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How to study better: 5 good habits for students

Want tips on how to study? Let us show you how to make a study plan so you can work smart!


laptop on a yellow desk with studying materials

Key steps

Follow our key steps for more effective study:

1.     Figure out the way you learn best.

2.     Create a study schedule template that you can use for different subjects.

3.     Get your learning materials organised.

4.     Choose a quiet study area – keep it clean and tidy.

5.     Reward yourself with short breaks and make sure you are well rested before you study.

Studying can be stressful and can seem a little daunting; especially when you live by yourself and have got to look after a home too. Once you figure out the best way to study it becomes a lot easier and that’s where this guide comes in. From putting together an organised study plan template to giving yourself a break, here are five really good study habits for students.

Use highlighter pens to bring your weekly study planner to life. Colour coding and highlighting subject areas is a great way of helping you prioritise your sessions.

How to study the right way

Before we get onto filling out a study schedule template and designating a study area, it’s important to figure out the way you learn best or your learning style. How to study best is unique to each person so ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Do you learn better through looking at stuff, listening to stuff, or doing stuff yourself?

  • Do you like peace and quiet when studying or a little background noise?

  • Do you work better independently with notes or as part of a group discussing ideas?

Everyone will have a mixture of all learning types in their personality but there should be one or two groups that you feel more comfortable in and these are the ones you should build your study plan around.

Five good study habits to help you achieve

Start experimenting with different study techniques by trying these five habits:

1.     Create a study plan template

If you’re wondering how to make a study plan then the first step should be making a template and photocopying it so you have enough for every subject. On your template, we recommend including:

  • A weekly study planner: broken into sessions with a space to record the day, time, and goal.

  • Overall goals for that subject: what are you aiming to achieve?

  • List of resources: consult these only when you’re really struggling.

  • Rewards and breaks: plan your treats and breaks to reward yourself for all that hard study.

Once you get into the flow it’ll come easily and make your study much more structured. You can even add any household chores you have into your plan so you don’t forget anything important.

2.     Organise your materials

Once you’ve figured out how to make a study plan you can start to gather and group your study materials. Categorise your topics, highlight chapters in books, bookmark interesting online videos or audio materials, and arrange your study notes so they are easy to find. The more work you put in early on, the less time you’ll waste later.

3.     Designate a study area

For anyone who’s studying it’s important to designate a study area. You need somewhere to go that’s quiet, organised and gives you the space you need. Libraries are great for peace but there’s nothing quite like the ease and comfort of home. Follow these tips to make sure it’s set up for studying:

  • Keep it clean and tidy – use quality products like Jif to clean surfaces.

  • Let others know this is where you study – use a ‘please don’t disturb’ sign if you like!

  • Motivate yourself – decorate the room with quotes and images to help you focus.

4.     Give yourself a break

Scheduling breaks is without a doubt one of the most important good study habits. Working hard is one thing but working smart is better! Even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes every hour or so: get up, walk about and get some fresh air. You’ll be refreshed and ready to go again, rather than burning out. You could even use your breaks to get some household chores done – a good chance to switch off from study and still be productive.

5.     Take care of yourself

Studying can be hard and sometimes stressful, especially during exams. With that in mind, remember to eat well, exercise, and have a good night's sleep. Keeping an eye on your diet is also a clever thing to do as eating healthy can impact your mood and, therefore, your efficiency. 

Finding the best way to study is a very personal thing but everyone will benefit from being organised and having a plan. When you have a structure, you are bound to be more productive so put our top tips into practice and look forward to less stressful study sessions.

Originally published