Image Credit: “Study Area” by yum9me is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Do you ever find yourself pondering why you got a low grade despite studying for hours together, despite putting in the effort? Do you ever find yourself getting distracted too easily? Do you ever feel like the problem is you? If you answered yes to any of those questions, here are a few helpful study tips for you:
- Focusing: While several students are constantly told to focus, they are never told how. Focus, a skill mastered by a select successful few, requires great practice. However, it is extremely simple to cultivate the skill with a bit of dedication. Start by ensuring that the workspace you study in is suitable, and is devoid of easy distractions. If working on a computer, don’t have social media tabs open and carry a bottle of water and some snacks with you so that hunger does not disrupt your workflow. Practice focus by concentrating on one topic, at all times. For example, during a conversation, try to direct your complete attention to what the person is saying. Initially, whenever you find yourself distracted, attempt to remind yourself of the task at hand; small reminders such as alarms and post-it-notes can be helpful. For some, music increases focus or relieves stress too. Here’s some music that helps me focus.
- Make time for distractions: The brain requires rest, and at least half an hour of not doing anything at all every day. Designate a certain time during which you will take rest every day. Watch this video for a more detailed explanation of taking breaks and focus. Give yourself a set amount of time after doing work for every one hour. Walking around and breathing some fresh air or talking to someone are good ideas of breaks.
- Dealing with stress: Everyone at some point has faced stress or anxiety, although there are several ways to reduce or minimize it. Meditation or simply closing your eyes is a great method to relieve stress before an exam and regain concentration. Here’s a link to a simple and effective three-minute meditation. Reading quotes or positive thoughts may also be helpful to some.
- Motivation: While motivation has to come within, we all struggle with laziness. Here’s a link to a motivation video that will make it hard to resist your work. However, at times, allow yourself to be lazy, just not too often. For example, if you have one hour to submit a paper, its not the best time to laze around. On the contrary, if you have been working for a week or two with hardly any breaks at all, give yourself a break. You come first, always.
- Organization: Maintaining a calendar with specific timings allocated to a certain task reduces stress and increases the likelihood of a better grade. Prioritize major assignments first, then the homework due daily. Using whiteboards or sticky notes is helpful too!
These tips have helped improve my grades significantly and get through the shift from the Indian education system to the Internation Education System that QLS follows. Don’t expect immediate results, however, the methods previously outlined will definitely be beneficial in the long run.