5 Tips to Study More Effectively
Updated: Sep 30
Studying for an exam or test today? I’ve been tutoring for nearly 10 years with Ottawa Tutoring and over this time I’ve picked up some great tips that can help you study more effectively. Knowing how to properly study saves you time and you’ll see the results.
By following these tips, you’ll maximize the productivity in the time you allot to studying. Don’t let stress get to you, try to study effectively!
Organize Your Study Space
Some might say this is just procrastinating, but it’s all about how you approach the study time. If you start studying at a cluttered and messy desk your thoughts might be too. Remove distractions from the study space and set yourself up for success by cleaning up the space you plan to work in and laying out the material you wish to cover. Ensure you have something to drink and a comfy (but not too comfy!) chair. Time to get started!
Practice On Old Tests and Exams
This tip can make a huge difference. Many teachers will hardly change their tests from year-to-year if the curriculum hasn’t changed, opting instead to change some of the wording and the numbers used in the questions. By practicing on old tests and exams you’ll set yourself up for success by familiarizing yourself with the likely format of the test, the way the questions will be worded, and the types of questions you’ll receive. It’s not even uncommon to see teachers re-use the same questions without changing a single word or number, so do yourself a favor and learn how to do the questions the night before!
Space It Out
A new learning technique called “spaced repetition” sounds all sciency, but it’s really just common sense! Try breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time. You’ll find that this reduces stress and improves retention. For example, don’t try to memorize the entire periodic table in one sitting. Instead, learn a few rows each day and review each lesson before starting anything new.
Try Explaining Answers to Others
Parents and little brothers and sisters don't have to be annoying around test or exam time! Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. This will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work. I can personally attest to how well this tip works - I find teaching someone a difficult topic is actually the best way to improve your own understanding.
While it probably is best to study for as many hours as possible, this can be counterproductive if you don’t take breaks. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't try and run 24 hours a day. Likewise, studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps.