Tips for Studying Smarter, Not Harder

College days can be strenuous. Incessant studies and the stress that comes with the teenage years often take a heavy toll on students. From learning to concentrate better to honing healthy daily habits, there are myriad strategies you could adopt to lighten the load. If you put in sufficient effort to study smarter, you’ll free up ample time for yourself for more pleasurable activities.

We’ve compiled a list of the best tips for learning how to study effectively without putting in extra time. Prepare to pick up the reins of your education, and let’s dive right in!

Learn To Concentrate

Do you remember the last day you put your mobile device aside to spend the whole day in a park concentrating on your brilliant idea? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. In the modern world of constant connectivity, the first thing we do is check our social media or email the moment we wake up. Although we’ve gotten used to the incessant fragmentation of our time and attention, experts are warning that this has weakened our ability to focus. It is imperative for your mental health to rewire your brain for concentration. Twenty minutes to one hour of focused attention is preferable to be free of interruptions. 

You can try out brain exercises, read books, meditate, or find another remedy that suits you best. What’s more, you should learn to unplug every once in a while. Take time to focus on that brilliant idea you have in mind before automatically switching to another study activity without concern for time. This will help hone your concentration like no other!

Structure Information Wisely 

You would probably agree that devising a thorough plan for all your crucial tasks and learning to prioritize will help guard against an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. But did you know the same tactic also works when trying to memorize information?

It has been found that making an effort to remember something hardly affects whether or not you actually remember it. Yet the benefits of structuring information are crystal clear: Organizing the material in some clever way, either by taking relevant notes or pondering how the reading relates to other phenomena, will cement the material in your long-term memory.

Never Sit Still

Your brain and body are not as separate as you might think. Any type of physical exercise can significantly improve your mental capacity. Getting your body moving may help you concentrate better on your academic studies, whether preparing for exams or honing your writing skills. Exercise doesn’t have to be arduous. If working out in the gym doesn’t excite you, think of alternative ways. Even a long stroll in the park counts as exercise, and it has an added benefit- closeness to nature can dramatically improve mood. So, whether it be strolling, yoga, or dancing, find something you enjoy and stick to it. 

Take Sleep Seriously 

Ample research shows that a good night’s sleep is indispensable for consolidating your memories and even boosting your creativity. With this in mind, you might reconsider resorting to all-nighters before exams and think of alternative ways to organize your study schedule during the day. 

Moreover, research demonstrates that even short naps during the day can be highly beneficial. Did you know that mastermind Leonardo Da Vinci took 20-minute “power naps” every four hours? You might not be able to do the same in our fast-paced world, yet be sure to give the practice a shot; it has several purported benefits, including elevated mood and enhanced performance.

The Way Forward

In a world constantly demanding our time in one way or another, it’s essential to harness due skills for their most effective use. Otherwise, you risk missing out on your special activities, receiving poor grades, and developing stress on top of it all. Be sure to keep our suggestions in mind to acquire all the skills you need to study smarter, not more complex, and rise and shine in your college life!


Donald Fomby is a student counselor, assisting students in coping with the mental challenges that often accompany college life. Donald contributes instructional blog posts in his free time to help young people harness all the amazing opportunities around them and make the most of their college years.