Study Tips For The Struggling Student

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Studying can be difficult and frustrating, especially if you’re not very good at it yet. Luckily, there are many simple ways to improve your study habits that won’t take much time or effort but will make a big difference in how well you retain information and how well you perform on exams and tests. 

If you’re struggling with how to study more effectively, here are some rare study tips that are really effective that I wish I had known when I was in school!

1. Try A Study Group

One of my favorite study tips for students who are struggling in school is to join a study group. You can find others going through your same class, or you can start one of your own if there isn’t one already. A lot of people get their best grades from studying with a small group.

Studying in a group is also a great way to make friends and create study partners. This can be a great motivator if you have other people depending on you to help them learn as well. 

2. Limit Internet Access During Studying

It can be tempting to zone out when studying by watching videos on YouTube or reading your favorite blogs, but you should make an effort to keep distractions at bay. 

While those websites may not be related to what you’re studying, they could still prove distracting because your mind will wander. 

Instead of allowing yourself Internet access while studying, try using a time-tracking website like Toggl or RescueTime. 

You might even find that you’re more productive because you have a visual reminder of how much time you’ve spent working during each session.

3. Get Enough Sleep

No, I’m not joking. Sleep is a great study tip for college students struggling to stay awake in class. Aside from making sure you don’t deprive yourself of sleep. 

Studies have shown that people who get more than 6 hours of sleep each night learn faster and better. You can also use sleep as a study tool. 

By using an app called Sleep Cycle, which analyzes your sleeping patterns over time, you can optimize your sleeping schedule for maximum studying efficiency. 

Using Sleep Cycle means going to bed at roughly the same time every night (try setting an alarm if needed) and waking up when your body is ready rather than on a strict schedule based on classes or work obligations. 

Another way to use sleep effectively? Make it into a mini-study session!

4. Read, Read, Read!

One of my favorite study tips that has helped me immensely is to read. In school, we tend to focus on studies more so than practical knowledge, so reading opens our eyes to different ways of thinking and doing. 

If you’re struggling with a subject in particular, try picking up a book written by someone prominent in that field; if you’re studying medicine, try reading about cell biology or philosophy—whatever will help solidify your understanding. I guarantee it will make a difference!

5. Set Goals and Expectations

It’s easy to forget that studying for tests is a process and not a one-time activity. Even if you study hard for one hour before your test, it won’t do much good if you don’t study all week. 

Schedule time to study every day; it may seem like overkill, but consistency is crucial to remember facts for those exams down the road.

6. Just Start Studying

When you’re preparing for a big exam, you need to study. It sounds obvious, but a lot of students still wait until their back is against the wall before they buckle down and hit that books. 

Don’t be one of them. Just start studying on your own when you have some time so that it doesn’t feel like such an uphill battle come test day.

7. Take Advantage Of Phone Apps And Digital Tools

Smartphones and tablets have made it much easier to study anywhere you want. There are many free apps on your phone that can help you study—from flashcard apps to apps with practice tests or audio guides. 

These apps are usually available for both Apple products and Android products, meaning most students can take advantage of them. And if you’re worried about battery life, don’t be: most phones should last at least a day before needing to be recharged again!

8. Break Down Large Projects Into Smaller Ones

When you have a huge project ahead of you, it can be difficult to figure out how to tackle it. Break down large projects into smaller chunks and decide how much time you want to devote to each small task. 

It's much easier to say, I will finish my term paper in two weeks by writing three pages a day than it is to say, I'll finish my term paper next week. Don't underestimate what you can accomplish when you take on your tasks one at a time.


Here are my top three tips for studying more effectively. They may seem simple, but each one took me years to figure out.

Don't forget to schedule a consistent time to study every day. It will be easier to study if you do it at roughly the same time every day, instead of making yourself study whenever you can fit it in. And allow yourself breaks during your study session.

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