It’s 11:57 at night, you have a huge test tomorrow morning, and you’ve only made it to number 6 on your 50 question exam study guide… sounds familiar right? You’re not alone, and many people struggle with studying. Either they are lucky enough to retain all the material the first time and don’t need to, or the idea of sitting quietly in front of a textbook for up to an hour seems like the most boring thing ever! School is not always fun, but simply setting aside time to study effectively can mean the difference between failing and getting phenomenal grades. In the world of coding, that – in turn – means getting your dream programming or design job. Here are 6 tips to help you become better at studying and get the grades you want.
Set a Mini Goal
Sometimes the hardest part about studying is figuring out exactly what we need to study. Without a study plan, you run the risk of jumping from topic to topic, not really understanding any of it afterwards. If you’re fortunate enough to have been given a study guide, divide up the sections into smaller sections, allowing yourself 10-20 minutes for each. In the event that you’re crunched for time, it’s better that you fully understand some topics more than others – rather than having little to no knowledge of the overall subject.
Think of your mind as another person inside of you; like anyone, it needs to eat to stay alive. When you are studying a topic, you’re hand feeding your mind, and it eats every new thought you have. Every time you have a distracting thought, visualize yourself putting it in a refrigerator and feed it to your mind later.
Keep it Lit
Literally, turn those lights on! Straining your eyes, along with having a damaging effect on your sight over time, gives you a headache. Once you have a headache, that’s all that’s on your mind – the ache. Studying in a well-lit room, more specifically with “white light” as opposed to “warm light,” is better for your eyes and creates a more productive and focused environment.
Listen to the Right Music
It has been shown that music increases people’s focus when performing menial, repetitive tasks, but what about studying? Scientists have found that listening to classical music helps people study longer. Beethoven not your thing? EDM is also said to help students with studying, as well as certain forms of hip hop. Music between 60 and 70 beats per minute is ideal, but any music that is not overly lyrical will work, especially when you’re studying a topic like coding.
Resist Your Phone’s Power
Put it away, simple as that. You’re going to use it, every single thought that passes through your mind can turn you into Gollum, driving you to unlock the precious and get sucked down the YouTube wormhole for hours.
Sometimes you just need to step away, pushing your mind during crunch study sessions will only be effective for so long before you get burnt out. Try to keep your studying increments between 10-20 minutes and take a 5-10 minute break in-between. Stay hydrated, and if you have the time, take a nap, you earned it.
Studying is essential to earn a good grade, and to understand the topic. However, you must study effectively by setting the scene, putting away your phone and taking regular breaks.