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Study smart

students studying at computer

Ramp up your study skills with these tips from the pros in Academic Coaching.   

Create a study schedule, establish a routine

A study schedule and routine are especially important when learning remotely.

Decide where and when you'll study for a particular course. Plan to wake up at the same time during the week and go about your routine at home as you would for a regular day at school.

Also consider, when do you need to be in your study area to work on school assignments? When are your classes? What time of day do you work best?

Creating a schedule and following a routine can help you feel more productive, more in control and more accountable. Plus, it helps set boundaries around your time and reduce distractions.

Organize your study space

Choose a spot free of distractions, that's comfortable (but not too comfy!). Make sure you have the technology and equipment you need. Try to separate your study area from the space you use for relaxation.

Create an environment that helps you focus:

Look for natural light

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Add some ambient noise instead of music

You can also try music without lyrics or check out a study playlist on Spotify or YouTube.

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Designate a single study spot

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Maybe include a plant or even a pet

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Eliminate distractions

Try to eliminate as many noisy distractions as possible. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, close the window and consider using ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones. 

Study in short blocks of time and change it up

Capitalize on how the brain processes information — study in short sessions and schedule breaks throughout. Divide each hour of study into three 20-minute blocks and dedicate the last few minutes of each block to getting a drink, having a snack or stretching. 

Plus, mixing up your study subjects helps you be more attentive.  

Use technology to help you feel more connected

Loneliness is a factor when studying from home. Follow a "study with me" video on YouTube to reinforce your sense of connection and keep on track. Some have background noise, some even have built in study timers. Here's one called Study with me at the library to get started.

Review your learning objectives

Check your course outline for a learning objective refresh — they’re basically a road map for your course. Learning objectives can give you a good idea of where to focus your time and provide direction on what to study.

Study actively — don’t just read through your notes

Make additional notes, create flash cards, take practice tests, study with a group online. Active studying helps you remember content better.

Explain your answers out loud

You can try this by yourself or with others. It's a good way to focus your thoughts, get things straight in your head and highlight what you need to work on.  

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Plan for your exam

Being organized and feeling calm makes you less prone to distraction and better able to tap into your memory before an exam. Always double check the details with your instructor and prep any required materials in advance.

Get more helpful advice on how to study smart — connect with a coach!

👉 You've worked hard, you know your stuff, now ace that test. Write exams like a pro with these expert tips.

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