We all have experienced traumas during examinations and tried to study a year’s syllabus in a week and sometimes a day. We panic when examinations are near and try to learn everything within the shortest time possible. We even plan to study for uninterrupted 12-16 hours. Even if people consider studying for long hours as ineffective, we still depend on the last moment studies. If you swear by last moment studies, here is a guide on how to study for long hours.
How to Study for Long Hours
Know the Best Time to Study
Maximize your normal day and avoid late night studies. Your body and mind follow natural cycles including day and night hours. Avoid night studies where possible even when under pressure, especially when preparing for a morning exam. Instead, study up 10 or 11 pm and then wake up early for a light revision. Make sure you sleep for at least 7 hours. Take a break of 10 minutes after an hour of study and a longer break during dinner or lunch. Take your breaks away from the study room.
Combine Different Studying Techniques
The easiest way to study is to read an article or a book one after one but the method is ineffective. You will be tired after 5 hours and fail to remember what you've read during the examination. Try active study methods to learn and retain theories, concepts, and ideas. Combine reading with writing and recalling concepts as you stand, brainstorm, and study with your classmate. Combining different study techniques improves your understanding and memory of concepts. What's more, you can study for long hours without feeling fatigued.
One important tip on how to study for long hours is to anticipate distractions. You should prioritize your studies over personal activities. However, you will be tempted occasionally to prioritize personal activities instead of studying. Instead of getting discouraged, observe the patterns of distractions and prepare to resist them. Learn to reward yourself with enjoyable activities after studying for long hours. You will be energized to finish your studies so that you can have fun with your friends and family later on.
Be Organized at All Times
Staying organized enables you to save time as a student. Organize all your study materials for all your courses in a way that you can access them easily, like creating a folder or binder for each course. Ensure that you have all the materials you need before starting a study session. Otherwise, you will waste time as you go back and forth looking for materials. Be sure to organize materials for your online courses as well.
Identify the Right Study Spot
Your study spot, in your room or library, should be quiet and without distractions. The spot should be free of pets, TV and anything that can disrupt you. Use a comfy chair and proper light to avoid straining your neck, back and eyes because pain and other physical discomforts will disrupt your study plan. Do sit in a chair at a desk or table instead of studying in bed.
Keep a Snack Nearby
Keep a simple snack that you can repeat nearby such as a piece of chocolate bar, nuts, a quarter apple, strawberries or blueberries. Have water nearby instead of taking too much energy drinks, caffeinated teas, and coffee. Such drinks keep you awake but eventually lead to a crash that causes fatigue that cannot be fixed. Some of the recommended super foods include dark chocolate, spinach, broccoli, and fish.
Write Your Study Goals Down
If you want to learn how to study for long hours, learn to set and write down goals every day. What do you intend to accomplish in each study period? You should work towards achieving those goals in your study time. Set doable goals and take time constraints into consideration when setting goals.
Turn Off All Electronic Devices
Turning off electronic devices eliminates distractions and enables you to focus on your study plan. Turn off your computer as well unless you are using it to study. Websites and software such as Think, SelfRestraint and SelfControl can help block unwanted websites that you cannot resist such as Facebook. You can access those social or entertaining websites after your study hours.
Allocate Time for Thinking About Other Things
Good and bad things in the real world may creep in your thoughts during your study time and disrupt you. Do remember that you have control over your thoughts. So make plan to think about such things after your study session and take time to shake off every disruptive thought. Keep a paper and pen nearby to record anything that crosses your mind when studying and then think about those things during your break.
Use Active Study Techniques
Reading continuously may get boring especially when you do not enjoy the subject. Active reading techniques improve your concentration and make your study time more effective. For instance, you can pause and ask questions as you read or summarize loudly what you have read without looking at the page.
Start With the Least Pleasant Task
Start with the most demanding tasks when your concentration levels are high and then move on to less challenging ones. You will spend much time worrying about the hard tasks if you start with easier ones, which makes your study time less productive. Do not get stressed if you cannot solve hard questions or problems and limit the time spent on them to leave time for other tasks.
Other Ways to Help You Study for Long Hours
Additional tips on how to study for long hours include:
Sleep for at least 7-9 hours every night. Sleep re-energizes you and helps in synthesizing information and regulating hormones.
Maintain a healthy diet to stay energized and keep your mind focused on your studies. You should include whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and good fats in your diet. Good fats include olive oil and oils in dark chocolate. Avoid white foods such as sugar, potatoes, grease, white bread, and flour.