11 Techniques to Improve Your Study Habits - Florida National University (2023)

When it comes to developing good study habits, there is a method to all of the madness. The type of study habits that you’ve come to practice in high school may not work so well in college. However, you can certainly build on those practices to make your study habits more disciplined—because you’ll need to! In college, you’ll have more responsibility, but you’ll also have more independence. For first-time college students, this could be a challenge to balance. That’s why Florida National University (FNU) wants to help prepare all of our students for how they can improve their study habits with these 9 helpful techniques.

1. Find a good studying spot.

This is important. You need to be in an environment with little to no distractions—an environment that will aid in keeping you focused on your assignments. The library has always been a reliable place to get some real academic work done, but if you prefer someplace else, just make sure that you’re set up for success. Your university may have other places on campus that will provide you with a nice little studying spot. While cafeterias may be quite busy, there are some university campus cafeterias that tend to have just enough silence for students to study while they grab a bite to eat.

You might get campus fever and decide to venture outside of your university to get some work done. Many students find little coffee shops with Wi-Fi that will let them sit there all day long for a buying customer. Outdoor parks and recreational centers, even the public library might be a nice change of scenery.

Even study lighting is also important. If you want to preserve your eyesight and maximize your time and energy, then choose lighting that will not cause eye strain or fatigue so you can keep your study session effective at any time of the day.

Establish rules when you’re in your study zone. Let people living with you know that when your door is closed, it means you do not want to be disturbed. Try not to respond to phone calls or texts, this will break your concentration and you will lose focus.

Let’s not forget about your home. No matter the size of your apartment or house, we recommend dedicating a little office space just for studying—away from any distractions.

2. Avoid social media.

Speaking of distractions, nothing can sap away your time for a good 20-30 minutes like good old social media! Emails used to be the necessary evil in order to keep life going, but now people are communicating through social media platforms more than email or even talking on the phone! As a result, it’s pretty common to have a browser tab open just for social media. The problem with this is the alerts! As much as you may try to ignore it, you won’t be satisfied until you follow through with the alert—an alert that will most likely require a reply! In all likelihood, it will end up being a conversation that could’ve waited an hour—and now you’ve just added another 20-30 minutes to your study time! Congratulations!

3. Stay Away From Your Phone.

Distractions also include avoiding your phone. The best thing you can do is either put your phone on silent, turn off the alerts and flip it over so that you can’t even SEE them, or just turn the thing off! If it helps, place the phone out of sight so that you’re not even tempted to check your messages.
The world can wait. Your education is a priority and anyone who’s in your circle of friends should understand this. If you are absolutely adamant about keeping your phone nearby in case of an emergency, then allow yourself some study breaks so that you can dedicate a certain amount of time just for checking your alerts and messages.

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4. No Willpower? Enlist the Help of an App.

Apps like Focus Booster and AntiSocial have your back!

AntiSocial blocks your access to a selection of websites with a timer that you select.

Focus Booster is a mobile phone app that relies on the Pomodoro Technique, where you work intensively for 25 minutes and then you break for five minutes. The app also includes productivity reports and revenue charts.

5. Take a break and take care of yourself.

Talking a little more about taking breaks, this really shouldn’t be an option. College is hard work, and just like any other kind of job, you deserve a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Working until the wee hours of the morning to complete an assignment might be great for that class, but it’s not for you or other academic courses. You MUST take care of yourself in order to give your academic career the attention it deserves. You’re paying to get an education—to learn. Running yourself into the ground without allowing time for your body and mind to rest is unacceptable.

  • Ophthalmologists will warn you that you need to remember to blink when working on a computer screen to save your sight. Give your eyes a rest by gazing into the horizon, preferably out of a window with natural light. Did you know that your eyes need exercise, too? Especially in today’s world where we are reading everything at such close distances. Keep your head in a neutral position and with just your eyeballs, look at the ceiling or a tree and try to focus. Go from corner to corner, focusing up, then do the same for the floor. Roll your eyes.
  • Your hands also need a break: learn to use the mouse with your other hand, put the keyboard in the most comfortable position, which is actually on your lap. Take a moment to stretch your wrists and fingers.
  • Refuel your body with the proper nutrients it needs to function. Pay attention to foods that drain your brain and eat more of the foods that power your brain. Just read up on how these superfoods can help your brain concentrate:
    • Blueberries
    • Avocados
    • Fatty fish
    • Walnuts
    • Broccoli
    • Yogurt

And don’t forget to sleep and reboot!

6. Organize lectures notes.

Unless you are a legal transcriptionist, transcribing lecture notes can make your notebook look like a 7-year-old scribbled in it! That’s why it’s best to record your professors’ lectures so that you can get a better understanding of the lesson. The best way to do this is to transcribe the recorded lecture notes. This way, you can rewind what you didn’t understand. It also behooves you to revisit those notes—while the material is fresh in your mind and rewrite them in a style that’s more legible and review-friendly. On the day of the exam, you’ll be glad you did.

Fact: it has been proven that information retention is higher when you go over your notes and repeat the lesson after the class is over.
Rewriting your lecture notes is going to be one of the most brilliant study techniques to practice. Rewriting will help you remember the context better and reorganizing them in nice outline forces you to comprehend the lesson.

7. Join or create a study group.

Have we mentioned that college is hard work? It’s worth stating again. Finding fellow students who are struggling to understand the coursework can be comforting. However, joining or creating a study group isn’t just because misery loves company, it’s about teamwork. Guaranteed someone in your study group can help you through a certain assignment you’re struggling with and you’ll be able to do the same. It’s all about helping each other succeed!

8. Aromatherapy, plants and music.

11 Techniques to Improve Your Study Habits - Florida National University (1)

Science is always tinkering with nature, but in this case, in a simple way, only studying the effects of essential oils and plants on concentration, focus, and memory.

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Some studies have shown that lavender has a good effect on memory, however, others have shown that its effect is negligible and in fact, lavender oil and teas are used to relax the body in preparation for sleep. So lavender may calm and center yourself, but for focus, sandalwood and frankincense (also known as Boswellia) have shown much more promising results in most studies.

Plants, in general, have a natural, comforting effect and in their presence, humans tend to have a higher pain tolerance and faster recoveries from hospitalizations.
Music, also improves brain function, can help you focus and also eases the pain. Learn more about the benefits of studying with music.

9. Leave time for the last-minute review.

Here are where well-organized lecture notes come into play. Always, always leave time for the last-minute review. Here, we’re exercising the tried and true memory game. This is a technique that most students apply as one study habit. That’s just impossible for the amount of college work you’ll be taking on, but it can work quite well as a last-minute review—only if you have good notes!

Better still, ff you can pair reviewing your notes with a good night’s sleep, then you will significantly improve your ability to retain more information. Just know that studying when you’re sleepy is ineffective. If your body is telling you that you’re tired, then have a nap or go to bed early. A good night’s sleep is another technique to use that will help you understand and remember information better.

If you’re finding that you are getting stressed out or tired, reflect back on your study schedule and priorities. Make sure that you have dedicated time for rest and de-stressing activities as well.

10. Understand Your Best Learning Style

It’s important to know that there are many different styles of learning and each person will retain information better in different ways.

  • Visual learners who learn best when pictures, images, and spatial understanding is used.
  • Auditory learners who prefer using music, sounds or both.
  • Kinesthetic learners actually use a more physical style of learning through using the body, sense of touch and hands.
  • Logical learners need to use reasoning, logic, and systems.
  • Verbal learners will prefer using words in writing and speech.
  • Social learners will thrive in learning with other people or in groups.
  • Solitary learners are able to learn best when alone.

Think about which style of learning works best for you, and it will help you determine how to study, where to study when to study and other important factors like what study aids you should use and be aware of, and knowing what things may distract you while you are trying to study.

11. Make Study Time a Part of Your Daily Routine

If cramming all of your study time into a few long days isn’t working for you then it’s time to try something new and less stressful. What you do every day is more important than what you do occasionally, so make time for studying every single day, with or without exams coming up.

Consistency is key and once you start getting into good study habits, so make it a routine that you will be able to maintain throughout the school year.

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When it becomes part of your schedule, you don’t need to find the time, you’ve made time for your study sessions each month. Don’t forget to also check your schedule for the week or month, and consider your personal commitments: chores, must-attend activities, and appointments. All you need to do now is to stay committed to your new study schedule.

Make studying your priority and place these sessions when you’re at your peak performance times to make them extra effective. Some people work best in the mornings, and others, at night. Experiment with this and don’t assume that because you wake early you should study early, but instead try morning, noon, and night to see which is best.

FNU Want You To Succeed!

Try to learn and not just memorize and remember, keep it simple. Don’t try to get fancy with your study notes. They are for your eyes only and won’t be graded. The goal is to help you get a high-scoring grade. We hope this quick checklist will alleviate some anxiety you might have for managing college work. If you have questions about this or any of our degree programs, contact an FNU advisor at any of our campus locations today!


11 Techniques to Improve Your Study Habits - Florida National University (2)

Article Name

9 Techniques to Improve Your Study Habits


Are you concerned about whether you'll be able to manage college coursework? Don't be. Use these 9 techniques that will improve study habits.


Maria Zegarra

Publisher Name

Florida National University

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What are the 7 strategies of how do you study effectively? ›

How To Study Effectively
  • Get organized. Carry a homework planner at all times. ...
  • Pay attention in class. ...
  • Steer clear of distractions. ...
  • Make sure notes are complete. ...
  • Ask questions if you don't understand. ...
  • Make a study schedule/plan. ...
  • Review notes from class every evening. ...
  • Talk to teachers.
Apr 19, 2017

How do you study college 12 Powerful Tips for lasting success? ›

How to Study in College: 12 Powerful Tips for Lasting Success
  1. Lay the groundwork.
  2. Start with the right mindset.
  3. Make a study schedule.
  4. Space out your study times.
  5. Choose a study place (or two).
  6. Make sure you have only what you need.
  7. Try different study techniques.
  8. Use as many senses as possible.
Apr 20, 2022

What are the top 5 tips for effective studying? ›

These 5 tips have worked wonders for me, so I hope one - if not all - will help you, too!
  • Find a Go-To Study Location. ...
  • Avoid the Stress of Cramming by Using a Spaced Study Session Method. ...
  • M N E M O N I C S. ...
  • Simple Self-Testing Practice. ...
  • Learn, Relearn, and Learn Again.
Apr 25, 2018

Why do you improve study habits? ›

Good study skills can increase your confidence, competence, and self-esteem. They can also reduce anxiety about tests and deadlines. By developing effective study skills, you may be able to cut down on the numbers of hours spend studying, leaving more time for other things in your life.

How can I improve my study skills and memory? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

What are the 10 ineffective study habits? ›

Bad Study Habits: Drop Them Now!
  • Cramming. Cramming goes hand-in-hand with procrastination. ...
  • Multitasking. ...
  • Missing Class. ...
  • Allowing Distractions. ...
  • Inefficient Note Taking. ...
  • Poor Time Management. ...
  • Eating Unhealthily. ...
  • Pulling All-Nighters.

What are 3 good study habits? ›

6 Crucial Study Habits for College Students
  • Find a Place to Study Regularly. Consistency is key when it comes to studying, so do your best to make a habit of it! ...
  • Keep Track of Deadlines and Important Dates. ...
  • Don't Cram for Your Exam. ...
  • Organize a Study Group. ...
  • Review Your Notes After Class. ...
  • Ask for Help.
Aug 16, 2018

What is habit 1 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College students? ›

Habit 1: Be Proactive® I am responsible for my education and life. Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind® I have a plan for what I want to accomplish. Habit 3: Put First Things First® I do the most important things first.

How can I complete Grade 10 successfully? ›

Watch this video about habits of highly successful students.
  1. Motivate yourself. ...
  2. Listen and participate in class. ...
  3. Take thorough notes during a class. ...
  4. Do not hesitate to ask for help. ...
  5. Stay focused during your homework. ...
  6. Take a 15-minute break after each 45 minutes of studying. ...
  7. Consider studying together with your fellow students.
Dec 2, 2020

How can I study 10 times faster? ›

How to Learn Faster
  1. Take handwritten notes.
  2. Say it out loud.
  3. Try self-testing.
  4. Teach the information to someone else.
  5. Use mnemonic devices.
  6. Make an analogy to something you already know.
  7. Space out your review sessions.
  8. Change your practice technique each day.

How can you improve yourself to become a better student essay? ›

In order to become a strong student, one must have motivation, positive self-esteem, positive self-talk, commitment and good study habits. It has been said that to get the required performance out of an individual, you must first find what motivates them. There are many ways for a student to become motivated.

What are the 6 study strategies? ›

Specifically, six key learning strategies from cognitive research can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice.

What are at least six suggestions for improving study methods? ›

12 Methods to Significantly Improve Your Studying
  • Method #1: Create a Game Plan. ...
  • Method #2: Use All the Resources at Your Disposal. ...
  • Method #3: Study in Chunks. ...
  • Method #4: Come in with a Positive Mindset. ...
  • Method #5: Write Out Your Notes by Hand During Class. ...
  • Method #6: Find the Right Study Spot.
Feb 17, 2017

What are four of the most popular study strategies? ›

Keywords study strategies, self-regulated learning, education Page 2 Five Popular Study Strategies 391 examination of students' self-reported study strategies yielded five popular strategies that students routinely prefer: (a) rereading, (b) highlighting or underlining, (c) note-taking, (d) outlining, and (e) using ...

What is the most successful way to study? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

What is the most effective way to study in college? ›

Use this cycle and the following 11 study tips for college to help you succeed in school.
  • Make a Study Schedule. ...
  • Take Notes the Right Way. ...
  • Think Strategically About Where to Study. ...
  • Join a Study Group. ...
  • Prioritize Comprehension Over Memorization. ...
  • Incorporate Review Sessions. ...
  • Identify Your Study Weaknesses. ...
  • Know What to Study.

What three things would you do to improve your college university? ›

  • Ways to Improve Your College Campus.
  • Turn the Gym into a Recreation Center.
  • Keep the Campus Grounds Clean!
  • Improve Campus Mail Services with Smart Parcel Lockers.
  • Increase Parking.
  • Create a Sustainable Student Farm.
  • Focus on Creating Spaces Where Students Can Come Together.
  • Go Green.

How can I focus 100% on studying? ›

Here are some simple study tips to help you stay focused:
  1. Set study goals. First things first; start with the basics and set your study goals. ...
  2. 2. Make a study timetable. Once you know what you want, the next step is to prepare a weekly study timetable. ...
  3. Learn to say no. ...
  4. Stay focused on your priorities.

What are 5 ways to improve your memory? ›

  • Be physically active every day. Physical activity raises blood flow to the whole body, including the brain. ...
  • Stay mentally active. ...
  • Spend time with others. ...
  • Stay organized. ...
  • Sleep well. ...
  • Eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Manage chronic health problems.

What are 5 good study strategies? ›

5 Study Strategies for Finals Week
  • Start early. If an assignment is due the last week of class, that doesn't mean you should put it off until then. ...
  • Create your own study guides. ...
  • Create a study schedule. ...
  • Join or organize a study group. ...
  • Get consistent sleep.

What is the best and most efficient way to study? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

What are the 4 study strategies? ›

In this short article, we explore four general study strategies that help improve your learning. These include: preparing the study environment; organising your study schedule; tips for while you are engaged in study; and methods of boosting your reading efficiency.

What are 3 study tips? ›

Top 10 best study tips
  • Be consistent. If you try to cram, you'll set yourself up for failure. ...
  • Sleep properly. ...
  • Try the Pomodoro method. ...
  • Create the right environment. ...
  • Create flashcards. ...
  • Break everything down. ...
  • Teach other people. ...
  • Get some exercise.
Apr 7, 2022

What are the 3 studying strategy? ›

Studying a single subject for a long period of time and repeating phrases over and over to memorize them (known as massed practice) Reviewing one topic repeatedly before moving onto another topic (blocked practice) Reading and rereading a text. Highlighting or underlining important concepts in a text and then reviewing.


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