How to Study Efficiently

Friday, February 26, 2016

Whether you’re getting your education from a public school, a private school, or an international school in the Philippines, studying will always be an important part of being a student. After all, how can one ever learn without putting an effort to study? Despite this, in all honesty, studying can be a difficult task. This is why finding little shortcuts that would help – even marginally – is such a welcome treat.

According to Dr. Marty Lobdell from Pierce College, there exists simple tips and tricks that anyone can employ in order to study more efficiently. His lecture “Study Less, Study Smart” outlines a lot of methods that are proven to help especially during difficult times wherein you just can’t seem to get anything in your head.

So if you are a struggling student who happened to stumble upon this guide, say goodbye to long nights of procrastination after practicing these simple steps:

Have a defined place

Sit down and focus on studying in one location every time. Designate a permanent spot where you plan to go whenever you need to study and make sure that this spot is as clean as possible. Refrain from doing multiple tasks all at once. Moreover, do not let anything that can potentially detract you from your goal stay anywhere near you as it might cause your mind to wander off; keep your focus where it needs to be and you will get on studying for that upcoming test in no time at all.

Take important notes

There is no one way to take notes properly as each person does it uniquely every time. Be sure to properly tailor the format to your liking and to organize the information in such a way that you’ll be able to find it quickly, should you need to bring it up again in the future.

Consider the following general methods of note taking:


Organize your notes in a linear form and make the information visible and clean. The usual T charts or traditional bulleted lists work well enough – just make sure that everything is sequential and methodized.


You can also list things in a slightly circular pattern. Just start from a central idea and “branch” it out into related ideas. Afterwards, try connecting other related ideas to the branched ones, and so on and so forth. This is good for topics where association or correlation is a major aspect of your main topic.

Colour Coding

According to the study “The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance: A Review” by Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli and Muhammad Faiz Mustafar, colour does have a positive effect on our memory because it increases our attention level and arousal. Use this psychological effect to your advantage by utilizing colour to differentiate different parts of your notes. It’ll help you organize more creatively and also help you remember things more clearly!

Study in “Burst Fire Mode”


It’s natural for any person’s attention to drop after 20 to 30 minutes of studying, so do something else instead of pushing yourself to study some more. Distract yourself with something fun for about 15 minutes or until you feel like you’re refreshed and ready to get back to your notes. You might think that studying for long periods of time will help you get better, but sometimes it is actually counterproductive.


Reedley International School, through its flagship subject, Life Skills, teaches its students specific strategies on how to study better. Topics such as note-taking and effective listening have equipped Reesians with the tools for academic success.


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