7 Study Tips Smart Students Use

Getty Images

Strong students have figured something out. They're the ones scoring the 4.0 GPAs. They're the ones mastering everything the teacher/professor/adjunct hands him or her. They're the ones getting the scores on the SAT that you wanted. So, what gives? What do they know that you don't? Well, for one, they know how to study. But guess what? You can learn their secrets. Here are seven study tips you can adopt to put the smack-down on everything school-related.

How to Focus

Figure out what your top study distractors are and immediately and succinctly eliminate them from your world. If your focus is momentarily lost due to sleep-deprivation, boredom or busyness, these tips can help.

How to Study for Any Test

Different tests require different study methods. A multiple-choice exam and vocabulary quiz can be studied for in vastly different ways. The SAT is not even close to the ACT, and thus requires specific test strategies. These learning masters understand the exact processes to go through whether they have four or five days before the test. Yes, a day makes a difference in how you approach an exam. 

Know Where to Study

Find a secluded hideaway, nestled between stacks of important books, with no less than three connection bars for WIFI. Research access? Check. The encyclopedias and peer-reviewed journals are an aisle to the left. Silence? Check. No one has even breathed in here for the last fourteen hours. Coziness? Not a chance. The geeks aim for comfort, so physical pain isn't a distraction, but coziness??? You must be out of your mind. Sleep is not an option during study time.

Listen to the Best Music For Studying

Music for studying needs to be, first and foremost, lyric-free. The geeks understand that brain space is limited; the precious words on your study guide cannot compete with the lyrics from your favorite tunes. Hence, you slash the lyrics and fill your brain with what's supposed to be there: facts, strategies, and common sense.

Use Mnemonic Devices

Last week, you were supposed to memorize the first twenty-five presidents. You decided to study right before so when the teacher handed you the quiz, you could just hurry up and answer before you forgot. Failure. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd president, and Ben Franklin never even ran.

A better method: try using mnemonic devices to help you remember key facts. Using memory tricks like acronyms, songs, and poetry can help you memorize lists, dates, and other facts for a test. Commit to spending a chunk of time and with a bit of patience, you too can use these methods to commit items to long-term memory. 

Eat Brain Food to Boost Memory and Performance

If you reward yourself during study time with junk food, try to do so in moderation. Feeding your gullet is the same as feeding your brain—put in health food and you'll get much better results. Before you reach for the chips, try a snack with healthy proteins (nut butters, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs), whole grains, fresh produce and pay attention to things like flavonoids, antioxidants, polyphenols and choline: ingredients found in foods that can help your brain function better.

Grease? Only when the test has been thoroughly aced.

Schedule Study Time

Your schedule is jammed with activities. You've got football/basketball/volleyball/tennis. You're in a band. You're in a club. You're in ballet. You're in love. You work, you have friends, and most importantly, you like to have a good time once in a flipping while. Is that so wrong?

Keeping busy is great, as long as you can manage their time so you can fit in everything you want to do and still have enough time to study. With careful coordination and excellent planning (try this time management chart), you can plan out your days and weeks, and and get rid of time drains. Try working a week in advance so that things like an unexpected shift at work or a pop quiz won't derail you. 

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "7 Study Tips Smart Students Use." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/study-tips-the-geeks-use-3211508. Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 27). 7 Study Tips Smart Students Use. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/study-tips-the-geeks-use-3211508 Roell, Kelly. "7 Study Tips Smart Students Use." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/study-tips-the-geeks-use-3211508 (accessed March 29, 2023).