It involves keeping your body and mind healthy, getting a study space ready and forming good study habits.
Keep mind and body healthy by:
- Eating healthily: cut out the junk food which only gives false energy. Eat wholesome food like vegetables, meat and fish. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine.
- Eating regularly: eat small amounts regularly and don’t skip meals. Don’t eat at your desk.
- Balancing study and play: take time out for yourself. You need the mental and physical break from study.
- Exercising regularly: exercise is good for both body and mind. It eases stress, aids concentration and gives you more energy and stamina.
- Relieving stress and tension: take regular breaks, exercise and keep study in perspective. Stay organised and on top on your work, doing a little each day.
- Sleeping well: stick to a regular sleep pattern, sleeping and rising at about the same time each day. Avoid the all-nighter study sessions.
Get a study space ready by:
- Staying in the same place: study in the same place each day and at about the same time. This creates the habit of study and is less distracting.
- Setting up your desk: set up a desk in a quiet place with all your supplies on hand. Have a comfortable chair.
- Having good ventilation and lighting: bad ventilation or having the room too hot or too cold can be distracting and could make you groggy. Don’t strain your eyes with bad lighting.
Form good study habits by:
- Starting as you mean to go on: Start study early in the year and don’t leave it to cram at the end.
- Taking responsibility for your own study: it’s easy to blame a ‘bad’ teacher for not doing well. Do the work yourself and you’ll feel in control of it.
- Planning well: always plan what you will do each day, week and month. Know what you want to learn and aim towards that.
- Rewarding yourself: strive for something. Each time you complete a set task reward yourself in some way. This gives you something to aim for.
- Mixing up tasks: It can get boring doing the same thing all the time so switch things up by mixing up tasks during study time. Do some reading, then some writing, then some memory tricks, etc.
- Leaving the best for last: start with your most difficult subject, then move towards your favourite.
- Listening to teachers: listen carefully to their feedback and advice. It will help you focus your study and learning.
- Taking good notes: take good notes in class and file them carefully.
- Sticking with it: we all have bad days when study seems impossible. Stick with it though and don’t give up. It will get easier.
For more study tips, read Shortcuts to Success: Study and Exam Skills for Leaving Certificate by Irene Togher.