How to Study Effectively: 10 Useful Tips for Students

How to Study Effectively: 10 Useful Tips for Students

What is the difference between those at the top of the class and other students?

The answer is how they study.

Effective study is the way to get good grades and retain what you have learnt for life!

It is important to note that this does not mean spending 4-8 hours studying hard each day. Effective study is about how to study smart while ensuring you grasp your concepts thoroughly. Qualitative study methods may require just one hour a day but can provide a clear understanding of your course concepts.

So, how do I study effectively?

Here are 10 proven study tips and methods to help you ace your exams. Find the answers to your most difficult study issues and learn how to study effectively through the following study tips and methods.

You can use these insights and study techniques to obtain high scores in your semester exams or coursework.

Why effective study matters

Effective study helps you develop your problem-solving skills by understanding concepts and subjects thoroughly.

Qualitative study methods are the study techniques that concentrate on the quality of learning. Effective study represents this kind of learning and helps you in your career and, in the long run, in life.

Why? Simply because it teaches you to solve real-world problems by first helping you become a problem solver for yourself. It develops your ability to think, memory retention, analytical skills and reasoning abilities over time.

How to study effectively? 10 proven study tips and methods:

1. Set clear goals:

The best way to study is by embracing a simple study routine with clear goals. What do you want to achieve during this one-hour study session? What concepts do you want to learn? What level of proficiency would you like to have in this concept?

These are some questions you can ask yourself when creating study goals. Your study goals must be clear, easy to understand and achievable, yet challenging. Setting such goals and knowing your intention behind the goals can help you stick to your study routine and develop discipline when it comes to studying.

2. Create a study schedule:

The main reason for a study schedule is to help your brain retain the information it learns.

An interesting study on the brain’s capacity for processing information found that the brain can process up to 74 Gigabytes per day. That equates watching one episode of Stranger Things spanning 25 minutes to processing 25 GB of data!

Much like watching a series on Netflix, a study schedule can help structure your exposure to your study material daily and improve your retention and memory. If you can recollect an episode of Stranger Things, you can recollect your subject material as well!

According to Medium, all you need is a study schedule that helps you create a habit of studying topics bit by bit every day.

 3. Use active learning techniques:

What are active learning techniques? They can be different for each person.

For example, turning your study material into engaging and challenging games like quizzes and short tests that you create for yourself can help you retain and memorise your concepts easier. Alternatively, you could even try turning your study material and subjects into something fun like a song.

Miley Cyrus once performed a song that she wrote naming all the bones in the human body. She changed her biology lesson into ‘the bone dance’ which helped her remember every detail clearly. While this song worked for Miley in Hannah Montana, you need to find what works for you!

4. Break down complex topics:

If a subject is hard to understand, then break the concept down into small segments. Bite-sized concepts and study material are easier to learn and absorb compared to studying ten pages of hardcore concepts in one session.

5. Practise retrieval:

Did you know human beings tend to forget nearly 50 per cent of everything they have learnt within one hour of learning it? According to Crossriver therapy, this percentage shoots up to 70 per cent within 24 hours of learning something new. This is why you must always practise retrieval and check if you have understood the core concepts you studied by writing it down or reciting it to yourself.

6. Seek clarification:

When you sit down to study, you may have a million doubts and questions. Never ignore these tiny doubts however insignificant they may seem to you. Write them down and have them clarified by your mentor or study partners.

These doubts are a signal that your mind is trying to understand something and store it in its memory. Clearing your doubts can be a great way to enhance your memory and retention.

7. Stay organised:

According to newsGP, there are proven scientific studies that tie unorganised surroundings to anxiety and the inability to concentrate or study. One of the main answers to ‘how to study effectively’ is to maintain a clean and organised study space.

8. Take breaks:

Nothing is more important for your mind than to have spaces between your intense study sessions. Think of your brain as a muscle that you are exercising.

When at the gym, you need to take breaks between reps and workout routines, similarly your brain needs regular breaks too. Excessive workouts can cause your muscles to hurt and excessive studying with poorly spaced breaks can drain your motivation to study at all.

9. Stay consistent:

PsychCentral, a recognised blog on psychology, mentions that human beings are creatures of habit. Our habits may seem harmless at first, however, the compounding effects of our habits can shape and direct our future.

The same applies to your studies as well. Studying a little every day can take you a long way over a period of time. Turn your study routine into a daily habit and you’ll notice how consistent you become.

10. Review and reflect:

Perhaps the most important part of your study strategy is reviewing and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t.

When you review and reflect on your studying over a week, you can understand which study methods work best for you, what is the best time for study, what is the best hour to learn hard concepts and much more. With this step, you can improve your study routine regularly.


How can I study faster and smarter?

You might want to consider the best time to study, and when you wish to learn effectively.

Choosing the right time to study is based on when your brain is most receptive to learning. Some people find early morning hours great for studying, while some find late night hours are the best time to study. PSB Academy noted that according to scientists, however, the best time to study ranged between 4am to 7am.

Best study apps and tools for students

You can use a variety of tools for studying effectively. Here are some of the best study apps and tools you can use: 

  • Flashcards: StudyBlue, StickyNotes
  • Productivity tools: Pomodoro timer, Marinara Timer
  • List maker and productivity tool: Todolist
  • Visual study aid: Hippocampus
  • Note-taking tool: Evernote
  • Memory-enhancing quizzes: Quizlet


Are there any workshops on studying effectively?

There are a number of workshops available online today for various needs. How to study effectively is one of the most searched topics and you can find the help you need at the click of a button!

You can also opt for online support courses for your subjects and courses such as ACCA, AAT and Introductory Bookkeeping course (IBK). You don’t have to do this alone, sign up today with a reputable education provider that can help you with mentorship, guidance, support classes, online discussion forums, mock tests and active doubt clearance.

The London School of Business and Finance, UK (LSBF) is among the renowned business schools in the world and offers various courses and programmes for students around the world. The school has won many awards under various categories and can give you the tools to study effectively!

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