Find your focus: set a study schedule

It is possible to create effective study habits without chaining yourself to your desk

The dawn of every September brings the back to school frenzy, and with it a slew of students making resolutions to study better, longer, and more efficiently. It’s enough to rival New Year’s Eve, but as grandiose as some of those aspirations may seem, it is possible to create effective study habits without chaining yourself to your desk.

“Discipline is more important than motivation,” says Conrad Crockett, an acupuncturist and longtime instructor at Pacific Rim College. “Even when I didn’t feel like studying, I stuck to a schedule. Usually by the time I started, I enjoyed it. It was more about the momentum of getting started, so creating a schedule and sticking to it was key.”

Creating an exclusive study area was another key, he says. Make sure wherever you study is free from clutter and distractions, and comfy enough that you can spend a few hours there if necessary, without putting a crick in your back. And avoid distractions.

“Social media is the biggest culprit here,” adds Crockett. “I made rules for myself to only check after I accomplished certain milestones, otherwise I would get sucked into the Facebook void.”

When it comes to learning the material itself, it’s all about repetition.

“Typing notes, summarizing them by hand, speaking them out loud, explaining them to someone else, and teaching them to other people helps consolidate information and put it into your own words,” says Crockett.

A study buddy can be indispensable, says Rachel Mark, a fellow acupuncturist and a recent grad of Pacific Rim College.

“Having someone to test each other with lets you talk it out, and really checks what you know and what you don’t,” she says. “The best time to test each other is a day or two before the exam. Then you have enough time to learn things before, and enough time to go over what you don’t know. Too close to the test will just be stressful!”

And while you’re hanging out with your study buddy, why not make a pit stop at your favourite house of beans?

“Coffee!” exclaims Mark. “Having just enough coffee gets you alert enough to learn, but too much is a recipe for jitters and disaster.”

And when all is said and done, if your notes start blurring and you can hear yourself blinking, put down the highlighter.

“You can’t learn more if you’re run down and over tired,” adds Mark. “Getting a few hours of sleep the night before will only help.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

Most Read