Originally Posted: May 4, 2018
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2019
The fact that studying in any capacity is absolutely mind-numbing is no secret. Yet putting in the effort to study is the undoubted difference between passing or not. So the question on all students’ minds is: to study or not to study?
Personally, I can’t study for longer than 10 minutes without finding a source of procrastination or finding myself on the verge of a severe mental breakdown. Thankfully, over the years of countless exams and pop quizzes, I’ve figured out some basic methods that keep me on track and make studying less of a hassle.
Related: Can You Make Studying More Fun?
Get rid of distractions
Studying can’t be accomplished if there are distractions around you. I suggest unplugging and finding a workspace where you can concentrate. Turn off your phone or set it aside in order to avoid picking it up and losing valuable study time. If you need the internet for research, try using apps like Anti-Social and FocusWriter to keep you from logging on to social media. It seems impossible to go without checking Instagram or Twitter every 10 minutes, but that giant red A or 100 on your quiz will be worth it.
Don’t wait ’til the last minute
You’ve heard this a million times, but it will save you from unnecessary stress in the long run. It’s not unusual for us to get busy and leave things until the last possible second, but studying in advance will ensure that you know the material better, you don’t cram too much all at once, and you won’t have a heart attack looking at how much reading you put off before your AP US History test.
Use online resources
There are millions of study materials available that enough students don’t take advantage of. One incredible tool is the website Quizlet, an online study tool that can be used to make flashcards, personal tests, study games, and more. I’ve found that using Quizlet weekly has really helped me with material in all my classes. Five minutes studying on Quizlet could save you from hours of crying into your science textbook.
Khan Academy is another great study tool that allows you to practice skills in various subjects. They provide amazing free online videos and activities that cover AP courses, different subjects and grade levels, standardized test prep, and more. The chance to pass any upcoming exam is never out of your grasp, and all you have to do is sit on your computer and watch a few videos or take a couple of practice tests. Instead of searching the internet for memes, put that time to good use by testing yourself on one of these sites.
Listen to music
There’s so much music out there that pairs well with seven pages of chemistry notes. Listen to upbeat music if you want to keep yourself awake enough to review notes, or maybe listen to calming classical music in order to focus on reading a long chapter. Some songs I like to listen to during the study grind are “Angels” by Khalid; “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill; “True Colors” by the Weeknd; “Sad!” By XXXTentacion; “Unknown Brother” by the Black Keys; “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston; and “Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes.
Related: The Ultimate Finals Study Playlist
Have fun with it
Studying has a reputation for being painfully dull, so do anything you can to make the experience more bearable. Study with a partner or ask someone to quiz you on the material. Try studying with snacks. Or try studying for 30-minute intervals then reward yourself with a 10-minute Netflix break!