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8 Tips for Studying and Staying Focused


As we all know, finals are coming up with a vengeance. And for those already studying, there’s no telling just how prepared you’re going to be, but one of the hardest things to do while studying is stay focused on your materials.

One minute you’re in a “quiet” corner in Strozier with your reading materials and notebooks displayed like medals of honor on the table, the next you have your head in your hand scrolling down the newsfeed of Facebook.  

“How did I end up here?” is a common question many of us ask ourselves during times of duress.

But have no fear, the Her Campus study guide is here!

1)      Eat. No, not those bag of cheese puffs you have in your hidden junk food drawer. But real food. Blog.brainscape.com says you should actually take a break to create a real meal rather than snacking on junk food.

2)      Don’t tell yourself you’re only going to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TSM. Next thing you know, it’s going to 45 minutes later and you’ve memorized Becky’s entire break-up drama instead of that stack of vocab words sitting in the corner. Big no no. Instead spend ten minutes for every hour that you study as your social media break says web.mit.edu.

3)      Reward yourself by painting your nails! Or pamper yourself in some way. Take a bubble bath, or buy some chocolate (not to be devoured as a distraction of course, stick to tip 1!). Or a personal favorite, go to the local animal shelter and play with the puppies. If you give yourself a reward you’ll be more likely to study.

4)      And on that same note, don’t rush through the material so you can get to your reward. Quiz yourself. Have your roommate quiz you just so you know that it’s sunk in completely. Don’t be afraid to put post-it notes of facts all over the house. Put the question on the top and when you flip it, the answer is written underneath it.

5)      Don’t be afraid to e-mail your teacher or TA or even the class if you have a question. Sometimes someone has the same questions that you do, or better yet they even have answers for you! Ask if anyone would want to create a study group. But remember don’t constantly e-mail your classmates.

6)Find somewhere relaxing to study. Somewhere you’re comfortable but not too comfy (a.k.a. your bed). If you like coffee, find a place that serves coffee but don’t distract yourself by constantly getting up to refill cup after cup. If you need a quiet place, turn off your phone and find a corner in RedEye and get your study on. Just pick a place that caters to you and your needs.

7)      Exercise! Maybe you don’t need to run a marathon and do some pushups afterward, but getting up and moving will get your blood pumping.

8)      And remember: Don’t over-study. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had that test that will define our grade as either a pass or a fail. But if it feels like your brain can’t physically hold anymore in, stop. Take a deep breath and step away from the desk. IF you’re stressed about how stressed you are, you’re not going to retain anything.

Hopefully these tips gave you some good advice and you’ll be able to charge into finals week sans the bleary-eyed, 6 hours of sleep in the past four days, bun on top of your head look. Remember to feel confident, get plenty of rest, and to reward yourself along the way! Good luck studying! 

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