Tips for studying more efficiently

Fatima Ahmed, Study in Czechia Ambassador
Fatima Ahmed, Study in Czechia Ambassador
Helpful tips, Student community, Study in Czechia
6 November 2023

‘Study smarter, not harder’. I’m sure we have all heard this phrase countless times. But what does it mean? Initially, I would automatically associate ‘studying smarter’ with finding a way to absorb volumes of information in the shortest amount of time possible. However, I quickly realized that this was far from the truth. My old high school studying methods no longer seemed to be working in the fast-paced environment of a university. Classes had become more rigorous, the format of examinations was utterly different, and it felt like everything had to be done in such little time. Naturally, I felt very overwhelmed, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t catch up. Eventually, however, I could distinguish my strengths from my shortcomings and slowly figure out what worked best for me. Although methods of studying vary greatly between individuals, I have still attempted to find common ground and layout, in the simplest of ways, the groundwork that you could utilize to build up your personalized studying routine.

Organize, organize, organize!

Organization is key. Creating a well-structured schedule ahead of time can help you focus on your daily tasks and responsibilities. By having a clear plan in place, you can greatly reduce the stress and worry that often accompanies the thought of achieving big, long-term goals. Moreover, setting specific objectives can be a valuable guideline to help you stay organized and focused on your lessons.

Reading isn’t learning.

Have you ever heard of Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve? Hermann Ebbinghaus was a German psychologist whose research explored why we forget things and how to prevent this. One of the outcomes of his endeavours was the Forgetting Curve – a visual representation of how retained information diminishes over time.

This curve excellently depicts crucial aspects of memory. The most significant decline in information retention happens soon after we learn something new for the first time. This is reflected by the steep fall at the beginning of the curve. Another discovery apparent from the graph is that by reviewing knowledge at regular intervals, you can decrease the rate at which you forget it! This is where the idea of spaced repetition comes from. Review sessions should be set up close together at first, but the intervals can become longer as time goes on. Not only will this help you to remember all the details for longer, but you’ll also be able to uncover any gaps in your understanding quickly.

Study settings

Find a place where you can study with the least amount of distractions. This can be your room, a library, a study lounge, or even a cafe. The bed can be the worst place to study because I, for a fact, know that nothing conjures up the sleeping beauty in me more than completing assignments.

Additionally, you should also be aware of when you study best. Some people feel more productive in the morning, whereas for others, the quiet of the night provides a more conducive environment for optimized learning.


As Phil Collins perfectly put it, ‘In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn’. Teaching forces you to not only assimilate all the material that you have learned but also encourages you to explore how to approach a topic differently to make it much easier to understand.

Taking time off

Lastly and most importantly, ensure that you are taking enough breaks in between. The brain can only take so much at a time. Rest gives our brains the time to consolidate all the knowledge it has gathered. Additionally, rewarding yourself for your accomplishments can also help prevent burnout. All in all, see to it that you give yourself ample time to recharge so that your mind is refreshed and ready to delve into the realm of learning once again.

To conclude, learning the optimal methods for you may require trial and error. This is a journey, so be patient with yourself and embrace the highs and lows of the process. With some self-reflection and perseverance, you’ll be on the right path to upgrading your study habits and maximizing results.

Good luck on your studying journey!