Let’s face it. No one enjoys studying. It can be time-consuming, requires intense focus, and can often be dull and discouraging. However, studying is essential for academic success and teaching valuable skills such as time management, discipline, and scanning. Want to have more time for the things you love but still want to earn the grade? Here are five tips to studying smarter, not harder! 

#1: Gamification Learning

Learning online through games is one of the most fun and effective ways to study. There are countless online learning platforms available to help students nail down their knowledge and prepare for tests. Quizlet is a practical site that allows students to create flashcards, take practice tests, and play speed games to master content. Additionally, you can modify your study set to spend more time on challenging concepts. Need more clarification before jumping into games? Khan Academy is a valuable resource that provides videos, lessons, and practice for any course K-12. Spend some time solidifying your understanding of Khan Academy before testing your knowledge with online learning games. 

#2: Utilize Your Resources

Teachers provide study resources for a reason! They can guide students’ learning and highlight the key concepts to prepare for exams. Always start study sessions with any provided materials such as study guides, practice problems, or additional resources. Do you lack other resources? Here is a tip: look at the end of each textbook chapter for keywords, a summary, and review questions. Review these, then return to the text to scan for more information about these topics. These are the most crucial concepts that you will likely see on the exam. Only have your class notes or homework? You can still use this as a resource! Go through any available materials for that topic and highlight the most crucial facts, formulas, and notes. 

#3: Become the Teacher

There is nothing better than studying with friends. Not only does it allow you to spend time with your classmates, but collaborating with others allows you to see the material from a new perspective. They may have tips and tricks they have come up with to remember the information. When you get together with friends, go in with a game plan. The absolute best way to learn and retain information is to teach it to someone else. Divide up concepts among peers based on who excels at what and teach one another. It provides an opportunity to solidify your understanding, ask each other questions, and develop new ways to comprehend the material. If your peers can’t study with you, teach the concepts to family members or even pets. The more you practice teaching it, the more you will understand and retain. 

#4: Use Pictures and Examples

After a long time studying, words can begin to seem like alphabet soup. At this point, reading the material is not efficient. Instead, use pictures, graphics, charts, and examples to help you understand and define concepts. You can use images from your textbook, search the internet, or create your own. It is a particularly beneficial tactic for visual learners. Additionally, tying examples to concepts can help you dig deeper and truly understand the material, not just memorize it. If you can’t access examples in the reading or class, come up with your examples! Coming up with your examples will help you recall the material and make learning more meaningful for yourself. 

#5: Write a Story

Especially in history classes, it can be challenging to retain the multitude of names, dates, timelines, and facts you learn about. To resolve this, write out the information in story form as if you were to narrate it to a friend. You can make it as fun or funny as you want; whatever helps you learn! In your story, make sure to include important names, dates, processes, or pertinent facts you need to remember. Once you are finished, read it through a couple of times. Soon enough, it will be as easy to remember as the plotline to your favorite book or movie! 

Homework Help for The Youngsters

For elementary students, studying may look a little different. Students must learn at a young age helpful study tips that work for them. It helps them improve their current academic success while also preparing them for middle and high school. With the right parent, sibling, or tutor support, any of the following tips can be modified to serve younger students!These tips are not going to magically make studying a joy. However, they will help you study smarter rather than harder so you can have more free time while still being prepared for your exams. Finally, make sure to study ahead of time, give yourself brain breaks, and eat a nutritious snack to ensure you have enough energy to retain the material. Good luck; go ace that test!