Study Tips for Better Grades
Studying is tough. Whether you’re a doctorate student getting a Ph.D. or someone starting primary school, finding out how to stay focused while studying is a challenge that we all face. There are so many distractions that a student faces while studying but the biggest challenge is social media, procrastination, time management, or a combination of all three which is faced by 80% of students – studies say. we’ve got a variety of tips and techniques that can help you minimize the stress of studying and keep you focused on.
How to stay Focused while studying
1. KNOW YOURSELF
One of the core components of study planning is understanding who you are as a person and how that relates to your knowledge. Observing yourself will help you to look at your skills, values, and non-negotiables. It will help you to make a plan, organize, analyze, and evaluate your study.
2. MAKE HABIT OF REGULAR EXERCISE AND YOGA
Studies have shown that daily exercise benefits not only your body but also your mind. Researches tell that short-term exercises can improve your focus for up to 2-3 hours by increasing blood flow to the brain. Regular exercise has also been shown to improve focus, mood, and sleep, while reducing stress, mood swings, and anxiety – all of which can impair cognitive function. In the long term, exercise has even been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Cerebellar Disorders, and slow the process of brain aging.
To start experiencing the benefits of exercise, researchers recommend thirty (30) minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week or 150 -160 minutes total.
3. EAT HEALTHY
Just like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. A healthy habit of eating nutritious food is a behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. These habits improve your overall well-being, boost energy, and make you feel good.
4. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS
When a student starts reading a book and after a few minutes, he or she realizes that he or she is thinking about something else. Then He or she tries tracing his way back and finding out how he or she reached there, but it does not help. He or she just find unable to concentrate on the book. So, whenever you find you are losing your focus, stop and speak yourself to be in the present loudly. You should have to do this a few times & for a few minutes but you’ll ultimately tell again yourself that you want to concentrate on the study for now. If you look after this continuously, you will find that you slowly but surely spend a smaller amount of time being distracted.
5. PICK A GOOD TIME
Our bodies run on a twenty-four-hour circadian cycle. This is the reason that we often feel alert, active, sleepy, or tired around the same times each day. It influences fluctuation in body functioning and regulates changes in body temperature, heart rate, and hormone secretion, etc. Research has shown that these changes have a direct influence on our cognitive functioning, such as emotions, decision-making, and memory. Everybody has an ideal time of the day when they get their best work done. During this time focus on your most challenging tasks such as studying the toughest chapter as this is when you generally feel most alert and productive. For the majority, this ideal time is in the morning. Schedule your most challenging study sessions during peak energy hours, when you anticipate feeling most energized and focused. Observe yourself and find, If you’re a morning person, that means you should be studying as early as possible. If you’re a night owl, choose an evening or night slot. If you aren’t sure what time works best suits for you, reflect on your most successful studying experiences. When & at what time of day did they take place? Find when does your brain feel most effective in general? Fix your study sessions during these periods, and stick to them
6. COME PREPARED
Before sitting for study make sure you have arranged all the things you required for it. Dress your study table with all important articles like pen, paper, books, notebooks, notes, geometry, and technological device if required. Going to grab things from other places after once you set on the table could divert your focus.
7. HAVE A SNACK AND WATER NEARBY
Have your lite snacks & water prepared when you begin a study session so you don’t get hungry and go rummaging for snacks or water. Avoid foods with high amounts of sugar and carbs, like instant noodles, chips, and candy , it make you inactive and bring you to fall asleep easily. Don’t drink energy drinks and sugary sodas; they contain high amounts of sugar which will make you dull and exhausted. Eat healthy, nutritional foods in little quantity while you study instead of foods filled with sugar and fat. Go for energy boosting snacks, like fruit juice without added sugar and preservatives, or foods to make you feel full, like vegetables, dry fruits and nuts. If you need something sweet, go for dark chocolates. Drink water to keep you hydrated through out your study period.
8. FIND A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT
The first step for smarter studying is creating the perfect studying environment. Make sure your study area is quiet, comfortable and free from all kinds of distractions. Try to experiment with different study areas according to your mood. For example, if you get too distracted when you are at home due to some family function or because of your relatives & friends who come to visit you often, try studying in the school library or in any other quiet area. If you are not required to use technological gadgets for your studying, try switching off all of your devices before studying.
9. CREATE A STUDY RITUAL
If you want to stay focused while studying, it’s important to create a routine to help you find your flow of study and focus. A good place to start study is having a pre-study ritual that involves things like clearing your desk, closing your door, grabbing all the materials you’ll need, putting on some headphones, taking a deep breathe, reminding of things you did last time while finishing your study, and creating a to-do list. Taking five minutes to set up your workspace will not only physically prepare you to study but also help your brain to bring it into a state of focus more effortlessly.
10. BLOCK DISTRACTING WEBSITE + APPS ON YOUR PHONE, TABLET, AND COMPUTER
We find it easy to pick our phone up if it is in front of our eyes. Concentration naturally increases when we remove distracting things. It’s not a good idea to study with your smart phone on, even if you have set it to vibrate. As soon as you get a text message, you’re going to look it for sure—the promise of a notification is too tempting! Avoid the temptation altogether by shutting your distracting devices off and even putting them out of your sight and reach. Need an even more rigorous option to keep yourself honest? Ask your friend, sibling, or parents to hold onto your phone during your study session. The same goes for your desktop, laptop and tablet unless you’re using it to study. If you are going to use it for study, be sure to disable every distracting application and notification before you begin the study session. If you find yourself giving in to social media scrolling or game cravings, try an app like Freedom or Self Control to temporarily block your access. Tell your friends and family that you’re entering study mode so that they know not to distract or contact you unless there’s an emergency.
11. PLAY MUSIC WITHOUT LYRICS
Listening to music is another way to help you focus while studying. Researchers have studied the effects of music on our brains. According to them the ability of music to stimulate both sides of the brain is why music helps you focus and also improves your memory. Playing lyric-less musics helps you concentrate more.
12. SET STUDY GOALS
Before going for studying you must know the reason for your learning. Set a goal in your mind for which you want to study. It must be really unique and important for you. It will help you to motivate you each time you feel low.
13. MAKE A STUDY TIMETABLE
When making a study time table, look at your planner and think about what needs to be accomplished first. Think about the types of questions that will be on the test or on exam paper according to its syllabus and the topics that will be covered so you know what you should focus on. Set specific goals for each of your study sessions, like how many topics you are going to cover by the end of the session.
14. STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR PRIORITIES
To focus your attention in the right place, it’s always essential to remind yourself every day of what is truly important for you. Recognize what is essential in your life to have clear goals for you. Sometimes by doing multitasking you just cannot focus on one task after another, which decreases the quality of whatever you do. It distracts you from focusing on your main goal. You can try to avoid doing multiple tasks at the same time by scheduling your prioritized tasks of the day.
15. DO THE LEAST PLEASANT TASK FIRST
I know, it sounds little awkward but start with the most difficult subjects or concepts at the beginning of your study session. That way you get enough time to study them and you feel more energetic and alert too. Save the easier stuff of your session for later.
Learn the most important and difficult facts first. Don’t just read the material from beginning to end divide it into smaller parts. Stop memorizing each new and important fact as you come to it. It’s a fact that new information is acquired much more easily when you can relate it to material that you already know. Don’t spend a lot of time studying things that won’t be on the test or are not too important from exams points of view. Focus all your energy and alertness on the important information first.
16. PUT YOUR NOTES INTO YOUR OWN WORDS AND WRITING
Writing clear, brief and complete notes in class will help you process the information you are learning. These notes will also become study notes that can be reviewed before a test or exam. Talk to classmates or the teacher if you have missed a class to ensure your notes are complete. Thorough reading is a must for learning any subject completely. Read and crosscheck with more information from different authors and sources. Making brief notes into your own words while studying increases the recall capacity of our brain to remember what we have already studied by improving the flow of our study process.
17. VARY YOUR STUDY TECHNIQUES
If you’re a visual learner, using pictures and videos can help. Auditory learners should record themselves saying theirs notes and recite it afterwards. If you are a physical person, lecture to yourself (out loud) while also using your hands gestures or moving around; this way it will be easier for you to memorize things.
18. IF POSSIBLE, KEEP CHANGING YOUR POSITION AFTER A WHILE
sitting in the same place for too long may make you feel tired and exhausted soon. Hence it is advised to the students to keep changing their position and place after every 25-30 minutes.
19. USE THE POMODORO Technique
In the Pomodoro Technique you have to select a task to work on, set a timer for it, work until it rings, and then take a break.
Only you can decide what time range works best for you according to the size and importance of the work, but generally the Pomodoro Technique requires you to work for 25 minutes on a singular task, which should be completely uninterrupted. Once the timer rings, take 3-5 minute break. Then, complete the cycle 3 more times before taking a 25 to 30 minute break. This helps prevent burnout & frustration and keeps you focused, motivated, and on-task.
20. FOCUS ON SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE, NOT GRADES
Academic experts say that one of the most common mistakes they see students make is to focus on grades more than skills, acquiring knowledge, and learning. It’s easy to work for chasing good grades, but at the end of the day, the purpose of education is to fill up students with the skills and knowledge to contribute more adequately in the real world. So it would be better to focus on the learning rather than a grade that can help reduce some of the distracting stress and pressure surrounding studying.
21. REWARD YOURSELF
Positive reinforcement is a great tool for staying motivated. Reward yourself in small ways after completing tasks. Treat yourself to having your favourite snack, watching a movie or playing a computer game. Find whatever keeps you going!
22. LEARN TO SAY "NO"
Remember that whatever you do, you cannot always make everyone happy i.e. by focusing on the happiness of others you can lose your priority and precious time. Keep supporting your loved ones and the needy, but whenever it comes to your life goals and priorities, make a habit of saying “NO”.
23. TAKE A SOUND NAP
During sleep, our mind and body rest completely to regain energy and strength by completing the daily metabolism cycle. A good sleep of approx 8 hours is recommended by almost all health experts. Some people may prefer to study late at night while some may prefer early in the morning, so check which time of the day suits best to you, schedule and maintain a proper sleep routine according to it.