Top ten study tips
Here are our top ten tips to help you study. If you’ve got an exam coming up you might also like to have a look at our Top ten exam tips page.
1. Find your study space
Everyone has their own idea about the best place to study. Find a space that works for you and stick with it.
- Do you prefer to study in silence or listen to music?
- Do you work better alone or with other people?
- Do you like to study at home or at school/uni/TAFE/library?
2. Be organised
Make sure you have all the materials you need in your study space before you start studying. Getting up to look for a pencil sharpener or ruler will break your concentration and waste your time.
3. Clear your mind
If you’ve got a lot on your mind take a moment to write yourself some notes about what you're thinking about before you start studying. This will help to clear your mind you focus all your thoughts on your work.
It’s also a good idea to keep some spare paper next to you while you’re studying so if you think of anything you need to do later you can write it down and put it out of your mind, then get on with the studying.
4. Get motivated
Think about what it will mean for you if you do well in your studies. How will it make you feel? If you keep the end result in mind it will help you stay motivated.
You might like to find a quote or an image or something that represents success for you and put it somewhere you can see it while you’re studying.
5. Plan your time (and use it well)
It helps to plan when you will study and how you can make the most of your study time.
Use a calendar or a list of dates or a wall planner to keep track of exam dates and assignment due dates. Plan ahead. Space out your study time each week for the whole term/semester - don’t try to cram it all in the night before!
Do the hardest work when you’re feeling your best. Save the easy stuff for when you’re tired.
Set yourself a time limit for each task and follow it.
6. Know your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know your learning style and study in the ways you learn best.
Auditory learners learn by listening. If you’re an auditory learner you could try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners learn by seeing. If you’re a visual learner you could use colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinesthetic learners learn by doing. If you’re a tactile/kinesthetic learner you could use methods like role-playing or building models to revise key points.
Courseworks at the University of Melbourne has a quick quiz you can take (new window) to see what kind of learner you are.
7. Use your notes
Taking detailed notes in class will save you heaps of time later. Re-writing and adding to your notes is a great way to revise what you’ve learned.
Check out this online Study Skills Library for explanations of five note-taking systems (new window).
8. Make your own study materials
Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and twice when you use them to revise.
9. Test yourself
Don’t wait for an exam to test your knowledge – test yourself first. Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts or offer to help other students with their work. It’s a great way to get confident with what you do know and find out what you still need to learn!
10. Take time out
You study better when you're feeling good. So make sure you eat well and get enough sleep. Exercise is great but don’t overdo it.
It’s also a good idea to schedule regular breaks when you’re studying and keep hydrated. You’ll study better if you take care of yourself.
Come up with your own strategies
Remember - these tips are only some of the things that you can do to get the most out of your studying. There might be other things that work even better for you.
Ask around - find out what your friends do when they're studying - maybe some of their tricks will work for you too! Maybe your teachers have some good recommendations too.
Whatever it is, whatever strategy you come up with, when you find something that works for you, put it into practise and go for it!
For more tips and advice, check out our Online study resources page.