Saturday, 15 April 2017

Study Smart Not Hard

I don't think anyone likes studying spending hours and hours trying to get information to stick inside your brain, doing all-nighters to try to get it all done but there's no point in doing that at all. I think there is this thing installed in our brains that the more study we do the better we will do. This is not always the case because if you spend 3 hours studying but you were on your phone while doing it, you might do as well as someone who spent an hour studying with no distractions. See where I'm coming from? So here's a few things that I have learned over the past few years that help me to study smart, not hard!

Study Topics For 20 Minutes

You stop getting information after 20 minutes of a topic or you may start to drift like I do sometimes. Study a topic for 20 minutes and move on to any other subject. After 1 hour of studying I like to take a break for 20 minutes to relax, walk around, get a drink or something to eat. I find this works very well for me as I only have to focus on something for a certain time and leave it.

Have Some Sort Of A Schedule

I remember in first trying to make a timetable to study during the week but it would always fail within the first few days as I made it very unrealistic. I still make myself a schedule but it is more of a to do list, I write up everything I want to study and then as I do them I tick them off.

I love planning out what I am going to study for the week on Saturday or Sunday and it only takes 10 minutes. It prevents me procrastinating during the week or trying to figure out what I am going to study and makes sure I have studied something from each subject. I use this planner that I made myself and I find it so helpful. I write in something each day, I mightn't get them done on that day but I normally get it completed by the end of the week and if that doesn't happen, it goes into the next week.

Flashcards Are Your Friend

I find flashcards amazing to quickly summarise that hard chapter in Biology or for languages. I love using flashcards to have all the terms for a chapter or quotes. I normally keep them very plain using just blue and red pen and sometimes green.

For French, I use them to learn verbs. On one side I write the infinitive and translation and on the other side I write the present, past and future in the I, we and they form. This helps me a lot to learn verbs and be able to switch tenses easily.

Summarise Chapters

This is probably the tip I stick most to and that is chapter summaries. I get an A4 refill page and split it in half. I try to fit everything that is important in the chapter on this page from definitions to diagrams. At the end I have one page summaries that I can go back and study without having to go near the book. It saves a lot of time and effort as I know what exactly I need to learn.

Crash Course

Do you ever just not want to study and watch YouTube videos, this is the best of both worlds. It is a YouTube channel set up by the lovely vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green, it started back in 2015 and currently has nearly 700 videos. I love using for Biology and Chemistry especially when I don't know the topic very well. I find them so interesting and I don't realise that I am actually learning stuff.

I hope you find my study tips useful. What are your study tips?

Thanks for being awesome,


  1. I used to do that to-do list, particularly in the weeks coming up to my Leaving Cert. I knew I only had a few weeks to cover stuff so I wrote out a big 6 or 8 week calendar and just put in something different every week so I'd have it all done.


    1. Thanks for commenting Ellen! I might try that out when I get closer to exam time.

  2. These are really good tips. I use Crash Course A&P as it simplifies a really, really complicated subject. In the middle of revision now so thanks.

    1. Thanks for commenting Helen! I find Crash Course a lifesaver.

  3. This couldn't come at a better time! I'm studying my A-levels soon and really don't know what I'm going to do. I felt like I overstudied for my GCSEs which led to nothing but stress. I really want to adapt my revision technique so that it's effective without spending hours and hours cramming things in. Great post Roisin x

    1. Thanks for commenting Jessy. I am getting ready for the Irish equivalent to the A Levels and I am trying to find ways of studying that I will have time for other things.