A study habit is a repeated behavior or practice used when learning educational material. Positive study habits enable you to study smarter, not harder. Beyond the classroom, they enhance decision-making and problem-solving skills that benefit you throughout life. When you make the following study habits part of your daily routine, everything else falls into place.

Establish a Study Area

In order to get the most out of your studies, it’s important to create an area where you only go to study. Your study area should have a desk with an upright chair and a desk lamp that offers plenty of light. Keep this space clean and free of distractions. The more you study in this one area, the easier it will be to focus when you sit down and crack open a textbook. Walk away when you need to take a break and return when you’re ready to start again.

Study on a Regular Basis

Study at the same time in the same place on the same days of the week. The key is to maintain a consistent routine. Even if you don’t have homework due or a test scheduled the next day, you can still study class notes and textbooks during your scheduled study time. When test day comes you won’t have to cram the night before, and you’ll most likely earn a higher grade just by reviewing the content on a consistent basis.

Set Study Goals

Before sitting down for your study session, set a study goal (or goals) to get the most out of your time. Is your goal to complete a worksheet for homework? Study for a quiz? Finish part of your English project? Learn that math concept you didn’t understand in class? Setting a goal will help you prioritize schoolwork and use your time effectively and efficiently.

Create a Study Plan

Now that you have a few goals in mind, it’s time to determine how you will reach those goals. Will you focus primarily on your class notes when studying for a test, or will you split your study time reviewing notes and the textbook? When teaching yourself a new concept will you turn to the internet or start a study group with friends? How you plan your study time for each subject may be different based on the teacher, his or her teaching style, and expectations.

When creating your study plan, break down larger projects into smaller, manageable assignments. After determining how many small assignments are needed to complete the project, you can develop a timeline based on the due date. Finally, start with difficult assignments first and then complete the easier ones, since you’re usually more focused and alert at the beginning of your study session.

Follow Through

It’s helpful to set goals and create a study plan, but only if you’re willing to do what it takes to reach those goals. You can establish a study area, schedule, and routine, but if you don’t follow through none of that matters. On average, it takes two to three months to form a habit, so if you take a few days off from studying during that time it will be much harder to pick it back up again. But if you stick with it, your study routine will be habit by midterms.

Sometimes establishing positive study habits requires a little guidance, support, and encouragement. If you’d like to learn about our study skills and organization tutoring services, contact us.