How do top students study?

Better Study Habits Can Guarantee a Successful Career


This handout offers several tips on effective studying. Implementing these tips into your regular study routine will help you to efficiently and effectively learn course material. Experiment with them and find some that work for you.

#1 Be lazy.

Yep, you read that right. Oftentimes, there’s no reason to pointlessly work hard. Practice taking compact notes, keep keywords, eliminate useless filler words, replace ‘and’ with ‘&’, ‘or’ with ‘/’, or a “temperature of mercury rises” to “temp Hg ↑”. This both saves time and keeps your notes easy to read and retain.


#2 Cheat more.

Or more like, use cheat sheets more. Make them like you’d actually use them for cheating; put in formula lists, chemical reactions, important dates and whatnot, & carry them around with you. Take occasional sneak-peaks every once in a while, and (as long as you don’t carry them to the examination hall, of course) you’re set.


#3 New topic? Don’t read it yet.

Instead, skip right to the ‘questions’ section and try to answer them. If you get stuck, look for the answers in the study material. This gives a basic grasp on the topic, a good idea about the types of questions that are likely to appear for a test, plus, you’re likely to find the topic easier & finish it 10x faster compared to age-old parrot-cramming.


#4 Study in the morning.

I’m a night owl myself, have pulled all-nighters, and yet I say this. Instead of staying up till 3 am, why not sleep for a few hours, and wake up at 4 am? You’ll get some rest, feel refreshed, & might just end up being way more productive.


#5 Grab that front seat!

The teacher’s voice is more audible, which keeps you less distracted, under a check, and I’ve just found myself being able to focus hella better if I’m sitting right in front of the teacher.

#6 Keep that f##king device away.

Oh no, but I need my internet for studying. Bullshit. Like you totally don't get distracted every 5 minutes? You’re kidding yourself. Unless you positively need internet access for what you're doing, turn that cunt off.


#Use flow charts and diagrams


#8 Practice on old exams


#9 Snack on brain food


#10 Plan your exam day

Organizing your time spent studying and staying consistent across an academic year goes a long way towards avoiding the stress and difficulties of trying to cram study at the end. You get better grades and you get to live a normal life while you’re at it.

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