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8 Simple Study Tips

Whether you’re a teacher trying to help your students study, or a student having trouble finding ways to keep focused studying, today’s post is for you!  I’ve got a short, but sweet post here on 8 of my best tips to help you out.

Want the list as a convenient handout?  Simply make sure you have access to the free printables library, and a free worksheet to hand out to your students will be included in the February Printables package.


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8 Simple Tips To Skyrocket Student Productivity


1. Take Detailed Notes & Review Them Frequently

Well, I absolutely LOVE taking notes.  Note-taking is a crucial skill for students to learn.

  • First, have students take summary notes on a chapter of a book, a textbook theme or an exam topic.
  •  Notes should be in jot-note form (not full sentences) and include keywords
  • Use bullets!  (see how useful they are?!)
  • Next, try having students listen to a short audio file and listen for keywords and take jot-notes to practice for larger lectures!


2. Use Colours and Fun Stationery

What?! My students usually exclaim when I seriously suggest this as my second tip. Younger students are shocked I let them write in colored pencils if they want. Actually, my all-time favourite coloured pens are the 20 pack from Staedtler which you can grab from Amazon here. They even have a 30-pack now!

Coloured pens, highlighters, and cute little sticky notes make studying so much more fun! Of course, it also helps you organize and colour-code, so I’m all for it.


3. Make A Study Schedule Using Calendars, Timelines & Your Smartphone

Well, you already know that I love planning, I’m sure, so this one had to go first. Be sure to set a specific time as “study time”. Mark it with a specific name, like “Study English” and make it a recurring event in Google Calendar.

In fact, I colour-code by type of events and tasksmeetings, study subjects, blogging work, activities with friends. Don’t know how to make the best use of Google Calendar? Don’t worry, a video post on how to use Google Calendar is in the works!

Accountability Buddy

4. Find An Accountability Buddy – Stick To Your Schedule

Accountability buddies are the best!  What’s that?, you say.  An accountability buddy is simply someone you tell about your projects, timelines, and in this case, study plans. They’ll be the ones to be on your case if you don’t do what you said you would.  Of course, be sure to be on their case, too!

You’d be surprised how well this works.  Actually, I have my own accountability buddy for my PhD project (you know who you are!)


5. Ask For Help When You Need It 

So, I’ve noticed that a lot of students miss out on this one.  Ask for help when you need it!  Every time I start tutoring a student, the first rule I make sure they know is that It’s okay to ask questions.  In fact, it’s great.   Asking for help is part of learning.  While this could mean hiring a tutor, it could simply be asking a friend.  Trust me, you’ll progress faster in studying when you stop to ask for help.


6. Take A Break

Well, this one’s self-explanatory.  Don’t let yourself burn out.  As someone who LOVES being busy, I can attest to this.  Actually, scheduling in breaks from studying makes studying itself more fun.  While some people prefer the pomodoro method of working for 45 minutes or so and then taking a 10 minute break,  I like to work for longer chunks of time.

Find what works for you. Then, take a break!


7. Set Up A Rewards System

Actually, tip #7 is not too different from my last point. When you study, set up a reward as your break.  For example, you could use your favourite meal, coffee with a great friend, or a day trip out of your city.

When you accomplish your task for the day, you get the reward. No cheating!!!   You can stick with it, I promise.


8. Breathe & Exercise

Breathe.  Yes, the last tip is to breathe.  Get regular sleep and exercise. It keeps your mind and body awake.  While I don’t have any scientific proof that I can cite here, I do know that deep breaths can help de-stress, even if for a moment.


What are your favourite study tips? Do you teach a  Study Skills unit in your English class?  Comment below and share your thoughts with The Teaching Cove community!

Remember to grab access to the handy .pdf coming in the next printables pack, and all my free resources, by signing up at the end of this post!

Happy Teaching!





P.S.  Photo lovers, I took the photo for the main image in this post in 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (at the Petronas Towers).

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