There are countless study tips for students that swear to help you improve your grades. Sifting through them can be overwhelming. I’ve put together a list of suggestions to help you stay focused and productive — and eventually succeed this academic year. Note that some of these tips may not work for you, and that’s completely okay. Try, mix and match, and find the best study routine for yourself!
10 Study Tips for Students to Improve Grades
1. DON’T study in bed.
That’s guaranteed to end in an impromptu nap. Same goes for futons. Of course, it’s fine to look over some notes in a comfortable position, but get too comfortable, and you may find yourself nodding off. Please note that this isn’t an anti-napping statement; I love naps.
2. Schedule your classes in a way that will help you study.
Decide if you can focus better studying for short increments or if you need to sit down and hash it out all at one time. If you need more breaks, then schedule your classes with 45 minutes to 60 minutes between them. If you don’t need breaks, schedule your classes close together.
3. Know your preferred learning style.
- Visual: pictures and observation of space
- Aural: sound and music
- Verbal: words; talking and writing
- Physical: hand gestures, body movement, touch
- Logical: logic, reason, systems
- Social: groups and other people
- Solitary: working alone; self-study
Update! The myth of learning styles has been debunked for many years, but it still prevails in various educational systems across the globe. What I want to convey here is that you should decide for yourself under which circumstances you learn the best (meaning memorize, understand, retrieve, and connect pieces of information that you can later implement in different circumstances) — in a library, at home alone, or in a study group? Do you like writing things down (as it stimulates memorization) or draw mind-maps? But the most effective strategy is to vary different styles and ways of learning depending on the circumstances and the materials at hand.
4. Treat your backpack like a filing cabinet, not a trash can.
Basically, be organized. You don’t have to waste time searching for your stuff if you know exactly where it is. If you’re a disorganized person in the first place, then buy a big binder for important information.
5. Take a break.
Your brain can only work for so long. Take a break by eating a light meal, exercising, or doing something creative like drawing or writing. Even pausing for a quick nap is fine, but be sure to set an alarm! Ideally, plan ahead several outdoor getaways to improve your mental health and get more energy.
6. Find a good study group.
Even if you have a solitary learning style, it’s always important to hear other people’s observations about a topic. Maybe they’ve thought of something you haven’t. Also, don’t rely on a class Google Doc. They’re nice to supplement what you know, but they shouldn’t be all you know. A good tool to keep up with people in your class is GroupMe, a popular group messaging app that is includes people with Apple or Android devices.
7. Find several go-to places to study.
As I said before, studying in your bed/futon/even dorm room is not the best idea. Let your dorm room be a place to sleep and hang out with friends. Search out places on campus or local coffee shops where you can comfortably study and focus.
8. Add color to your notes.
This is especially helpful for visual learners. For those with other learning styles, it’s a good idea to highlight or take notes again for repetition and reminders. Check out our article on how to take notes from a textbook effectively.
9. Turn off phone notifications.
We hear all the time about how phones are so distracting. That’s because it’s true. Turn off loud notifications, and leave your phone in your backpack instead of sitting next to you. Use the same rule for before you go to sleep. One app I use is Pocket Points, which rewards you with deals to local businesses when you keep your phone locked while on campus.
10. Get some sleep.
Study after study talks about the importance of sleep. The more sleep and less caffeine you’re getting, the better. Everyone requires a different amount of time to rest, but find a consistent sleep schedule that works for you so you can do your best.
I hope that these study tips will help you thrive this academic year. They are definitely suitable for college students but also for those who does an evening online course to improve their skills. Most of these study tips for students are quite self-eviden but it’s important to make them a routine! And enjoy the process!