Studying well can make your time studying more efficient and more effective. Here are three things you should never do if you want to have a productive study session.
Even when you turn off your notifications and toggle the “do not disturb” button, your phone can still be a temptation for distraction. You may be tempted to check email or social media. You might think of that one text you just have to send. Each time you look at your phone you lose focus and your study time takes longer. Unless your phone is essential to your studies, put it in a different room while you are studying. The farther away you put it, the less tempting it will be.
2) Study Late at Night
Studying late at night may be better than no studying at all, but just barely. Plan your time appropriately so that you can study when you are alert and sleep when you are tired. Studying while awake and focused will help you retain more information faster. Sleeping also helps cement information in your memory. If you skip sleep to study, your study sessions may not be doing much good.
3) Skip Breaks
If you are short on time, it may be tempting to power through a long study session. However, the longer you go between breaks the more your brain stops paying attention to the information you are trying to cram in. A study published in Cognition found the brain performs better when given a short break about every hour. Use your break to grab a healthy snack, take a brisk walk, or stretch a bit. These activities will restore focus and help you remember material.
When you need to prepare for an important exam, efficient study time can help you learn more material faster. Plan accordingly so that you can take full advantage of all of your brain power. Don’t study distracted, sleepy or fatigued. Know yourself and what you need to do to have the appropriate amount of uninterrupted study time.
Michael Romano has been offering his Los Gatos SAT prep services for almost two decades. He’s seen thousands of kids and helped with just about every kind of standardized testing anxiety a student could have. This has taught him that increased scores come down to confidence. Yes, you have to understand the material, but confidence is—more often than not—the #1 cause of a student’s trouble with testing. Bearing that in mind, he has created an SAT tutoring program that builds confidence by desensitizing his students to the conditions of the test, while providing them with targeted instruction on both the academic content of the exam and the tips and tricks that make it so much easier.