Finding a good study space is an important part of effective studying. If your surroundings are distracting, you can not expect to study very well. This doesn’t mean that you have to find a place that’s secluded and dead silent either. The most important thing is that you find a study space place that fits your specific learning style. For example, some individuals are able to concentrate better with a little noise in the background while others are easily distracted by any noise at all. Some individuals can concentrate perfectly well in the middle of the library amongst dozens of people constantly passing by, while others are able to concentrate better studying in a cubical where there is no visual distraction at all.
While each individual has their own personal learning style and preferences, here a few suggestions in order to improve your study time.
Create a Routine.
Assign yourself a specific place to study and set a regular time to study each day. Some people like to study in the library. Others find the library very distracting. Some people like to study outside. Others find studying outside difficult because they are tempted get up and “smell the roses”. There is no perfect study place for everyone — but there is a perfect study place for you. Your goal is to find it. It may sound a little bit tedious but creating a set study routine will also improve your ability to study effectively. Studying at the same time each day or each week — in your study place of choice — will ensure that you develop a habit of studying and studying effectively.
Your study place should be comfortable
If you plan on doing a lot of studying you need to make sure that your study place is absolutely comfortable. If you don’t, you’re likely going to find yourself looking for a new study space down the road. Set up your chair, computer and desk in such a way that you don’t hurt your hands, wrists, neck or back. Little discomforts can turn into repetitive stress injuries if they are not addressed. Also, stock your study place with all of the tools you’ll need (i.e. pens, pencils, dictionaries, etc.) so you aren’t constantly disrupting your studying. You may want to ensure that your study place has plenty of light. Many people will find a comfortable study place but find that studying is difficult because they don’t have adequate lighting.
Evaluate your study preferences
As we mentioned previously each individual has their only learning style and preferences. Before you select a study place you should try to figure out what your learning style and preferences are. Are you distracted by noise? Are you distracted by visual interruptions? Do you do study better for long periods of time or do you need regular breaks? Again, there isn’t a strict rule for how you should study but it is important to discover your study preferences and evaluate your study space to make sure it is adequate for your needs.
Create study rules and follow them
If you’re constantly being hounded by your parents or RI’s when it comes to your study habits then we recommend that you (1) establish some study rules and (2) that you communicate those rules with your parents. For example, if one of your study preferences is to study for a period of time and then take a short break, make sure to communicate this to your parents so that it doesn’t not appear that you’re ‘slacking’. If the only person you answer to is yourself, it is still recommended that you create study rules and that you stick by them.
Finding a good place to study, discovering your personal learning preferences and establishing a few useful study rules will go a long way toward ensuring an effective study experience.