The Arrow Tips with Brett: Studying Effectively

Studying is an essential skill to have in high school, as barrages of quizzes and tests are commonplace. However, it is common to find that little time is left for other activities after studying. The question stands – how can one make the most of the time spent studying? 

The first—and most important—step to maximizing study potential is managing phone use. Technology can be a useful asset, but it can also be a distraction. Setting non-essential technology out of hand’s reach from the workspace forces one to physically move to grab it, discouraging use. Setting up long, ideally over an hour, playlists for studying can reduce the time spent searching for songs to listen to. If using technology is required, write notes or set reminders encouraging focus and productivity.  

Another measure to maximizing the impact of a study session is splitting the material into groups based on content. For example, setting individual units or sub-units their own section of the workspace keeps it organized and makes it easy to find certain papers if necessary. This organization cuts out wasted time spent looking for papers in a large stack. The division also creates the ability of keeping track of the time spent on each section. Setting a timer for every content area in a session can prevent overstudying on one topic, saving time overall! 

Managing breaks is crucial to maintaining productivity and focus when studying. Spread a session out like this: spend an hour or two studying, then take a 15-minute break. During this break, spend some time away from the workspace or screen, if studying on a computer. Instead, refill a water bottle or get something to eat. Breaking up the monotony of studying can reignite the drive to study after a break is done. 

The final piece of advice is utilizing downtime in the day for studying. If extra time is left between a sports practice and another event, use that time for a quick study session. Fitting in small sessions can add up over time to an earlier understanding of what is being taught. An understanding of the mentality is as important as an understanding of the material. Being willing to use extra time or fit in extra sessions may seem simple, but it goes a long way in mastering the material. 

Using studying tactics like timing and efficient breaks will certainly increase the productivity of your studying sessions. Keep in mind that wasted time when studying only means less time for other, more fun, activities. Study wisely!