SmileTutor Blog Students Study Tips Effective Study Tips: How to Study Smarter, Not Harder

Effective Study Tips: How to Study Smarter, Not Harder

Everyone who has been to school has done their fair share of studying, especially when it comes to exams.

A lot of us have different methods to improve our studying. Some prefer studying late at night as they feel much more active during the wee hours.

Some prefer early in the morning when they are well-rested. Others have visual aids while some prefer to have some music on.

Regardless, there are many ways to optimize your study time. Here are some of the most effective tips you can consider:


Be organized

Randomly studying here and there can be messy and confusing. Try organizing the number of subjects and the number of chapters you have to study.

For example, if you have a long test coming up, take a look at the coverage and evenly spread it out on the time you have for studying.

Everyone has their preferences and favorite subjects. When studying for a subject you don’t like very much, it is a good idea to take quick breaks and switch to your favorite subject.

That way, you don’t waste too much time and don’t get bored easily with a subject you find tiresome.

It is also very important to have a break time to have a more efficient study schedule. Studying for hours on end can hinder your concentration and memory retention.

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Some people might think that taking breaks is a waste of time and would rather spend that time studying; however, research shows that taking quick breaks optimizes study time as it helps your brain return to peak condition, thus improving your concentration and allowing you to assimilate knowledge easier.

Part of being organized also means that you have to make sure that you have enough study materials and that your notes are complete.

It can be very time-consuming when you realize your notes are not complete when you are in the middle of studying, and then you have to hit up a classmate to ask for the missing notes.

Make sure that your study notes are complete before you start studying.

Your books and other learning materials should also be prepared.

If you are into highlighting keywords and phrases, then make sure that your highlighter is prepared. Also, have a pen and paper ready in case you want to write something while studying.

Prepare snacks. Mental tasks drain energy quicker than physical tasks. Have a few chips or biscuits and water in your study area in case you get thirsty or hungry in the middle of a study session.

You don’t want to waste time by going out to the store just to buy snacks. Such time can be used for studying or resting instead.

Stay away from distractions

It is so easy to lose focus and get distracted. It could be by your phone or when someone chats with you and you end up spending a lot of time using your phone unnecessarily.

Sometimes, your mind just tends to wander off in the middle of studying, and then for all you know, you have wasted hours doing nothing.

The best way to deal with distractions is to take note of the things that take your mind off of studying. It varies from person to person.

Some get distracted when the background music changes that they’d then spend a long time looking for a good song or end up listening and doing nothing. Other people get distracted by other things such as food or company.

You’d want to make a list of all the things that could distract you, and then take steps to avoid them.

Make objectives

It is easier to study with a goal. It may be studying several pages or chapters, or perhaps studying for a set amount of time.

Sometimes, it is even better to have a goal of a certain number of chapters in an allocated time.

The more specific your goals or objectives are, the better. This way, you can track your progress as time goes by.

It is so much easier to get complacent and relax when you don’t have goals. When you set objectives in place, you should then put your mind to them so you accomplish your objectives.

Having objectives gets more and more important as your study load increases.

With more subjects and chapters to study, you need to be very attentive to the time and progress you spend on each chapter and subject.

You don’t want to be overly immersed in one subject then end up having little to no time on another.

Of course, not all subjects are on the same level of difficulty and importance. When you set your goals, make sure that you consider this.

For example, when there is a long quiz in History and you also plan to study in advance a few chapters in Science, then it would make more sense to give more time to History since a test is coming.

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Review and re-read

When studying too many topics at once, it is no surprise that some of the knowledge will get confusing or forgotten.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, make time to review the important key points. This way, if you are confused about anything, you can clarify it and reinforce your memory on the key points.

Of course, it would be troublesome and very time-consuming to read everything again. A good way to go about this is to write notes while you are studying. Research shows that writing while studying improves retention.

Also, when the time comes to review the key points, you only have to read your notes. The information on your notes should be short and concise, focusing only on the key points. This way, it’ll be a lot easier to review them.

Have enough rest

Rest and sleep are important. Some students opt to go for an all-nighter just before an exam only to take the exam the next morning, feeling very tired and spacing out. Have enough break times and rest in between your studies. Also, don’t forget to have a night of sufficient sleep.


Remember, the objective is to study smart and not study hard. This is so that you are able to better manage your time and objectives more efficiently. This will in turn allow you to prepare yourself better for any exams or tests

If you still feel you require additional help, you can always visit SmileTutor to seek a suitable tutor to assist you with your academics!

For related articles, please check out the following:

10 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Study Habits

5 Proven Methods to Make Young Children Pay Attention


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.