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Three tips for studying smarter, not harder

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Published: 3 January 2022

Three tips for studying smarter, not harder

It’s a brand-new year and you are already working on yourself. No, we’re not talking about the resolution you will probably give up on in February.  

2022 is the year of you because you’re at the University of Sunderland in London (or at least thinking of applying here – great choice!)  

We thought we’d get the year off to a flying start by giving you some study tips you can use all the way up to 2023.  

Studying shouldn’t be a long, boring process. It can be fun, engaging and honestly kind of exciting.  

The trick is working out how to study smart, not hard. Learning as much as you can without stressing out about deadlines and grades.  

So, give some of our tips a try this 2022 and get the most out of your student experience.  

1) Joint notes  

You’re sat in a class with a load of people all trying to learn the same thing. Yes, you want to get a great grade, but that shouldn’t mean competing with your classmates.  

Instead of trying to write everything down, you can think of during a lecture why not group your notes together instead?   

Start a Google Doc with a few of your classmates and write down everything you can think of as a group.   

By sharing it with the class you’ll all be able to edit the page together, ask questions and make comments on what everyone else is saying.  

Then, at the end of class, you’ll have a big document of notes covering everything that was discussed making it easier to prepare for tests and assignments.  

2) Think short, not long  

Some studies have suggested that the average attention span of an adult is between 20 and 25 minutes.   

With such a short amount of time to focus on something, it’s no wonder you might find it hard to study for hours on end.   

Instead, beat your brain’s natural rhythms by breaking your sessions up into smaller chunks.  

Use the Pomodoro Technique, for example, to achieve this. Focus on your studies for 25 minutes, then give yourself a five-minute break.  

Every four cycles, take a longer 20-minute rest. The trick here is to make sure your time away from studying is as relaxing as possible.  

That means leaving your screens (don’t be tempted to scroll through your phone), maybe even getting outside and walking around for your longer breaks.  

3) Study in a flash  

Researchers have looked into the fact that writing down information helps you remember things better.  

This could mean putting together notes in class with a pen and paper or trying to bullet point the facts you’ve just read in that journal article.  

So, instead of using a highlighter to go over everything you think might be useful get some flashcards.  

After reading an article, jot down the five most important points and carry on with your studies.   

At the end of your session take a look at the card again and see how much you can remember.  

Whether you try out these three tips or find your own way of making studying at the University of Sunderland in London a breeze, make 2022 your year.  

We’d love to hear your study tips. Share them with the community using #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.