Smart Studying Tips

“The Princeton Review” offers some guidelines to escaping the same-old homework habits. Try these study tips and get the brain boosted in time for back to school.

  • Just one study space might be limiting. A well-stocked desk in a quiet place at home is key, but sometimes variety is good, too. Coffee shops, libraries, parks or even just moving to the kitchen table will give a change of scenery that can prompt the brain to retain information better.
  • Track more than homework in a school planner. Keeping a calendar helps students plan ahead, but they’ve got more going on than just homework assignments. Mark extracurricular, work and social commitments, too. This might include: tests, band practice, away games, SAT dates, half-days or holidays.
  • Start small. For big assignments, like a research paper, stay motivated by completing a piece of the project every few days. Write one paragraph each night. Or, do five algebra problems from a problem set at a time, and then take a break.
  • School supplies (alone) don’t make a student organized. Come up with a system and keep to it. One big binder for all classes with color-coded tabs or separate notebooks and a folder for handouts? Keep the system simple. If it’s too fancy or complicated, it’s more difficult to keep it up everyday.
  • Get into a routine. Plan a certain time set aside for homework every day. Find the time of day that works best, keeping in mind this can change day to day depending on scheduling.
  • Learn how create a distraction-free zone. A study on workplace distractions found that it takes workers an average of 25 minutes to return to what they were working on pre-interruption. Try turning off phone notifications or blocking Twitter (temporarily) to aid concentration on tasks at hand.