Tips for a More Productive Study Session

By Alyssa Jairam

Have you ever heard the term ‘Knowledge Improves Thinking’? Well, studying allows you to build knowledge and understanding of a subject, which will improve your thinking and help prepare you to meet your future goals, such as advancing in your educational journey or preparing to embark on a new job or career. For many of us, studying can prove to be a stressful experience, especially if examination season is around the corner. In fact, some of us often look for any excuse or opportunity to avoid having to study. However, there are a few tips that will not only make your study sessions more productive as you will easily grasp different concepts and fully understand different topics without having to cram loads of information for an upcoming examination or quiz.

‘Cramming’ is a short-term memorization technique that is often used by students to absorb large volumes of information within a short period, usually the day or night before an upcoming examination (Lane, 2023). However, cramming places stress on your brain since you are pushing it beyond its limits. This can lead to frustration, confusion, fatigue, and negatively impact your cognitive function (Study Right, 2023). Additionally, cramming only allows information to be stored in your memory for a short period of time, whereas if you completely understand a topic or concept, it will be in your memory long-term.

Some tips to make your study session more productive are:

  1. Play Music to Boost Your Mood: Not everyone can study in silence, and you can become bored and sleepy. However, by playing relaxing music, you can make studying enjoyable. Some persons prefer classical music that helps to soothe and inspire, while others may prefer music with a fun beat (University of the People, 2023). Studies have shown that having background music playing can improve your focus, attention, and memory. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Mozart Effect’ (BYJUS, 2023). It is all about finding your genre and what works for you!

Source: The Guardian

  1. Get Yourself a Study Buddy: Sometimes studying alone can get boring, but having company always makes an activity more fun. Find a classmate or even a group that is studying for the same examination or quiz as you. This way, you can laugh, tell jokes, and review concepts together, which is more engaging than studying alone. You can also make a list of questions and answers with your study buddy and quiz each other to make the study session more productive.

Source: Freepik

  1. Get New Stationery: Having new pens, pencils, and highlighters is a great way to motivate yourself to study (University of the People, 2023). New stationery can make learning enjoyable and more productive as it inspires you to be creative when making notes. Instead of using only black, blue, or red pens, you can use colored pens, which will make your notes look pretty but also encourage you to write and even draw diagrams.

Source: National Today

  1. Challenge Yourself: Challenge yourself to learn and review a certain number of topics or to reach a certain page within a set timeframe. Only when you have successfully accomplished this, then can you reward yourself with a snack break. Of course, the snack should be one that you absolutely love!

Source: Perdue

  1. Use YouTube: There are many educational videos on YouTube that can assist you to better understand a topic or concept. Many videos are even animated, which will grasp your attention and make it easier for you to understand and remember a topic or concept. Let technology work for you!

Source: The Jakarta Post

In conclusion, studying does not have to be boring, and there are various ways whereby you can make your study sessions more fun and productive to ensure that you fully understand a topic and get better grades. Having good study habits that ensure productivity also increases your confidence, competence, and self-esteem.