the most out of this limited time: discover the time when you’re most productive.

Instead of sitting at your study desk right after reaching your apartment, you should give yourself some time to relax and determine the time of the day you’re at the peak of performance.

Your productive time could be early in the morning, in the evening, or at night. This should be the time when you’re full of energy and most attentive. Once you’ve identified it, aim to complete your most important tasks during that time.