How to Maximize Your Study Time

posted in: Time Management 0

How to Maximize Your Study TimeIt’s late-August and that can mean only one thing…back to school season is upon us!

Any student knows studying is a major component of the learning process.

Between classes, lectures and labs, time is limited during the school year; where and how exactly do you find the time to do all the studying you need to do?

In this post, I offer three tips to help your study sessions run smoothly and make the most out of the time you have.

Schedule study time.

You know you need to study, just like you need to go to class or attend a lecture or lab.

When are you actually going to sit down and do it?

When you find “some time” after a Tuesday afternoon chemistry lab, before history class on Thursday, or sometime during the weekend?

Not having a studying schedule is almost as bad as walking into an exam without understanding or knowing anything about the exam material.

Review your class/course schedule for the semester and take out your personal schedule or calendar to pencil in specific study time for each class/course.

While you’re at it, make note of what you will be studying during any given study session.

Are you reviewing or writing over your economics notes, working on a couple of calculus problem sets, or reading chapter five from a psychology textbook?

Having a study plan in mind will make it easier for you to focus on your studies.

Review material broadly, then get down to details.

 What do you do when you learn anything new for the first time? You start with the basics and eventually work your way towards more advanced material. You should also take this approach during each and every study session.

Instead of getting bogged down with the more complex details from a lesson or reading, try taking a bird’s eye view. What’s the broader picture? What’s the main point of the material? If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s what, review any outlines, summaries, or synopses.

Once you have a general grasp of the material, you can then get down to details. Think of this like an inverted equilateral triangle; there’s a broad base and then a narrow point. You can always polish the details later on, but if you miss the big picture from the beginning, well, you’ll be in a lot of trouble later.

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Spend more of your time on difficult or challenging material.

It’s all too easy to sit down and review information you already know and understand. You’re studying, right? Well, technically yes, but you’re really not making the most of your time. In fact, some say you may be wasting your time.

Get the most out of any study session by spending more time on any information you find difficult or challenging. Chances are it will take more than a couple of study sessions for you to understand and demonstrate mastery of this material anyway, so you might as well devote your precious time this cause.

You can of course review material with which you are already on good terms, but by all means don’t linger over the material any more than necessary. Focus on the tough stuff, it will be worth it when it comes down to finals time.

How about you? What time management edits will you make towards your study time? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.